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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski / USA Today Sports

Flames trim roster, cut 7 players

Following yesterday’s preseason game with the Arizona Coyotes, the Calgary Flames’ head coach Glen Gulutzan aimed to get the roster down to a single on-ice group. They haven’t gone quite that far, but they’ve assigned seven players to the minors and gotten their roster down to 40 players.

Who’s gone?

Assigned directly to the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat are goalie Tyler Parsons, defensemen Josh Healey and Oliver Kylington, and forwards Austin Carroll and Andrew Mangiapane. Blueliners Colby Robak and Adam Ollas-Mattsson were in camp on NHL try-outs, but were also sent to Stockton – Ollas-Mattsson has an AHL deal while Robak will be auditioning for a job.

Who’s left?

Goaltenders (4)

# Player Age 2016-17 Club Acquired Waivers?
32 Jon Gillies 23 Stockton (AHL) 2012 Draft No
31 Eddie Lack 29 Carolina (NHL) Trade Yes
33 David Rittich 25 Stockton (AHL) Free agency No
41 Mike Smith 35 Arizona (NHL) Trade Yes

Defensemen (10)

# Player Age 2016-17 Club Acquired Shot Waivers?
54 Rasmus Andersson 20 Stockton (AHL) 2015 Draft R No
44 Matt Bartkowski 29 Calgary (NHL) Free agency L Yes
7 T.J. Brodie 27 Calgary (NHL) 2008 Draft L Yes
5 Mark Giordano 33 Calgary (NHL) Free agency L Yes
27 Dougie Hamilton 24 Calgary (NHL) Trade R Yes
24 Travis Hamonic 27 NY Islanders (NHL) Trade R Yes
61 Brett Kulak 23 Stockton (AHL) 2012 Draft L Yes
26 Michael Stone 27 Calgary (NHL) Trade R Yes
42 Juuso Valimaki 18 Tri-City (WHL) 2017 Draft L No
4 Tyler Wotherspoon 24 Stockton (AHL) 2011 Draft L Yes

Forwards (26)

# Player Age 2016-17 Club Acquired Shot Waivers?
11 Mikael Backlund 28 Calgary (NHL) 2007 Draft L Yes
93 Sam Bennett 21 Calgary (NHL) 2014 Draft L Yes
36 Troy Brouwer 32 Calgary (NHL) Free agency R Yes
64 Joseph Cramarossa 24 Vancouver (NHL) Try-out L N/A
59 Dillon Dube 19 Kelowna (WHL) 2016 Draft L No
79 Micheal Ferland 25 Calgary (NHL) 2009 Draft L Yes
15 Spencer Foo 23 Union College (NCAA) Free agency R No
67 Michael Frolik 29 Calgary (NHL) Free agency L Yes
13 Johnny Gaudreau 24 Calgary (NHL) 2011 Draft L Yes
17 Luke Gazdic 28 Albany (AHL) Free agency L Yes
51 Tanner Glass 33 Hartford (AHL) Try-out L Yes
25 Freddie Hamilton 25 Calgary (NHL) Trade R Yes
21 Garnet Hathaway 25 Stockton (AHL) Free agency R Yes
46 Marek Hrivik 26 Hartford (AHL) Free agency L Yes
77 Mark Jankowski 22 Stockton (AHL) 2012 Draft L No
45 Morgan Klimchuk 22 Stockton (AHL) 2013 Draft L No
20 Curtis Lazar 22 Calgary (NHL) Trade R Yes
56 Ryan Lomberg 22 Stockton (AHL) Free agency L No
23 Sean Monahan 22 Calgary (NHL) 2013 Draft L Yes
28 Emile Poirier 22 Stockton (AHL) 2013 Draft L Yes
60 Brett Pollock 21 Adirondack (ECHL) 2014 Draft L No
74 Daniel Pribyl 24 Stockton (AHL) Free agency R No
49 Hunter Shinkaruk 22 Stockton (AHL) Trade L Yes
18 Matt Stajan 33 Calgary (NHL) Trade L Yes
19 Matthew Tkachuk 19 Calgary (NHL) 2016 Draft L No
10 Kris Versteeg 31 Calgary (NHL) Free agency R Yes

The Flames play on Monday in Winnipeg, so expect to see a game group full of bubble players and even more cuts afterwards.

  • ThisBigMouthIsRight

    Interesting….. a bit of a head scratcher…. why Mangiapane and Carroll (did Carroll even play a game?) over others? I can only guess that these are the “You Are Safe” guys with the best and the “Meh” to be given a closer look or different assignments on the ice to see how they do. Odd~!

  • Baalzamon

    Second round of cuts finally come and somehow they still have 40 guys. They shouldn’t have had 40 to begin with (barring split squads of course, since that’s a thing for some reason).

    The Flames wonder why they have slow starts; it’s because the players barely play together before the season. I guess it’s way more important to give reps to players like Gazdic and Glass and other guys who will never make the team.

      • Trevy

        I agree, Glass brings more to the table than a heavy weight like Gazdic. He’s our version of a Hendricks, but younger, which proved valuable to the Oilers and now Winnipeg. He’ said more of a soldier with smarts and some skill that won’t really hurt the team, but provide that agressiveness we sorely lack. I understand Hathaway is a similar player but in experienced. These two could be interchangeable, but bottom line, we could use that type of player on the 4th line

    • MrBase

      Yah I have been saying this for years
      I understand the need to bring players in for competition
      But they are the experts should be able to see if these kids are worth keeping around or the veteran players
      Last year hurt us with a new coach with new system should have the last two or three games with your line up for start of the season
      But hey I’m not the expert

    • McRib

      Yeah, I’m fine keeping an expanded roster to reward young high ceiling players like Mangiapane and Kylington who have played well, but keeping around all these brutal PTOs and old AHL signees is just a major waste of time.

  • Cheeky

    Why is Bartowski still here? Oh yeah he’s one off GGs special guys…no point keeping those definately not making team, send them to AHL and battle it out there and if we need them during year we can call em up (Cramarossa, Hrivik, Glass, Gazdic, etc.).

  • freethe flames

    BT: (talking with Magpie and Klyington) You played well go down and continue to develop and you will earn a call up.
    (Magpie and Kylington thinking to themselves) I played way better than … and they are still here???

    Way to many guys to still have unless they are hiding injuries. I just don’t get it.

  • Cup hope

    This is announcement is very difficult to reconcile with Gully post game conference last night. 26 forwards isn’t even close to the 15 he had mentioned. Seems like there must be a lot of differences of opinion about the relative value of several forwards. Thoughts?

  • HOCKEY83

    Went to the game last night and Bennett looked like he belonged with Gaudreau and Ferland on that top line. They were great together. Smith’s puck handling abilities were incredible. He was sending the puck up the ice like a Dman.

    • Atomic Clown

      What do you do with Monahan then? Risk Monahan slumping to get Bennett going? Just like how Backlund and Frolik are an established pair, sore Monahan and Gaudreau. This doesn’t mean you give Bennett Brouwer, but Tkachuk is someone that definitely comes to mind. Ferland/Versteeg are interchangeable I would say, so there’s no loss there

    • The Doctor

      Yeah Smith with our mobile puck-moving defencemen could be really interesting, putting together stretch plays and making the transition game a real asset.

  • Skylardog

    3 games left to get ready, and still 40 in camp. Next game sees a roster of players that continue to get a look against NHL quality players, while they play with the line of AHLers. The cream cannot stand out when placed with players that will never make an NHL roster.

    We need to see what Klimchuk, Poirier, Dube, Lomberg, Lazar, and Shink can do on lines with Bennett, Versteeg, Backlund and Frolik, and even Ferland and Monahan. What does it prove when they do not impress on a line with Cramarossa and Hrivik?

    This blows my mind, but given we are talking about GG, does not surprise. Looks like a slow start out of the gates in 2017/18 coming.

    Waiting for Walter’s 2 bits on this one. Come on WW!

    • everton fc

      Of this group you mention above – if Dube were a wing, Dube/Bennett/Versteeg would be quite an interesting line. I must admit the concept of Tkachuk/Bennett/Versteeg, and Klimchuk/Backlund/Frolik, interests me. Shkinaruk deserves no more time. He hasn’t earned it – Glass has earned another game, over Shinkaruk. Cramrossa and Hrivik will be the centres in Stockton. Not a bad thing.

      Lazar and Brouwer continue to be in the way, moreso than Stajan. What do tou do w/Brouwer and Lazar? Brouwer looked like a 38 year old journeyman on a PTO last nght. Glass honestly looks as good, if not better. And Glass will do what Engelland did here, w/o being a flat-out goon, like Bollig.

      Poirier needs to be in the AHL, to get back his game. When you type it all out… Klimchuk may really have a chance to crack this lineup. And I think Dube could play in the NHL, with his speed and determination – even at his age. At least to my eyes…

      (No one’s talking about Foo replacing Ferland on our first line anymore. I see Ferland wearing a letter someday. 20 goals, and 30 assists could be in his future, this season).

      Can anyone confirm if/when/how often Dube’s played wing, in junior? And, has he played any wing here, in camp?? (Lomberg/Jankowski/Hathaway would be an interesting 4th line).

    • HOCKEY83

      Still yet nothing close to the team that will be iced has played a game together in the pre-season. Why exactly does it look like a slow start to the 2017-18 season yet at all? It’s really not hard to see that Jankowski and Kulak will be selected for the spots and I think whether you like it or not Lazar has a roster spot if we’re going by anything any Flames organization person has said regarding him. It’s just a matter of one more possible guy up front maybe 2 if Freddie doesn’t cut it. The guys they sent down today weren’t making the team regardless. They’ll send another big handful down after the game against Winnipeg on Monday and possibly more between now and then. They’ll probably want something close to the roster for the last 2 games. As far as the forward prospects or try-out players go Janks, Dube and Glass have stood out more than anyone else.

    • BringtheFire 2.0

      “The cream cannot stand out when placed with players that will never make an NHL roster.”

      I’d think playing with low calibre players is a chance to shine even more, along with less excuses should a player fail.

  • RealMcHockeyReturns

    Surprised that Eatbread is gone…seemed excellent but the “you’re small so a risk” bias works against him when a team has Gaudreau already. Bet he is traded in next 12 months sadly

    • madjam

      They let Evan Polei go as well , and he showed decent as well . With Oilers and Flames it probably boils down to who best fits the structure and chemistry the coaches are trying to implement .

      • TheoForever

        Funny, when I mentioned 4 Oiler forward prospects in Pentington tournament playing against Flames and Butcher, with passing mention of Polei, your buddies accused me of being nonfactual.
        Having said that, I liked Butcher, perhaps we should add him to our AHL stable.

        • madjam

          The longer exhibition give us a chance to see the depth around both teams and that is nice . The regulars are disappointing as their intensity far below season level . Oilers Bear and Gambardella who showed well in Penticton cut real early which was a surprise . The only Oiler prospect with still a chance to make lineup is Yamamoto , and even that is slight . Encouraged Jankowski looks like he will make team and Bennett looking like he is finally turning the corner . Could be some interesting names come up on waiver wire shortly .

          • LAKID

            madjam, are you praying that other teams castoffs will make the flames a wildcard contender?Not happening my amigo but it could improve the chances of free seats at the dome cause it should be empty, if Burke and King get their way.

          • TheoForever

            @ madjam

            Yeah, Yamo has been playing very well. I like Janko’s chances of making the team.
            I haven’t heard much about Pulju and not sure how he is doing, not a shot just in case I better say that. Yeah, hoping Bennett gets to play with some good players for a change.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    We all know the top line.
    Chucky with Benney and Steeg.
    Janko on with 2M.
    Staj, Lazar, Brouwer but regularly replaced by a revolving door of AHL standouts like Mangi, Klimmer, Foo, etc…

    • Fan the Flames

      Can’t help but think taking too long to assemble the team translates to slow starts . At this stage only about 4 or 5 players on bubble sprinkled into the core should be the direction.

      • madjam

        A money grab for the owners and a little extra time playing against some intermittent NHL talent for those aspiring to make team . Most regulars prefer a shorter 4 game exhibition season to tune up for season . Thus, we see regulars not doing much and playing not to get injured over the long exhibition season . A result of that is very few fights in games from regulars . Nice to see hockey again but grade of hockey is rather low in comparison to regular season . Regulars should not have the excuse of starting slow this season as they have in past with only 4 exhibition games .

  • Oyo

    I actually like the fact that more guys stayed. The Flames were remarkably healthy last year save a few players. The less needless wear and tear on the bodies in meaningless games, the better. Although, I would have got rid of Gazdic and the like and kept Mangiapane up.

    I like the idea of Tkachuk and Bennett together with Versteeg and am now confident that Janko could contribute meaningful minutes with Backlund. Maybe not to start the year but over time, transition him into that role.

  • freethe flames

    I just listened to a post practice interview with GG talking about the numbers and part of the reason for not getting down lower is some minor nagging injuries.

  • McRib

    Surprised Andrew Mangiapane and Oliver Kylington were cut, but they’re still young and will benefit from another year on the farm, but I am more surprised that we are keeping all of our useless PTOs and AHL signees, especially when they were greatly outperformed by Mangiapane and Kylington among plenty of others.

    I’m starting to think the Flames motto should be reversed to “never earned, always given”. Lazar, Brouwer, Bartkowski have been three of the worst players in camp. I understand the Flames can’t buyout Brouwer until next year (or at least until mid-season this year if he is a dumpster fire again like he was last year), but if Matt Bartkowski makes this team it will be laughable. He was why we sucked against Vancouver, he was horrific in that game, like should have been benched for the entire third period bad.

  • The Sultan

    Can’t believe how much whining everyone is doing. Seriously it’s the preseason. Stop being so fickle and stand by your team and have faith. At least until the first few games (the ones that matter) are out of the way.

    • freethe flames

      I just read through all the comments and found very little whining. People are questioning the logic and are being critical of some of the decisions but to me that is not really whining. Listening to the GG interview he suggests that their might be more cuts maybe as early as tomorrow; again I think some of this is because some vets are nicked up.

  • Just.Visiting

    I’m curious about the logic of keeping so many players around when we need to get ready for the season. It is going to be very interesting to see if the coaching staff is serious about creating a meritocracy or whether we play it “safe”, gift some spots and hope that we’re magically transformed into something greater than a bubble team.

    Janko has shown enough hockey sense and offensive skill to have earned top 9 minutes for at least the start of the season. The safe decision is to put him on the fourth line in a limited minutes role, with Brouwer gifted 3rd line minutes and possibly PP time.

    Other interesting roster choices involve Lack, Bartkowski and Lazar.

    Safe to say at this point that Valimaki isn’t ready for the Flames, so best if he’s returned to junior to dominate. Dube will presumably be sent down too, but he has been a very pleasant surprise-skill, smarts and lots of heart. He has a sense of urgency much greater than most of the other forward prospects.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      How do you spell Lazar? L-O-C-K. Along with Gio, Johnny, Monahan, Backs, Lazar is an absolute lock to make the final roster if for no other reason that Tre is one stubborn cuss and I doubt he is prepared to exile the kid to Stockton after giving up a coveted 2nd rounder and protecting him in the expansion draft. I wonder how long it will take Tre to figure out Lazar is a bust.

      • class1div1

        It’s mind boggling.Tre said from the beginning that Lazar was a long term project.A long term project with NHL ice-time.Klimchuk and Mangiapane are both better right now.

      • Stu Cazz

        Lazar is a better centre than winger….he will need to make the team as a winger due mainly with the emergence of Jankowski. He is 22, coming off a bad season where mono and new team involved. I’ll go by Treliving’s strategy of not risking losing him on waiver and showing patience rather than your strategy of giving up on a young asset.

      • TheoForever

        I didn’t like the trade at the time, thought 2nd was too much for Lazar. Now, that we have him we should give him a chance. He could use some AHL to get going but not at a cost of losing him.

        • BendingCorners

          At the time I thought the trade was a reasonable risk. A pick late in the second round often turns into nothing and the draftee usually take 2-4 years if he is going to make it. Curtis already had enough NHL experience to show that he at least could play to some extent, making him a more certain development project than a draft pick would have been. BT signed him for two years so that’s his window. That said, if he doesn’t show some fire and some improvement this year, it will be time to move on.

      • Baalzamon

        Why have so many players in camp if you’re just going to go with the incumbents anyway? This is what I don’t understand. Having all these players implies that they ALL have a chance to make the final roster. Lazar has been out-played by just about everyone, including a bunch of guys who have already been cut (as I predicted months ago, btw). I will be livid if he’s in the opening night lineup.

        Basically my point is this: If you’re going to refuse to make the “hard” decisions (such as waiving Lazar) even when they’re warrented then why have such a ridiculously over-sized camp roster? If you’re not going to be intelligent about giving players a chance in training camp then don’t give them a chance. Cut down to the roster you’ve apparently already decided on early and let them play together. If Lazar and Bartkowski make the team, if Brouwer is anything but a healthy scratch, this training camp was a complete waste of time.

  • Flamesfan4life

    How difficult would it be to handle if you put bennett with johnny and monny? Janko and Ferland on the 3rd line with versteeg? Size, creativity and 2 players with a wicked shot. I think that would create all kinds of match up problems for the opposition.

  • madjam

    @ Theo : Jesse finally broke out when he got promoted to McDavid for third period knotting 2 goals and one assist all in the third and showing some chemistry . He had a little time with Hopkins in first and second , doing little because of all the penalties team took . Strome on the other hand got demoted to Hopkins line for lackadaisical play with Maroon and Connor . He woke up a bit after being demoted onto Hopkins line . He does not seem to have the offensive flair Eberle had . RW now on Oilers is a real battle , not sure how it is going to pan out as yet . Jesse did show positive signs of chemistry with McDavid tonight . Entire team woke up after the lackluster first two periods and ran away with game in third . Todd probably ripped into them after 2nd period and demoting Strome .

    • Intercourse the Penguins

      I really like a civil discourse between fans of different teams such as we have tonight. Even LAKID was not too offensive. The oily’s do not suck and Flames are more interesting than seems like forever. GFG and let us hope a Canadian team wins it all.

  • Just.Visiting

    Continue to have a log in issue in which the comment box for the most recent story doesn’t pop up unless I go to another page first. Quite irritating.

  • CraigV

    I would also admit I’m disappointed in Brouwer however that’s more a matter of not living up to expectations than actual performance. If your going to send someone down or sit them then Stajan had only 6 goals to Brouwers 13. Stajan is about 1 1/2 years older and has no upside potential compared to Brouwer who at least might bounce back to better numbers.

    • freethe flames

      I disagree with you; I don’t really care that his counting numbers were down last year despite all the PP time he got. He frequently just did not give a $h!t from what I saw. So far this preseason it has been more of the same; an embarassment especially when he wears a letter. I would love one of the so called reporters who cover this team to ask the straight forward question: “Coach GG: Can you tell me exactly what Brouwer has done this preseason to deserve to be on this team? Show me on the game tapes?” I have not seen anything and would love to be shown something to get me excited about him.

  • CraigV

    Based on what I just said, if you were (speculating here) to not play Stajan and Brouwer. I would like to see these lines. Gaudreau – Monahan – Ferland, Tkachuk – Backlund – Frolik, Versteeg – Bennet – Lazar, Klimchuk – Jankowski – Mangiapane or Foo.