The Calgary Flames will be without goaltender Mike Smith for a little while, but they’re going to be getting some backup from their farm team.
The club announced today that Smith is out day-to-day with an upper-body injury, and that they’ve recalled Jon Gillies from the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat on an emergency basis. At least for a game or two, Gillies will operate as backup to Eddie Lack.
Gillies, 23, was the Flames’ third round selection in a 2012 NHL Draft class that has already produced Mark Jankowski (first round) and Brett Kulak (fourth round) as far as contributing NHLers go.
Gillies has posted a 4-3-1 record in Stockton with a 2.50 goals against average and .918 save percentage. David Rittich has better numbers in fewer games, but over the past two seasons the priority has seemingly been to get Gillies accustomed to the NHL’s bright lights – he was recalled for more days last season than Rittich, and played a full game, while Rittich was only given a period in relief.
It’s unclear how long “day-to-day” actually means, or if Gillies will end up actually factoring into any games. But, for now, he’s with the big club as Smith continues to recover. Since he’s in the NHL on an emergency basis and Smith isn’t on the injured reserve, Gillies can be returned to the AHL at any time.