Photo Credit: Stan Szeto / USA TODAY Sports

Flames assign Eddie Lack to Stockton, recall David Rittich

With the waiver process complete, the Calgary Flames have made a roster swap.

The Flames have sent backup goaltender Eddie Lack to the Stockton Heat of the American Hockey League and summoned Stockton’s backup, David Rittich, to be Mike Smith’s caddy for the foreseeable future. The move will save the Flames approximately $300,000 in cap space, even when factoring in the $350,000 that Lack will cost them against their NHL cap while he’s in the AHL.

Postmedia’s Wes Gilbertson, traveling with the team, had the scoop first.

Lack, 29, went on waivers yesterday. He has a 1-2-0 record with a 5.29 goals against average and .813 save percentage in four appearances – two as a starter and two in relief. He was acquired from Carolina in a salary retention deal, with the hope that former Vancouver assistant coach Glen Gulutzan could help him recapture his confidence (and that Jordan Sigalet could help him recapture his game). It hasn’t worked out that well so far and so he’s headed to the farm to hopefully get his mojo back.

Rittich, 25, is up at the NHL level for the second time in his career. He made his NHL debut in the final game of last season, playing the third period in a Flames loss against San Jose. He’s been the better goaltender, statistically, in Stockton over the past two seasons: 20-12-4 with a 2.25 goals against average and .925 save percentage (and seven shutouts).

Considering that the Flames have already had Jon Gillies up this season, bringing Rittich up for an audition makes a good deal of sense to help them figure out what they have in each player. Rittich is waiver eligible next season (while Gillies is exempt for another year), so giving him the first crack at the NHL gig makes a lot of sense.

Expect Rittich to get the start on Saturday against Colorado.

  • Puckhead

    Rittich being called up is great news and the right call. He deserves it based on his commitment and level of play. Always good to see moves that are earned.

  • The Doctor

    Seems to be a pattern with the Flames brain trust: they EVENTUALLY make the right personnel move, but only after making one or more wrong moves (see, e.g., Jankowski, Bartkowski, Jokipaaka etc.)

    • McRib

      If you’re a first rounder you basically have three free passes to make the NHL. If you’re a 2-4 Rounder you have one or two chances. If you’re a late rounder or undrafted you might have one chance.

  • Grayone

    This is good news. The ball is squarely in Rittich’s court and I personally hope he succeeds in his first outing AND that Mike Smith and DR hit it off personally. I sense DR could learn a lot from Mr. MVP Smith!

    Go Flames tonight and Stamps on Sunday!!

    • BringtheFire 2.0

      That’s an excellent point, I Hate the Oilers! To bad our friends up north didn’t have such a great start. It would have been great for that friendly BOA, such battles. It’s like they’re the 2015-2016 Flames!! They’re just like us!!

      Go Floilers!!!

      Wouldn’t you agree, I Hate the Oilers?

  • Off the wall

    Stockton’s Finest, your plee for Rittich helped my friend.

    Also, thanks to Scary Gary for the write up he shared with us about Rittich.

    I’m glad to see Rittich up and can’t wait to see him play against Colorado!

    I’m feeling happy today..

    • Stockton's Finest

      Finally! Now David, you need to duplicated what you have been doing here in Stockton. Stay active, control those rebounds, and bail out the defense when needed. The back up role is yours to lose. You are used to playing every 5th game (thanks, Huska). And with games throughout the entire week, not just Wednesday through Sunday, you should see plenty of action. Make sure your play forces GG’s and BT’s decision to keep you up there. I will see you in February when I come up.
      As for Lack, when you arrive in Tucson to join the Heat, don’t sulk. This team needs a solid back up. You should get a game this weekend against the Roadrunners so take it seriously. Hopefully getting some regular work will help your game. Get used to the A. You may be here the rest of the year, or in another city. The choice is yours.

  • Sanintarious

    I agree Rittich or Gillis being the back up is the right decision. However I wasn’t fully agains the Lack addition either. This gave the Flames some options.

    If Lack played well, then great, it gives Rittich and Gillis one more year to develop. If Lack struggles then you give it to one of the kids who’s earned it.

    If the Flames just handed it to Gillis or Rittich early in the season and they struggled, then their wasn’t much options. Its far too early to rush Parsons up. He needs to play, A LOT, hence ECHL.

    Now Rittich gets his chance after gaining even more confidence in the AHL this season. Gillis will get more playing time and Lack can back him up and give the Heat a fairly decent duo in the minors.
    Parsons stays in the ECHL and plays a ton, and can join the Heat during their playoff run.

    Sure it would have been nice for this to all get sorted earlier, but we are only 1/4 in to the season, and Lack played all of 2 games. Now lets all hope Rittich can bring that confidence to the NHL level.

  • Baalzamon

    Probably the right choice. Rittich is an interesting player for me because I’ve always wanted to see how he looks but I’ve never managed to catch any of his performances.

    Related: I’m definitely going to miss his appearance on Saturday (assuming he plays). LOL.

  • cjc

    This is actually great for Gillies too. It’s been over two years since he was “the guy” for Providence; he needs to be making ~2/3 of the starts in Stockton so he can get into a rhythm. I think we’ll see Lack as the backup down there.

  • Burnward

    I dunno. This guy really, really intrigues me.
    Anyone that posts near .920 in Europe…then improves on that in the AHL has to have something.

    Lend us some of your goalie Voodoo Jobu to ensure he’s more Hasek than Ramo.

    • Stu Cazz

      If Rittich stands on his head and appears to be a young Kipper then Gillies becomes your trade bait to get some of those high draft choices we lost in the Hamonic trade..either way the Flames win…..

      • Roger the Shrubber

        I would love for Rittich to be young Kipper and at a younger age than when the Flames got Kipper but those are lofty expectations. Kipper was nothing short of amazing in his stay in Calgary. If Rittich is that I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

        I can’t wait to see Parsons in the AHL. I’m really excited for the kid.