The Flames’ bye week is at its end. Coming off of a 4-1 win over the Hurricanes on Sunday, they return to practice at 4 p.m. today.
But wait, a slight problem: the Flames only have 11 healthy forwards on hand. With that, an easy solution: they’ve recalled Andrew Mangiapane and Marek Hrivik from the Stockton Heat, boosting them up to 13 healthy forwards, and giving them at least someone to healthy scratch.
Up in the NHL, Mangiapane and Hrivik have played very limited roles. Mangiapane has averaged just 8:46 in ice time in his NHL career, while Hrivik played 9:06 in the one Flames game he’s actually dressed for. It’s a far cry from what they’ve done in Stockton, where Mangiapane leads the team with 35 points over 30 games, and Hrivik has 29 in 29.
In Stockton, they’re top players; on the Flames, they’re bottom sixers at best.
It’s timely, then, that the Heat played a game on Wednesday, allowing Mangiapane and Hrivik the chance to play a much larger role in a game once again. And it paid off: Mangiapane scored twice in the Heat’s 2-0 win over the Barracuda, while Hrivik led the team in three shots on net.
Presumably, though, they’ll go back to lower line roles. Mangiapane will likely be back on the fourth line with Matt Stajan and Curtis Lazar, while Hrivik could be the token healthy scratch once again.
It is somewhat curious that the Flames chose only to recall two forwards and not three, as they could have, with three players (Kris Versteeg, Jaromir Jagr, and Michael Frolik) on the injured reserve. Frolik, who has been out for three weeks to date, has been skating; it’s possible his return could be relatively soon.