21Rasmus Andersson

WWYDW: How should the Flames use their remaining recalls?

The Flames are pretty much done, and all that’s left are a handful of games, a faint mathematical possibility, and two recall slots.

Following the trade deadline, teams are only allowed to call up four players in non-emergency situations. (If it’s an emergency, i.e. a team literally can’t dress a full lineup, then the rule doesn’t apply.) The Flames have, so far, used up two recalls: one on David Rittich, who was papered down to the AHL to ensure he’d be eligible for the playoffs if the Heat make it; the other on Rasmus Andersson, as T.J. Brodie was rendered unable to play.

That leaves two recall slots left for the final handful of games this season. Andrew Mangiapane is out as a candidate, his season prematurely over due to a shoulder injury requiring surgery. But what about the other possibilities?

Spencer Foo

After he finished his third year of college with 62 points in 38 games, the Flames won the Spencer Foo bidding war and signed him to an entry-level deal. At 23 years old, he’s in the midst of playing his first professional season. His 35 points in 56 games for the Heat has him fourth in team scoring, and second among active players.

He has 19 goals on the season – behind only Mangiapane – but leads the entire Heat team with 145 shots on net, good for roughly 2.6 shots per game. It took him some time to break out, but once the pucks actually started going in, he’s been on a roll.

And Foo fills a pretty big need for the Flames: both for today, and the near future. He’s a right-shot right wing, something the Flames are in desperate need of. Perhaps giving Foo a bit of a taste of the big league could set him up in a position to succeed next season?

Morgan Klimchuk

With 36 points in 55 games, Morgan Klimchuk is now the Heat’s leading active scorer. Five seasons after being drafted, he finally got to make his NHL debut: the last player drafted in the 2013 first round to do so.

Though this is his third season a professional, he still only just turned 23 earlier this month. Klimchuk could still develop into a solid player, and getting another couple of NHL games in could help give him a leg up for next season, as well.

Oliver Kylington

The Flames have had a stacked defensive group all season, and Andersson has only been able to break into the lineup when someone else has been injured. With so many exciting defensive prospects, though, it may be best to use this time to give the ones already in professional leagues NHL time, and see if it can help give them that little extra push to forcing the Flames’ hands and making them full-timers.

Though the Flames have plenty of time with Oliver Kylington. While he’s already in his third AHL season his entry-level deal only just started; he’s still only 20 years old, and under contract for the next two seasons. He’s also in the midst of his best offensive season, with 30 points over 52 games so far this season. With Adam Fox and Juuso Valimaki potentially moving in, it may be best for the Flames to see if Kylington could be ready sooner rather than later.

Tyler Wotherspoon

Tyler Wotherspoon is set to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career following this season. He’s in his fifth professional year, but this is the first time he hasn’t been called up to the NHL. With 34 points over 56 games, he’s the Heat’s second-highest defensive scorer, and it may be the Flames’ last chance to see if they should try to re-sign him.


There’s nothing stating the Flames have to use all four of their recalls. While bringing prospects up can serve a number of different purposes – a reward for a good season, a chance to show them what they still have to do to make the NHL, because they just genuinely are the better option – there’s still something to be said for staying in the AHL.

The Heat still have a chance to make the playoffs. They have, however, lost one of their better goaltenders and their top scorers in that quest. Playoffs in Stockton are by no means a guarantee, and the Heat could likely use all of the help – and stability – they can get.

Besides, which is better for a developing prospect: a couple of minutes in a meaningless NHL game, or playoffs in one of the top leagues in the world?

What would you do?

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  • Craigster

    Honestly, I’d leave them down in Stockton to try and get into the playoffs. As much as bringing them up would be good experience, a playoff push is better than just riding out a string of games.

  • Heeeeeere's Johnny!

    I’m down with the opinions above. I might go as far as to try to send some help back down to them. What about Hathaway? Do we need him in Calgary? I don’t know if I care if anyone claims him.

    A tougher decision, but perhaps warranted for the development opportunity of playing big games … what about Janko? Let Shore or Lazar take his spot at centre for the remaining games.

  • PrairieStew

    Wotherspoon. He’s an asset – he’s probably better than Bartkowski. He might be able to provide adequate left side third pair minutes next year, as a 1-2 year placeholder for Valimaki. If you think Kulak can play second pair minutes – that gives you the ability to move Brodie for an upgrade at forward. If you don’t give Spoon hope that he fits in somewhat ( maybe with new coaching staff) then he walks for nothing and now trading Brodie is harder to take.

  • FL?MES

    Or bring up some guys whose absence won’t cripple the Heats playoff run and who would never otherwise play in the NHL. Let them play a game for the Flames (7-8 minutes), get their NHL worn jersey, and find out what it feels like to play an NHL game.

  • Honkydonk

    IF I read one more thing about Stajan 1000 game I’m going to throw up.

    Wake up because it’s due to prioritizing these things that cause this team to not be a winner.

    All this damn talk about so called leadership. This is a pro game where talent and results matter. Being a nice guy albeit it nice matters none. Stajan hasn’t performed for this team for a few years just look at his stats goals and results yet he’s still on this team and over paid also.

    To think we can win with this kind of attitude where margins are thin. To keep giving games to a guy who has nothing to do with your future or results. That is a spot that could have been tried and filled by someone else until they fail and you try someone else.

    This attitude is reflected in every aspect of leadership management and motto and even impacts our drafting decisions where you literally have on your AHL team at the start of this season 3 first round picks five years plus out of their draft year. That isn’t asset management and that isn’t effective drafting when your first rounders after 5 years you still don’t think is good enough for NHL games.

    Get winners with attitude on this team who don’t like losing. Side note this desire of management to keep drafting two way players are also killing us.

    Wotherspoon should have been our 7th D not Bartkowski. Glass should never have been signed, Jagr should never have been signed, Brouwer should never have started this season as a flame, Frolik should never have been on the second line this season. If this season really was about winning Treliving you have showed us all your holes and vulnerabilities. If this is your winning complete team you hedge your bets on so far out then it tells me you can’t bring the cup here so rolling the dice with you more is kicking the cab down the road. The mere fact you didn’t not insist Dave Cameron not be on tha coaching team this year is yet another example. You are naive and over projecting.

    This is laughable it really is. You either want to win or you don’t and if you truly do then being self critical and overall critical is crucial.

    You can’t say ok Stajan you play most this season, you can’t play the justify game time and again.

    Show me some guts and start making the right and winning decision not the half foot in half foot out going on here.

    Let’s face it we ain’t winning the cup next year and likely not the year after that either. So why keep Stajans, Stones, Smiths, Backlunds, Hathaway’s and Froliks on this team?

    Trade them all! Get picks and assets ideally one includes Kappanen and Sam and fill this team with your future next year

    If we lose we get a really good player at draft next year and the young guys develop and might just surprise.

    Fox, Anderson,Kylington, Valimaki. They are our future defenders. Let them play. If you want to tell me playing Hathaway instead of Klimchuk as a simple example on this team this year allowed us a better chance at winning you are blind

    • buts

      I agree with you but you have to have some class or you will develop a reputation where you can’t sign anyone. I agree with you the flames are being too nice and should find some middle ground where still winning is #1.

      • The Doctor

        I don’t agree with everything you say but I agree with a lot of it. There is a strange reluctance on the part of coaches and management to bring up and play guys with skill, speed
        and scoring chops. There’s too much bias in favour of veterans who are slow and players who can’t put a puck in a net. And that “energy player” cliche— God that drives me nuts. Energy Player= a euphemism for a guy who can’t score.

        • YYCFlames

          Well who’s fault is it to play the “veterans”? GG or BT? Sure GG can only play who is made available by BT, but GG is the final guy signing off who plays every game. A vicious circle of crap…

  • Jano

    March 26th vs the kings may be a chance to recall a few guys. In LA and is the 2nd of 3 days off for the Heat. I get that 1 game isn’t much, but if they don’t want to hamper the Heats chances for playoffs this may be an option.

  • buts

    Play Wotherspoon a game, get him signed then you have a bullet in your gun if and when trading a D to get some offensive help. TW is a perfect fit for a 5-6-7 defenseman and he won’t cost much. Not losing assets and not getting anything should be #1 on a GM’s performance list. D-men take a lot longer to develop and to write TW off would be a mistake that comes back to haunt us.

  • CMC

    Unless the coaches are fired leave them all on the farm. The atmosphere in the dressing room wouldn’t help the young guys or the flames right now. If they lose tonight send down Anderson to help the Heat in their playoff drive.

  • MarbledBlueCheese

    Send Brouwer and Lazar and Glass and Stewart DOWN
    The Heat need some more bodies, right?
    Then reward some long-time season ticket holders with a chance to dress for the Flames for a few games. I think this might be more entertaining than what is going on now.

    • FL?MES

      If the plan is to bring in new coaches they will keep Brouwer and Lazar to find out how they perform before walking away empty handed. Lazar would get picked up off waivers and Brouwer’s value would free fall.

    • Stockton's Finest

      I care, and you should care about some of the players that will wear the Flamin’ C in the next few years.

      Look At the past few Calder Cup champs. Manchester (LA), Lake Erie (Columbus), and Grand Rapids (Detroit), along with the players from other playoff teams, who gain value ice time and playoff hockey to bring into next year’s camp.

      The more clutch hockey these guys play, instead of a meaningless 7 or 8 minutes, will better serve them in the long run.

  • Franko J

    I for one would not want any our prospects exposed to such a putrid and hopeless situation with the big club. I agree I would actually send Jankowski down along with Hathaway. At least they can enjoy the chance at trying for a playoff spot. I would not want anyone within 1000 miles this coaching staff and matter factually some players in the Flames dressing room.