Once word came this morning from the Calgary Flames that goaltender Brian Elliott was ill and Chad Johnson would start, speculation began to run rampant whether Elliott would be able to sit on the bench as a backup. Well, wonder no more: the Flames have officially recalled goaltender Jon Gillies from the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat on an emergency basis. Our pal Mark Divver of the Providence Journal hinted at this news earlier today.
Word around PC is Jon Gillies will back up Chad Johnson in Calgary tonight vs. Bruins. Brian Elliot is sick. First NHL callup for Gillies
— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) March 15, 2017
Gillies, 23, was the Flames’ third round selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft – selected after Mark Jankowski and Patrick Sieloff. After three years in the NCAA starting for an up-and-coming Providence College program, Gillies won an NCAA Championship in 2015 and signed with the Flames. He hung around with the team during their two playoff rounds, then headed to Stockton to begin his pro career in 2015-16. His rookie season ended after just seven games due to surgery to correct a lingering hip injury, but he’s played a lot more this season with the Heat.
Presently Stockton is in the midst of a heated playoff run (no pun intended), and Gillies’ recall means that David Rittich will be given the reins for the time being. Originally signed to back Gillies up, Rittich has really pushed him (and at times surpassed him).
Gillies has a 14-14-1 record with a 2.97 goals against average and a .909 save percentage in 34 games played for the Heat this season. For those of you looking to refashion your Paul Byron jerseys, Gillies will wear #32.