On Sunday morning, the Flames had 14 forwards to pick from. In the just over 24 hours since, that list has dropped down to 12. Micheal Ferland is out with a mumps scare and Matthew Tkachuk has been suspended for two games. The team is about to embark on a three game road trip and need an extra body, so someone’s coming up on an emergency basis. Let’s quickly run through the list of names.
Hathaway made his name this year during a November spell where the Flames came down with the injury bug, and is the most likely candidate to be called up this time. Being the only call up to stick around for a significant period this year, the sparkplug is a known quantity. In the final dog days of the playoffs, I would imagine the Flames would go with the familiar face. Besides, the rest of the AHLers can get time during the black aces period after the playoff picture is clearer.
The next best option out of Stockton would be their leading scorer. Although he isn’t a winger, he offers the Flames a bit of flexibility if they want to move Bennett out to Backlund’s wing. If Janko is called up, it could also function as an audition for next year, as the team has really only seen him in one game where he mostly drew in because Monahan was playing extremely poorly.
The Flames haven’t really seen Klimchuk at the NHL level, so this could also be a good option. He has a stronger two-way game than the other on the list, which can provide him an edge when Brad Treliving is making the call. Also, as with Jankowski above, calling up Klimchuk gives the Flames the added bonus of keeping the M numbers high.
Look at that, another M! Mangiapane is the hot hand in Stockton right now, picking up points left and right in recent weeks after a dismal scoring drought nullified his numbers in January and February. He is a bit of a dark horse selection, but the team might want to go for someone on a hot streak. He can also play both wings, which is an asset right now.
Shinkaruk was overshadowed by Hathaway during that November injury crisis, and will likely be a talent the Flames want to get a closer look at. It’s a bit of a bold choice, but he was very successful with Monahan and Gaudreau last season. With Ferland out (they play a very similar game), he could slot right it.
Well, they signed him for a reason.
(Jokes, his NHL contract doesn’t begin until next year)