Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Flames waive Brett Kulak, Curtis Lazar and Anthony Peluso

In advance of Tuesday’s league-wide roster deadline, the Calgary Flames have seemingly made some final decisions. The club has placed defender Brett Kulak and forwards Curtis Lazar and Anthony Peluso on the waiver wire, with intentions of sending the players to the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat.

Presuming that nobody else goes on waivers tomorrow, here are the conclusions to draw from these waiver exposures:

  • David Rittich is going to be the backup, as Jon Gillies can be sent down without requiring waivers.
  • Dalton Prout has made the team, as has one of Juuso Valimaki and Rasmus Andersson.
  • Garnet Hathaway, Dillon Dube and Andrew Mangiapane have made the opening night roster.

Kulak, 24, was a fourth round pick of the Flames back in 2012. He’s been a depth defender on the team for basically the last three seasons, but hasn’t really kicked the door down in this year’s camp – to contrast with Juuso Valimaki, who has. Kulak didn’t dress for either of the last two preseason games. He was waived over the summer in advance of his arbitration hearing.

Lazar, 23, was a first round selection of the Ottawa Senators in 2013. He was acquired at the 2017 trade deadline for a second round draft pick but has failed to materialize (so far) into an impactful NHL player. He didn’t dress for either of the last two preseason games.

Peluso, 29, has been a depth forward basically everywhere he’s gone. He was useful depth for the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals last season (spending much of the season with the AHL’s Hershey Bears) and was signed this summer to be that for the Flames.

The Flames must submit their season-opening 23-man roster to the league office by 3 p.m. MT on Tuesday. They open their season on Wednesday night at Rogers Arena against the Vancouver Canucks.

  • TKO

    Valamaki had many awesome moments, but the fact remains that in Stockton he can play way more minutes in a setting where mistakes aren’t as costly, and allow him to take the next step without having to be protected in the upcoming draft. A year in the A will not hurt Valimaki

  • Off the wall

    I’ve always liked Lazar. I wanted him to to succeed. His positive attitude and his great disposition will be missed by this fan.

    I hope both Kulak and Lazar clear waivers. I’m always going to root for Lazar. I hope he makes a solid case for himself in Stockton. I hope he doesn’t get claimed.

    I’m excited for Dube and Mangiapane. Both have played well and deserve the chance.

    It’s tough to see our players go, and I wish them all the best, whether they get picked up or end up in Stockton!

  • meat1

    I like it. Mangiapane and Dube have earned this chance. I said the day that Tre bought out Brouwer that he would also have the balls to admit a mistake and waive the “Lazar experiment” if necessary. Other than our whole goaltending situation, I’m very impressed with our opening night group.

  • freethe flames

    I’m going to play devil’s advocate on Dube. He played great in the prospects series and was clearly above his peers in either organization for those two games; there is no doubt in my mind of that. The first few games against mostly AHL and with AHL players he was good and at some points great; however since the competition and the supporting cast has changed he has not been a difference maker; he’s been fine but not a difference maker despite being given plenty of opportunities to do so. Case in point; how much PP time did he get vs Edmonton and how successful was the PP? He had lots pf PP time and the PP was not as effective as it could have been. Meanwhile a guy like Janko who scored 17 times as a rookie has had virtually no PP time. I get what BP was trying to do and preseason is the time to do it but let’s put Dube’s performance the last few games into perspective. Let’s not expect the world from the young man.

    I think he has earned a spot on this team but I want to have reasonable expectations for him. In many ways he and Mangiapane have been very similar and I would dare say Mangiapane has been more consistent game in game out; not better but more consistent.

  • meat1

    As far as losing Kulak or Lazar on waivers goes, I think the likelihood would be higher of them getting claimed mid-season. Every team is about to waive their “not quite good enough to make the team” players and there will be lots to pick through. Worst case scenario is we lose them. And that truly is not the end of the world.

  • Cheeky

    Throwing this out on defence:
    Extras: Stone / Prout

    Even though Hanafin and Hamonic have looked good together, puts a vet with each of our young guys and spreads out for 3 good pairings. Personally I think Valimaki gets sent down to hone his skills…

  • Stockton's Finest

    Heat lose 4-3. Rychel with a bad penalty with less than a minute left leading to a Bakersfield goal with 5 seconds left. Shots on goal: BAK – 49; SKTN: 24. Parsons was fantastic. Needs help on defense. Offense needs to show up starting Friday against Bakersfield to start the season.

    • Roger the Shrubber

      Wow. Parsons with 45 saves on 49 shots. That’s awesome for him. Did he play the first game or did McDonald?

      SF you’re gonna need to come in clutch this year when it comes to Parsons. I’m really interested in how he looks live!

      • Stockton's Finest

        McDonald started yesterday’s game with a 17 shot shutout into the second half of the 2nd period. Schneider came in and was beat by a laser shot high (it glanced off the crossbar) that nobody could have stopped. The second goal Schneider gave up he had in his glove but could not control. Easy put back for Bakersfield.

        Tonight, Parsons gave up 3 power play goals, one on a bad clear by Buddy Robinson, one where he was completely screened, and on a 5-3 late in the third. If the defense did its job, we would have won.

        Yesterday’s game in Bakersfield was more of an AHL tryout. Tonight’s game fielded close to what I expect to see next week.

        Line combos were as follows ( in no particular order):
        Klimchuk – Quine – Phillips
        Lomberg – Graovac – Robinson
        Rychel – Gawdin – Foo
        Ehliz – Kujawinski – Fischer

        Kylington – Samuelsson
        Paliotta – Falk
        Watson – O’Brien

        Parson in net for the entire game

      • Brian McGrattan's Salute

        Parsons makes me feel SO much better about goaltending for us this year. If all three of our goalies in front of him crap the bed at least we got him!

  • Avalain

    Ok, so what do these lines looks like?
    Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
    Tkachuk – Backlund – Neal?
    Mangiapane/Dube – Ryan – Frolik
    Bennett – Jankowski – Czarnik
    Mangiapane/Dube – Hathaway

    Giordano – Brodie
    Hanifin – Hamonic
    Valimaki/Andersson – Stone

    Some points:
    – There are literally dozens of different forward combinations that can be done, and each of them make sense.
    – I think that Lindholm is the best choice for 1RW
    – I’m pulling for Andersson to make it over Valimaki, even if that puts him on his off side. He’s earned it and he’s put in his time. Plus, Valimaki would make it more difficult to keep all our good D during the expansion draft. Even if Valimaki has been better than Andersson at the end of the preseason, I don’t think he’s been so much better that he deserves the spot when it causes so many problems down the line. I mean seriously, look at that D corp and decide which 3 you want to protect.
    – Even better, I would like to see Stone traded for picks or something to help us down the line. I don’t mind Stone as much as most here because he is able to play up the rotation as injuries occur. But I think Andersson and Valimaki have both shown that they can potentially play up the rotation as well. It’s time to move on from Stone.

  • Porcupine at a balloon party

    I think these three guys going on waivers today instead of the flury 24 hours before the roster cap is indicative that they would not be opposed to them being claimed on waivers. Calgary is a cap team but they do run on a budget (as any business should do) and paying these guys NHL salaries in AHL is not what the Flames have preferred to do in past. My guess is they’ve been written off.

    Which is unfortunate as they are good guys (Lazar) and to be assessment Kulak is still a serviceable 5/6/7 guy, but seems like management may disagree. Time will tell

    • Hockeysense9393

      Kulak may be back up. Valimaki will get his 9 games to prove himself. Kulak already went through waivers without any trouble so I’m sure they felt that they could do it again.

      • Porcupine at a balloon party

        My guess is he’s claimed. Byron (ish) familiarities here. Don’t think he’ll go on to have success with another club like Byron (could be wrong), but his underlying numbers have shown he’s above replacement level and there’s a lot of teams (ahem, Oilers) in need of 5/6 guys of his calibre.

      • FlamesFanOtherCity

        Stone would be an upgrade to a team like the Oilers, but they would need to send back salary.
        Yuck, they don;t have much I would be interested in. Maybe Khaira. Scratch that, no trade.
        Maybe Toronto or Ottawa would be interested.

  • Off the wall

    Sometimes I like to read other Nations sites. It gives me a broad overview of the (state of) other fan bases. I must admit the Oilers most recent blog, (admittedly I don’t recognize the writer, as I don’t frequent much ) has me baffled. Somehow they’ve launched themselves into a possible playoff spot (4th) in the division..whilst relegating the Flames to 6th place in the Pacific. Huh? Did I miss something? Did our off season acquisitions – new players- make absolutely no difference? Am I out to lunch again? Is this a spoiler alert or an Oiler alert?

    I think it’s the title of the blog that confuses me more than anything;
    “ A Somewhat Accurate Pacific Division Preview”

    I think I’d like to write a blog. You all know I love a great story.
    I could bring you all with me on this fantastic voyage to parts unknown, although they will appear absolutely real to you. Because in fantasy you’re allowed to go beyond the normal parameters of reality.

    I think I shall title it:
    “The Quest for the Cup”
    Remember Vegas? Our story will be much more entertaining and so much more realistic.
    In summation, it will entail,
    not only winning the Pacific Division, but also breezily dancing our way to the ultimate dream…Mr Stanley himself!!
    Oh -and Old man Smitty with his weather wrinkled face- wins the Vezina.

    When can I start my fantasy writing gig?

    • aye

      Don’t really care for predictions, whether it’s Hockey News having the Flames 1st in the Pacific, or the ON writer placing them 6th, but do have a problem with his reasoning, which was health of Smith. Fair enough, as Flames fans have the same concern, but the same can be said about other teams as well. Quick, Gibson, Fleury have all had injury issues in the last few years, and there is no guarantee Talbot will bounce back to the .917 he’s hoping for.
      Pre-season viewing has me believing the D with Hanifin will be better than with Dougie, and if Valimaki and Andersson gets in, it’ll be even better.

    • Derzie

      To a fan that is not a Flames/Oilers homer, the Oilers are better than the Flames and will finish higher in the standings. McDavid makes it so all by himself. If he plays the way he can and Talbot is solid, they make the playoffs. I don’t like it one little bit but that doesn’t make it false.

  • Off the wall

    How long does it take to acclimatize yourself to a new environment? I’m asking, because I really don’t have an answer.

    Every player is different. You spend the offseason getting stronger, faster and better at your trade. Goalies spend time honing their angles, leg strength and flexibility. Everyone is focusing on getting better.

    You get to training camp. You’re meeting new players, you’re chatting with them about the offseason. You’re making new friends. But you’re all back to square one. No real test on your abilities. Not so far.

    Player x, has a more lethal shot then you remember. Player y, has increased his speed and strength. Goalies are surprised by the sheer amount of pace, accuracy and speed of the game. One bad angle and you’ve exposed yourself to players who are eager to make you pay.
    They all want JOBS!

    Everyone is feeling a bit uneasy. Except for the real veterans who’ve been around for years and know how this story unfolds.

    We’re worried about goaltending. We’re worried about secondary scoring. We’re worried about defensive pairings. Who plays, who doesn’t? All valid, all important.
    But it doesn’t address the original premise. How long does it take to acclimatize?

    Preseason. It’s ended. What does this team really look like?
    Where are the holes? How do we minimize those?

    We’ll find out soon enough. Treliving has done as much as he possibly could- at this point- to merit a successful season for our team.

    Whether we get off to a fast start or slow one, I think we should expect a little bumps along the way.

    Really, how long does it take to acclimatize? We’re about to find out!

    • freethe flames

      Acclimatize to a new system as well. As fans what have we liked about the changes? What are reasonable expectations of the team; of each player? I’m excited about the upcoming season. I’m hopeful that this team can be competitive and entertaining this year. If I take time to access the preseason here’s my observations:
      1. I watched the first day of practice and liked the pace of practice and got a sense of how they want to play. Offensively there were 3 things I have noticed: 1. they are not afraid to dump the puck in a forecheck like demons, 2. The skilled players are not afraid to hold onto the puck on a zone entry and keep possession and 3. the defenders are not afraid to join the rush. All of these things require skating hard and skating with pace. When they have done these things they have been very good and have been fun to watch. This has improved as the preseason has gone on.

      If you are going to forecheck effectively a number of things must happen: defenders must make good reads as to when and where to pinch, other defenders and forwards must read the play effectively and communicate that they have know what they are doing to help and finally everyone on the ice must work hard to get back and cover when the forecheck has been broken. This is a work in progress and there some players who seem to have it consistently and others who have a lot of work to do. Defensive zone coverage needs to get better and should over time.
      The PK has for the most part been very good but the PP has once again let this team down and has killed momentum; the strength of this team is skating and the PP is very methodical and slow; hopefully this will change.

      Goaltending has been average at best and I have to say I do not like the goalies positioning as a whole; far to often they seem to deep in the crease, down to early on shots and handle the puck to much.

    • oilcanboyd

      Time for the action to start! Enough guessing as to who should play where with finally a total NHL lineup. Order the beer for the season and enjoy the season as it unfolds – for better or for worse…and hopefully the beer won’t be gone after the first month because of dodgy result…

  • Flamesfever

    I would love to see this line up on Wednesday:

    Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
    Tkachuk – Backlund – Frolik
    Dube – Ryan – Neal
    Bennett – Jankowski – Czarnik

    Giordano – TJ Brodie
    Hanifin – Hamonic
    Juuso Valimaki – Stone


    • oilcanboyd

      Nice problem to have: that Neal, Czarnik, Ryan, Janko, Dube, Tkachuk could move up the lines in case of injury…and may be Bennett… SToked about this season!

    • Korcan

      Flamesfever, that is the exact lineup i have for Wednesday. The reason i have Valimaki over Andersson is simply do to him being a left shot. If Stone were a ls, then it would have Andersson. I have Andersson and Valimaki neck-and-neck, but i am a little concerned over Andersson’s holding onto the puck too long–is it simply a bad habit, or is it due to him not being able to process the game more quickly? Hopefully, it’s the former.

  • Please smith .... play well !!

    Necessary and I thought fairly obvious moves for the most part . I always liked Kulak as a third pairing guy but I don’t dispute that anderssen and Valimaki look to have much more upside

    Too bad lazar didn’t work out but at least management isn’t holding other players back to try again to support Lazar’s Emergence …

    Hoping for a great season .. if the keepers make some stops I think this team will be just fine