Flames return Mark Jankowski to Stockton

The Mark Jankowski era is over in Calgary. At least, for now.

After a call-up that saw the 2012 first round selection of the Calgary Flames scratched three times and dressed just once, the club announced that he’s been returned to the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat.

Jankowski, 22, was solid if unspectacular in his National Hockey League debut against the New York Islanders. He didn’t look out of place, and even earned some praise from Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan for some of the smaller plays he made.

That said, with Lance Bouma getting closer and closer to a return to the lineup and the Flames playing well enough that Gulutzan probably doesn’t want to muck around with his fourth line – Micheal Ferland, Freddie Hamilton and Garnet Hathaway have been very, very good together – there’s really no reason to keep Jankowski on the roster. As our Christian Tiberi noted earlier today, if he’s not going to play with the Flames they might as well send him to Stockton so he can play. He returns to a Heat club that is playing very well and sitting second in the the AHL’s Pacific Division.

As a nice side-effect of demoting Jankowski, the Flames end up saving a bit of cap space by virtue of carrying fewer extra bodies. Their active roster currently sits at 22 players (two goalies, seven defensemen and 13 forwards).

  • Stu Cazz

    Stockton has a bunch of games in the next 10 days better that he play rather than watch up here. The call up although one game was good for his development. This is a talented kid that needs to play and he will be back with the Flames I’m guessing on a full time basis next season…..

  • OKG

    He did his job, pushing Monahan down to the fourth line until Monahan started at least playing like a 3C again.

    He’ll be back, and one day he will be amazing.

  • snotss

    I don’t get the front office…give him a couple of more games to see what you have..because your going to replace him with “lance bouma” come on the kid can do everything bouma can do right now…let bouma sit,he has done nothing except get injured.bouma should be gone by trade deadline..if someone wants him and get rid of another bad,bad,bad contract

  • Dan the flames fan

    I would have liked to see him in at least one or two more games; however, one game is better than none. He did not look out of place, and performed solidly in his debut. The effort and competitive level was there.

  • KiLLKiND

    So the 4th line of Ferland Hamilton and Hathaway is “very, very good together” yet wasn’t there an argument in the comment section just a few days ago whether Hathaway should ever play in the NHL again. I think an article about Hathaway would be much appreciated by all as his usage seems to be controversial. I like him he isn’t as good as Byron, but his style of play and energy is quite similar.

    Since this article is about Jankowski I personally am fine with him being sat with a few games and practicing with the Flames for a short period of time. He has been among the best players on the Heat all season and spending some time with the NHL team could further motivate him and show him what areas of his game he needs to work on. Yes Wotherspoon and Baerstchi were treated poorly, but spinning the same narrative every time a prospect isn’t playing every game for their callup is ridiculous. When I played rep hockey I loved when the triple A team called me up to practice and play with them, even if I was only the backup goalie seeing how much faster and harder the shots were at the next level pushed me to train harder so I could be ready for the next time I got my chance. Jankowski is a smart kid and should know that he needs to take what he learned from this callup and come back better than this time. As a side note he was fine in his game, but he looked to be a passenger as Ferland did the heavy lifting.

    • al rain

      Yeah, this.

      I’ve never played at that level but as far as a prospect’s development goes this all makes sense to me. It seems like there are tons of benefits to a prospect in hanging with the big team that go beyond game time: training, systems, culture, expectations, lifestyle…

      And each player is going to handle that experience in different ways – ways that only team management is going to see, not necessarily us on the outside.

      So you see where I’m going with this: trust the team. They see how players are maturing on and off the ice, they are smarter hockey people than all of us (shocking!) and they have best interests in mind.

      So based on that, I’m not ready to say that Wotherspoon and Baertschi were handled badly, let alone Jankowski already.

    • everton fc

      I thought out loud here Hathaway would never be sent back to Stockton. And I don’t think he should be. But I bet he is, at some point.

      When Bouma returns, Shinkaruk goes down. I think Hathaway’s a different player than Byron. Byron was a goal-scorer in junior. So he’s really coming close to his potential now, with the right team, right usage, right linemates, and so on.

      Hathaway, to me, is more like Bouma, and makes Boumna expendable, in terms of “role”. The fact Hathaway’s on the RW, and Bouma on the LW – if these two were centred by Freddie, and Ferland used on a 2nd/3rd line, then I think Hathaway sticks. Even as an extra forward.

      Ultimately, at the moment, there’s no room for Jankowski, unless you move Bennett back to centre, and either bench or waive Freddie. And Freddie would get claimed – he’s not scored but the one goal, but he’s a grittier player than I thought, and fits in nice as a 4th line centre or RW.

  • Ole YELLEr

    I agree with sending Jankowski down since he isn’t playing but what about Shinkaruk? He’s not playing many games or getting many minutes when he does play. I think he should be sent down as well and the flames could recall vey to be one of the extra forwards. Or if they want to recall someone to play maybe Poirier, Pribyl or Klimchuk gets a shot.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    Personally, I think last night’s game against a young Leafs team would have been an ideal time to introduce Janko to the home fans. It would have been the perfect litmus test, playing against young skilled players that could still be in Junior or the AHL.

    There was no reason to sit him for Hamilton. I was actually a bit disappointed when Hamilton scored in the first minute, because I had a feeling that Hamilton would start ahead of Janko in the next game likely leading to Janko being sent back. Now full credit to Hamilton and the 4th line from going from being benched to starting the game and setting the tone by scoring. But, had it been Janko that started and scored in his second NHL game….it would be hard to send him back even with Bouma returning.

    You could see with Janko in the Islander game that each shift was better than the previous shift. He started on the second line but the whole team was playing poorly so it was easy to drop him to the fourth line. I am assuming Janko comes back after the Trade Deadline and stays for good.

    • Just.Visiting

      I’m totally with you on this one.

      What a tremendous opportunity this was to let us see what he could do in a game heavily populated by younger players and add an extra layer of interest to the game.

      Even if the vision were to send him down after the game in the absence of a really surprising performance, giving the fans the opportunity to see him, giving Janko the opportunity to have the home town experience and having the fans, the team and Janko see how he measured up when the spotlight was largely focused on him offered many potential benefits and little potential downside.

      The worst case scenario is that a young man would have gone back to Stockton wanting to do whatever it took to get back here and motivating those around him to want it also for themselves.

      This was a missed opportunity by the Flames.

      • Jumping Jack Flash

        I think most people would have been fine with the one home game with a chance to cheer the long term prodigal son for the first time. This sentiment is likely not shared by all fans but deep down I think Flames fans want to see him succeed. The kid has had to live with unreasonable expectations courtesy of an over zealous GM. It seems like he has gone through more scrutiny than the average prospect.

  • redwhiteblack

    Makes Heat players around him better. Hope that continues. Excited to watch what he does going forward. Heat players will welcome him back to help them produce as well.