The FlamesNation Roundtable: Predicting the opening night roster

The season is getting closer! The opening of main camp was on Friday and this past weekend was the first chance to see everybody in the Calgary Flames organization on the ice between the games in China and sessions here for the domestic players. With camp now in full swing, we’ve convened the FlamesNation Roundtable to ponder the opening night roster.

So join myself, Ari, Christian T, Christian R, Karim, Bill, and Taylor and marvel at how wrong we’ll end up being with most of our predictions for the Oct. 3 opening night roster.

Which three forwards make the team as the fourth line left wing and the extra forwards?

Ari: Anthony Peluso, Garnet Hathaway, and I’m throwing my money behind Dillon Dube early to be the prospect to make it – though I don’t know if that means he stays the whole season. (I originally thought it might be a contest between Hathaway and Curtis Lazar as to who gets to stay up, but I’m not so sure about that anymore.)
Christian T: That last wing spot seems to be tailor-made for Andrew Mangiapane, so I’ll go with him. Although if Dillon Dube keeps up his strong play throughout camp, he has a strong chance of stealing that spot. Anthony Peluso and Garnet Hathaway are my extras.
Christian R: Andrew Mangiapane will secure the fourth LW spot, and Anthony Peluso and Garnet Hathaway will be the extra forwards, assuming there are two.
Karim: Andrew Mangiapane on the fourth line LW, with Anthony Peluso (boo) and Garnet Hathaway as extra forwards. I’m banking on Lazar getting demoted but it could be Hathaway instead.
Bill: Peluso, Hathaway, and Mangiapane. I think Lazar’s gonna start in Stockton after the rest of the preseason plays out.
Taylor: I’ll say Klimchuk fourth LW spot, Hathaway and Lazar the extra forwards though not having Peluso on there seems like wishful thinking.
Ryan: Dillon Dube, Anthony Peluso and Curtis Lazar. If they carry 13 forwards, Peluso gets the heave-ho.

Who plays with Michael Stone, and who’s the seventh defender?

Ari: Rasmus Andersson, and Brett Kulak is the extra.
Christian T: I will go bold and say that Oliver Kylington and Brett Kulak emerge as the winners in that spot, although who is six and who is seven will be resolved later in the season.
Christian R: Brett Kulak retains his spot on the third pairing and Dalton Prout stays on as the seventh defenceman. Bold prediction is that Rasmus Andersson beats out Michael Stone, who is traded before the beginning of the season.
Karim: I don’t think Michael Stone is in the team’s top six; the bottom pair will be Brett Kulak and Rasmus Andersson with Stone as the seventh making semi-frequent rotations into the lineup.
Bill: Kulak starts with Stone, Andersson starts as the seventh. Andersson might take Stone’s spot if Peters experiments with the third pairing early on in the season.
Taylor: Brett Kulak, boring choice, I just think he’s too good to leave off. Seventh defender seems like it’s going to be Prout.
Ryan: Juuso Valimaki as sixth, Brett Kulak as seventh, but Valimaki doesn’t stay the whole season.

Who’s the backup goaltender?

Ari: Jon Gillies.
Christian T: Rittich because of the waiver situation
Christian R: David Rittich, because waivers.
Karim: Backup will be David Rittich solely because of Jon Gillies’ waiver exempt status.
Bill: Rittich.
Taylor: Let’s say Rittich, if not solely because of the waiver situation.
Ryan: David Rittich.

And finally, which player doesn’t make the team out of camp but spends significant time on the NHL roster regardless?

Ari: Andrew Mangiapane. Maybe Dalton Prout if there are injuries on defence.
Christian T: Rasmus Andersson. The NHL right-handed Ds are pretty much set for now (albeit fingers crossed for a trade), but all three do have injury history, so there’s likely going to be a spot for him to steal at some point in the season.
Christian R: Jon Gillies, seeing as Mike Smith is 36 and averages one IR stint per season, it seems.
Karim: Dillon Dube. He’ll figure out the AHL in no time and demand a call-up like Mark Jankowski did last season. He can play all three forward positions which gives Bill Peters slotting flexibility.
Bill: One of Klimchuk or Dube up front, thinking it’ll be Prout for defence, and Gillies in net.
Taylor: Rasmus Andersson. An injury will occur and he won’t go back down.
Ryan: Morgan Klimchuk, who likely slots into a bottom six role if/when injuries pop up.

  • freethe flames

    Is it not the 4th line RW position that is up for grabs and not the lW position? I’m still not sure who that will be: Czarnik, Hathaway, Lazar, and Foo are all RHS, of course Dube could possibly be the RW according to SF he played there for the Heat at the end of the season.

    • BendingCorners

      I think the writers assume Czarnik will be the 11th forward since he wouldn’t clear waivers. That leaves 4LW as the open spot. Dube might start there but unless he lights it up he will be sent down after 5 or 10 games. He may be better off opening in Stockton and being called up mid-season.
      On the other hand, playing Dube with Frolik and Ryan would let Czarnik start off with Bennett and Jankowski, which might be a very good combination.
      All in all Dube is my pick for 4LW and I don’t really care who the scrubs are.

    • Avalain

      So it depends. The assumption is that the bottom 2 lines look something like this:
      Bennett – Ryan – Frolik
      – Jankowski – Czarnik

      Of course, moving Frolik to the left seems like it makes a lot more sense, because we end up with:
      Frolik – Ryan – Czarnik
      Bennett – Jankowski –

      We know that Peter’s likes his pairings of forwards, with the flexibility to move guys in and out to round out a pairing. It seems like Bennett and Jankowski will be together again, and they look good together. Of course, this puts Bennett down on the 4th line, but with this setup it seems that the 3rd and 4th lines would be fairly even. Ryan and Frolik seem like they are both defensively responsible so perhaps they could take care of a rookie and leave Czarnik to play with Bennett and Jankowski? Czarnik isn’t exactly overflowing with NHL experience at this point, but more than nothing.

      Ultimately, what they decide to do many determine if Mangiapane or Foo make it to the club. However, Dube has been great so far. If he keeps this up he may just take that spot for himself.

  • The GRAND WW

    With Huska behind the bench on the big club I only see great things in the Flames future. I wish I had a quarter of his hockey IQ. Backlund will net 25 and prove he deserves his cap friendly salary.


  • The Beej

    We’ve done worse than Klimchuk for call ups.

    Sounds like Peters likes Hathaway so he gets the 13th spot. Not sure what they are thinking… if there will be a 14th… Lazar Peluso… although there is the argument that Lazar is younger and would benefit from actual playing time in the AHL. If you want to sneak him down now is the time. Even F. Hamilton was claimed mid season.

    Another reason Rittich gets the back up job is they would want Gillies to get a lot of playing time this year as he is running out of runway.

    Mangiapane vs Dube for 4th LW. Although from that goal last night. looks like they may have some chemistry. First injury I want to see them on a line together.

  • Vinnsanity12

    I can see Parsons usurping Rittich and Gillies over the next year or two. He has had a great camp so far and he has made some crazy 10 bell saves. He is fun to watch, and he has a winning pedigree.

    • super6646

      This guy struggled in the ECHL. Look, he was great in these past two games, but he’s probably gonna be in the AHL for at least 2 years baring significant injuries to our goalies before he even sniffs the NHL, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is a long term project (a good one at that… just as long as Siglet doesn’t screw him up).

  • FlamesFanOtherCity

    I can see Lazar absolutely being waived and playing in the AHL this year. He needs to get back to playing every night and showing he’s a NHL player. As far as the D goes, Ras will be on the opening night roster, along with Stone (assuming he hasn’t been traded) and Kulak. Valimaki and Kylington need to wait for the Stone trade or a temp assignment if they go with 13F.

    The 4th line will consist of Mangiapane/Kanko/Czarnik. The extra goes to a role player in Hathaway, and possibly Peluso (if they go with 14F). Dube can tear it up in the AHL for a bit and be the first callup, like Janko was. It’s really a tough choice between Dube and Mangiapane, but I think the two years of pro the later has gives him the edge.

  • TrevorKidd37

    The whole Rittich ‘waiver situation’ needs to go away. The Flames are not concerned with another team picking him up. He’s not good enough to take on a backup role on another NHL team.

  • canadian1967

    Johnny Monny Neal
    Chucky Backs Lindholm
    Benny Janko Dube or Czarnik
    Frolik Ryan Czarnik or Dube

    Gio Brodie
    Hanifin Andersson
    Stone Hamonic

    Megapain and Robinson as the extra forwards and hopefully play Megapain more than Frolik.
    That would allow Andersson and Hanifin to get mostly O-zone starts while Hamonic and Stone get buried.

  • Rusty Shackleford

    Peluso? Really? Dube starts in Stockton, but will be up sooner rather than later. Stone gone to make room for Anderson is hopeful, but unlikely at this point in time.

  • somewhereoutthere

    Just don’t see Andersson and Dube breaking camp as good as they are the flames want to see Stone Kulak Mangiapane Klimchuk play and possibly Foo. It may only take 10 games for these guys to get called up but I think these guys are ahead. Dont rule out a guy like Logan Shaw or Brule coming in and taking a spot its a bit of a stretch but both play a gritty game with lots of skill.

  • Korcan

    I have Mangiapane and Dube neck-and-neck for the 4th line wing position, with the one who doesn’t get it being in Stockton and the first call up. Hathaway will be my 13th forward but it’s a toss up which of Lazar, Klimchuk, or Peluso ends up being 14.

    As for D, if Stone is traded, I have Kulak and Andersson as my 3rd pairing with Prout as the #7. If Stone remains, he and Kulak will start and Andersson will begin in Stockton but will be the first call up.

    I’ll be shocked if Rittich isn’t Smith’s back up.

    Whichever of Dube or Mangiapane doesn’t make the roster out of camp will only be in Stockton for a short period and should be established as an NHLer by the end of the season. Same goes for Ras on D.

  • Redleader

    There’s a lot to like about Foo’s game on the boards , wins a lot of puck battles , don’t forget about Phillips yet , he has impressed me a lot as well , Rittich was looking pretty good last game 2periods. Good to see, parsons was good and also seems to be favoured by the post gods as well. Smith looked good. If Gillies gets it going we won’t have to worry about the backup spot.

    • Redleader

      These are preseason games and I think the Flames have only given up 4 goals in regulation? With goalie prospects and switching goalies constantly etc . That’s a good sign . Some decent defence too I e noticed.

  • freethe flames

    I am not sure BP is done tinkering with where the top 10 forwards will play. I see two spots open as Czarnik has not yet locked down a spot IMO. That leaves 2 starting spots open and the 13/14th spots open and the following guys fighting for jobs: Czarnik, Hathaway, Dube, Lazar, Mangiapane, Foo, and Peluso(they may keep him as the14th and let the kids play in the AHL).

  • Pizzaman

    BP gets a free hand so he will be loyal to ex Carolina’s and not feel he has to prop up Lazar Klimchuk or Hathaway who are AHLers. He will want to see what the new faces can do. Dube will be given a chance based on his track record with rookies. He won’t play Stone if others are better eg: Andersson or Kulak.