Flames reduce roster, cut 10 players

As we’ve seen following the last few preseason games, the Calgary Flames have decided to trim down their roster once again. Ten prospective Flames have been assigned elsewhere, reducing the team’s roster to 28 (excluding two injured players)

Who’s gone?

Sent directly to the AHL’s Stockton Heat are goaltender David Rittich and forwards Brett Pollock, Morgan Klimchuk, Ryan Lomberg and Spencer Foo.

Placed on waivers (for the purposes of assigning to the AHL) earlier today were defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon and forwards Emile Poirier and Hunter Shinkaruk.

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Sent back to their junior clubs are forward Dillon Dube (to the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets) and defenseman Juuso Valimaki (to the WHL’s Tri-City Americans).

Who’s left?

Goaltenders (3)

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

Defensemen (8)

# 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

Forwards (19, 17 healthy)

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# 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
79 Micheal Ferland 25 Calgary (NHL) 2009 Draft L Yes
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 N/A
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
20 Curtis Lazar 22 Calgary (NHL) Trade R Yes
23 Sean Monahan 22 Calgary (NHL) 2013 Draft L Yes
74 Daniel Pribyl 24 Stockton (AHL) Free agency R No
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

Hrivik and Pribyl are listed as injured by the club right now. Depend on what happens, it’s probable that they’ll begin the season on the non-roster injured list. Presuming that happens, the remaining cuts are one goaltender, one defenseman and three forwards.

  • Stockton's Finest

    So it looks like the Heat will roll 3 good lines this year. Figure Foo with Yeast-mode (Mangiapane), Klimchuk with Shinkaruk, Lomberg with Poirier, Andersson with Kylington, Tspoon on 2nd D pairing and Riddich #1 with Parsons getting about 20 games. Just need to fill in centers. Oh, and cut Hunter Smith (or send him to KC).

    • everton fc

      I think they’ll pair Andersson w/Wotherspoon. You have Rittich #1 – what about Gillies? Parsons should go to the ECHL. Gillies and Rittich should share games. Don’t forget Austin Carroll – he played well the second half of the season. And I imagine one, or both, of Glass and Cramarossa end up in Stockton. With Gazdic headed to Stockton, Hunter Smith is absolutely expendable. I can see Hrivik centering Mangiapane and Foo. But we are still thin down the middle, on the farm.

    • C Watson

      You are right, pretty much the same marginal playoff team from last year. Not holding out much hope for success when cast offs are given more credence than legitimate prospects. Very disappointing!

      • Howedy

        I agree the legitimate prospects should be given an actual chance to make the team, which was not the case.
        I think when you factor in expected improvements from Bennett, adding Janko, improving the 2nd and 3rd D pairing, hopefully at least average goaltending and the first line coming in with some established chemistry it’s realistic to expect more points this year than last. We have a predominantly youthful core that is expected to improve through their first years in the league. I’m not worried about regression or flatlining.

  • Stu Cazz

    When Treliving traded Granlund for Shinkaruk I applauded. Obviously it didn’t work out for the Flames. All GM’s make bad transactions. Losing Byron & Granlund for nothing hurts. Regardless looking forward….

    • Cageyvet

      I don’t troll here as a matter of principle, but as a Canucks fan I had to see what the reaction was to Shinkaruk hitting the waiver wire. I’m surprised there’s barely a ripple about it, and from a Canucks fan standpoint you can believe me when I say the most optimistic of us were nervous when we traded him.

      So far it’s worked out for us with Granlund, but I wouldn’t give up on Shinkaruk just yet. I also agree that every GM has their regrettable moves, but I think you’ve got a good one in Treliving. I’ve watched the Burke show close up for many years, IMO the Flames don’t particularly benefit from his style nowadays, but hey, my team is a long way from being competitive so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

      • BringtheFire 2.0

        Thanks for the post. I agree with your assessment, but above Tre we have an ownership group consisting of petty children, and eventually they’ll cause a big enough of a distraction to hurt the on ice product.

        Or they could sabotage the team on purpose. I mean, Bartkowski hasn’t been cut yet.

      • freethe flames

        I don’t consider this trolling; this is actually discussing hockey. The problem with Granlund here is Calgary was Hartley insisted he had to be a center; in Vancouver they moved him to awing and allowed him to play to his strengths and he has done well for you.

      • Hockeyfan6778

        Yea it worked out great for you guys. He granlund couldn’t flourish here an d at first we thought this was steal. Unfortunately not ooking that way anymore. Granlund gong to be great with all your other young talent.

    • Bawcos

      Still a good trade (proved by Byron claim). Granlund was not good enough to play on the Flames roster (Monahan, Backlund, Bennett, Stajan) but too good to not be claimed on waivers. BT got something back. Better than nothing = good trade.

  • buts

    Smells like Burke is making all the decisions. This camp has been very confusing. The direction seems to to put a team together that can beat the ducks. Should be a speedy team that can beat the pens, coil and hawks.

    • Cheeky

      If they want a team to beat the ducks, maybe change the team up from the one that lost to them…Im talking mainly adding our prospects and deleting the has-beens…

      • McRib

        How did Pittsburgh beat Anaheim last year again? Oh yeah that’s right Pittsburgh was one of the smallest teams in the league, but they counteracted that by being one of the top possession team in the league with four lines of speed.

        What does Burkie do after seeing that? We need more truculence boys, Luke Gazdic will help us beat Anaheim!! Burke is building a team to beat the Ducks who keep losing to skilled teams (Pittsburgh, Chicago, etc) and he never once says “let’s just try all skill this one time”.

        • McRib

          Oops I meant Nashville specifically, but Pittsburgh’s high skill game still won’t it overall. Regardless Anaheim hasn’t won anything and for some reason we are trying to build a team to beat them, when skill wins the day in today’s NHL. Pittsburgh, Chicago, etc have been two of the smaller teams in the NHL and two of the more successful ones this past decade, but Burke is loading up on fighters for some bazar reason. Even LA was successful because of skilled players, who just happened to be big. Kopitar, Carter, Williams and Doughty weren’t fighting people left and right. Fairly soon other good teams won’t even have anyone to fight Burkes fighters, what a wasted opportunity for inserting more skill. Staged fighting is dead, Burkes just too out of touch to realize it.

    • supra steve

      Correct me if I’m wrong…most NHL clubs do not add 4 or 5 raw rookies coming out of camp. Those that expected that to happen, have not been paying attention long enough to know that is how it works. A few of the kids that get sent down will see some injury replacement time this season, and one or two join the club out of camp (and may or may not stay for the entire season), that’s decent turnover. And every team has a few veteran players they will not miss when their bloated contracts expire.

  • The Sultan

    Two things I hate: people crying wolf in the preseason, and right before the trade deadline when everyone is throwing together stupid trades that would never happen.

    If anybody on here thought that Brouwer would be our on waivers, or couldn’t figure out our D-pairings after the Hamonic signing, you’re not playing close enough attention.

    I get it’s been a long summer. But let me remind you of how many actual games the Flames have played, that matter — it’s 0.

  • McRib

    So let me get this straight the Flames kept Luke Gazdic over Emile Poirier?!?!?!?!?! Possession numbers for last night:

    Poirier Corsi For 62.5%, O Zone Starts 12.5%.
    Gazdic Corsi For 15.8%, O Zone Starts 75%.

    Who wants to bet that Montreal picks up Emile Poirier off waivers from us? Not that Paul Byron has done anything to teach us a lesson though. How’s it go? Fool me once shame on you… Fool me twice…. Brian Burke just pulling his old outdated “truculence” strings again for the betterment of everyone else in the league.

    • SandyMcCarthey

      When are you keyboard heros going to figure out corsi doesn’t matter! It is an inflated stat made by nerds who didnt and couldnt play the game..it isnt moneypuck!

  • Off the wall

    Just read this in the Calgary Herald, speaking of Bartkowski:

    “I know in Edmonton (for the Flames’ first pre-season contest), his game was pretty strong and has been strong practising during camp,” said Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan of Bartkowski .”He looks like an NHL defencemen in the drills and everything we do. Obviously, I have a history with him, and he played for us last year. I thought he’s had a good camp with us. I thought his second game wasn’t as strong as his first … we’ll see what he can do.”


    • The Sultan

      I’m thinking Bart is the 7th dman and will spend a majority of nights watching from the press box. To be honest I’d rather see one prospect get full playing time as the #6 as opposed to two prospects sharing that one spot. Even if they alternated every other game I still don’t like the idea of one of them sitting, so to Stockton you go to play. At least, we hope.

    • Off the wall

      Same article, get a load of this from Bartkowski:

      “Knowing that the competition is there brings you up a level,” Bartkowski said. “Honestly I came in focused on what I needed to do, and I figured if I did it, everything else would take care of itself. That’s pretty much all I can do.

      “It’s a much better spot (than a year ago). Now, it’s even more motivation just to see where I was and where I had to come and what I had to overcome to get it. I don’t want to go back to that.”

      I think GG and Bart are both delusional?!

    • Aadvarkian Abakeneezer

      To me that just sounds like a coach trying not to rip individual players in front of the media during training camp while still managing to hedge really hard.

  • Just.Visiting

    Bart is to GG as the “ring” was to Gollum. If he’s on the roster, he’s either playing as the 6th or the 6th will be on a very short leash before Bart is back on the ice based on GG’s comments about Bart.

    My preference would be for Ras to start as the 6th with either Stone or Ras moving to the left side and Kulak in reserve for the inevitable injuries.

    I think that Ras offers much more upside than Kulak and Bart, as does Gillies relative to Lack. And I would find a way to get Janko top nine minutes, rather than minimal minutes buried on the 4th line. It’s the infusion of talent and players playing to their capability that ultimately turn a bubble team into a true contender.

  • freethe flames

    So where have the Flames improved over the team that lost in the first round of the playoffs? The jury is still out on whether Smith will be better than Elliott and many are doubtful that Lack will be better than CJ. Up front Janko has replaced Bouma and that is it; it looks like Bennett has found his swagger but if he has to play with the “Burden” how long will it last. Playing Bennett with the “Burden” failed miserably last season and the “Burden” has shown nothing this preseason.
    Here is where it appears we have gotten better and that’s on D. Remember the tire fire we had on D to start last year; I cringe thinking about it. Hamonic is a better fit with TJ than Wideman, Engeland or even Stone were last year and that should allow TJ to return to form, Stone is better suited as a 5 but the question is can either Bart or Kulak really be a 6; based upon the preseason many have their doubts.

    Buckle up Flames fan as I see this season as going to be another rollercoaster for us. Hopefully we can enjoy the ride.

    • supra steve

      “So where have the Flames improved over the team that lost in the first round of the playoffs?”
      And no thought given to the growth of your roster from last year?

      Brodie had a down season, reasonable to hope he’s better.
      Monahan has improved each year.
      Bennett is probably better.
      Gaudreau probably has a bit of a bounce back, especially if they continue to call the slashing infractions.
      Tkachuk should continue to learn and improve.
      D Hamilton has improved each season, that should continue.

      The Flames will be better this season.

  • Burnward

    This is a good Hockey team with maybe three open spots available.

    The highest being a third-line wing that will be counted on to play hard minutes if Chucky moves.

    Let the kids get quality minutes, play special teams, get better.

    12 minutes a night on the fourth line isn’t doing any legit prospect any good.

    These are the problems when you create depth with talented youth.