After making their NHL debuts last night, the Flames have reassigned rookies Rasmus Andersson and David Rittich to the AHL.
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) April 9, 2017
Andersson was called up almost a month ago on an emergency basis after it was feared that Dougie Hamilton and Michael Stone were injured. Despite both players being fine, Andersson stuck around on a regular basis, perhaps by impressing the coaching staff. Rittich was called up yesterday morning, swapping spots with Jon Gillies.
Sending Andersson down makes sense, even if it complicates things for the Heat. There is no reason to keep him around for the playoffs if he is just going to sit, might as well let him play somewhere he can play 20 minutes a night. Stockton is pretty loaded on defence right now, so loaded that they had three defencemen sitting out last game. Rasmus will have to join that mess, but I figure that the Heat won’t be carrying 10 defenders for long. Brett Kulak has returned to action this week, so if the Flames need a non-Wideman option for an extra defenceman, they could call him up.
(There’s also the concern that Oliver Kylington might be injured after a knee-on-knee hit with Zach Stortini last night, so that’s another reasons Andersson could’ve been sent down)
Rittich’s reassignment was well expected. He was mostly called up so Jon Gillies could play in Stockton’s game, and probably wouldn’t have even left the bench last night had the Predators won. By keeping none of the AHL goalies around, perhaps it suggests that Chad Johnson is back from injury (though no official word on that yet).
Of course, this could all just be temporary. The Flames may not begin their playoffs until Wednesday or Thursday, while Stockton will have two very important and potentially playoff clinching games between now and then. Perhaps big brother is looking out for little brother, stacking the deck so the Heat can coast into the playoffs and then recall at will. We’ll find out what the deal is in the upcoming week.