The Flames have been carrying an extra body.
Marek Hrivik, the team’s lone July 1 signing, held intrigue as a depth player. He has been unable to score at the NHL level, but his underlying numbers have been strong (a 55.96% CF last season, albeit with only about 160 minutes played). There was, perhaps, a chance he could have won a spot on the fourth line.
That wasn’t to be, though, as Hrivik was injured during the preseason, and started the actual season still up with the Flames as a non-roster player. He’s since shed the no-contact jersey in practice, and now appears to be healthy enough to start the season, as the Flames have placed him on waivers.
If Hrivik clears, the Flames have to send him to the Stockton Heat. He’s evidently been activated from his injury, which would give the Flames 24 players on their roster: a no-go at this time of the year. Hrivik would be the only player eligible for immediate reassignment. (Other than Matthew Tkachuk, that is, which is… not happening.)
Hrivik may not be able to contribute at the NHL level, but he should provide an immediate boost for the Heat. The 26-year-old scored 40 points in 56 AHL games in 2016-17, and 41 in 68 the season before. That may be the level he’s best suited for, in which case, the 1-1 Heat will likely welcome his addition.
Especially if it means they may be losing a talented player of their own. In Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts (#16), he suggested Mark Jankowski will likely be back with the Flames sooner rather than later. This is in line with what Brad Treliving has said. While that isn’t yet imminent – the Flames would still have to clear out another player in order to bring Jankowski up (or wait for an injury) – it will probably happen at some point.
And if the Heat lose Jankowski, who scored 56 points in 64 games for them last season, then the addition of Hrivik – someone who can score at the AHL level – will no doubt be welcome.
In the meantime, Stockton will likely be getting a bit of an immediate boost, and it’s entirely possible Hrivik may be able to work himself back up as a depth call-up in case of injury.
The injury he suffered in the preseason was unfortunate timing; now, though, he’ll be able to get his season underway, and help out the organization at one level or another.