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.


    Honest question not trolling. Do you guys think if Backlund was put on waivers would he be claimed. Im in no way saying he should be on waivers it was just something a few of us disagreed on last night.


        I said he would get claimed. The two fellows I was with said his salary is not attractive and would clear simply because of the dollars. Thanks for being Dic-ks though.

        • TKO

          it really is a childish desire you have to engage is juvenile name calling… if your going to troll, at least do it like an adult, so you don’t make a complete fool of yourself. you have to up your game 500% just to even get anyone angry.

          • The GRAND BALLSUCKER

            Settle you down there big guy. If I was to troll trust me you would know it. I was simply asking a question to prove a point to my fellow fans from a discussion I had with them after last nights game.

        • Rockmorton65

          The only teams who wouldn’t put in a claim for a guy like Backlund would be teams that didn’t have the cap space. He would be an instant upgrade on most teams third line. They would claim him and then waive their 3/4 centre.

          It’s a very obvious answer. Sounds like your friends aren’t that educated about hockey.

    • oilcanboyd

      If Lucic were put on waivers would he be claimed? It depends on a number of factors – the worth of a playr his age (or Backs), perceived ability to maintain or even upgrade their play over the next 3 or 4 years at least, team salary caps. At this time of the pre=season when all teams are juggling prospects, veterans, hasbeens and the cap, it is highly unlikely they would be picked up.

      • BendingCorners

        If it weren’t for his NMC you mean? Given how Ton Wilson impacted the Caps’ Cup run, I could see a contending team making room. If he cleared all the other teams then Nashville I think would take Lucic. Their cap management wizardry has left them space, even though they are the best team in the league.

    • BendingCorners

      You’re a lightning rod, kid. Could be the moniker. But yes, Backlund would be claimed. A bunch of teams have cap space and room on their roster for a solid two-way center.

    • Dunk

      He plays soft. He has managed to fool many. If there is a challenged puck he always manages to lose the race or turn away. He never takes a hit or hits. Just watch him..

  • everton fc

    Kulak will get claimed. The Oilers could use him, sad to say. So could Detroit. Ottawa.

    Lazar may get claimed. Peluso will be called up when there are injuries, being Mangiapane and Dube are on the squad. Hathaway is probably extra #1. I think Dube and Mangiapane both outplayed Czarnik, in terms of consistency on both ends of the ice, regardless of Czarnik’s hat-trick. Valimaki was better than Andersson.

  • buts

    Goaltending has to addressed one way or the other. What are you guys think about Craig Anderson for Stone and Rittich? A solid former #1 who can share with Smith and let the young guys develope.

  • 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.

  • buts

    There will be another goalie here Wednesday or sooner FN. Brad Treliving knows any decent team is built from the net out. Guaranteed it’s done by waivers or trade.

    • HOCKEY83

      There aren’t any good goalie options out there. Smith and Rittich will be the guys they go with. They’re not going to sit smith while they play a cheap back up that some other team didn’t want. I think Smith needs to get hurt before they considering trading for or picking up another goalie.

      • Beer_League_Ringer

        Do you think that Rittich should get more games early on? Sort of a preemptive measure to protect the aging starter for the mid-to-end of season push? Hopefully Smith’s health isn’t a factor this year, but the dude is 36 and has seen a ton of rubber in the desert and CGY over the last 10 seasons.

  • 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.

  • BendingCorners

    I’ve just finished my tea, and the leaves at the bottom of the cup are telling me something. (I know, dead and decaying vegetable matter is not universally recognized for its hockey expertise, but the leaves insist).
    Mango and Doobie are on the roster as insurance in case Chucky misses time in October. Eventually one or both will find themselves in Stockton for further seasoning.
    Kulak was sent down to maximize roster flexibility; if Valimaki struggles they will swap places. If not, a star is born.
    Prout is only still in camp in case Stone is dealt – it really isn’t a close contest between Prout and Andersson at the NHL level. If Stone is dealt then it will be to Toronto for Pickard, maybe also involving retained salary in exchange for a pick. Buffalo’s backup is waiver exempt and Sparks and Pickard are too tempting for a team trying to escape the basement, so Toronto will keep Sparks, waive McElhinney, and trade Pickard.
    If that happens then Rittich is gone, either to Europe or to the waiver wire.
    The tea leaves also tell me that things will go well this year for the Flames, and they will go to the Western Final. Maybe they are hockey savants, after all.

  • Searsy

    Why does Ryan assume that both Mangiapane and Dube have made the team? They could easily go with 8 D (meaning both Valimaki and Andersson make the team) and 13 F (meaning they only keep one of Dube and Mangiapane).

  • 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.

  • Stockton's Finest

    So this puts Kulak and Valamaki as top pair in Stockton. That pushes Kylington to second pair, where he has been the past two years, along with some defensive minded partner.

    Lazar will center the top line, with Foo and Klimchuk.

    Parsons will be in net for today’s preseason finale.

    Out of 31 players currently in Stockton, 3 have AHL/ECHL contracts and will be shipped off to Kansas City. There are 9 remaining player tryouts still searching for a job. My guess will be one or two get signed (Auger).

    • Heeeeeere's Johnny!

      SF I think you’ll see Kulak / Anderssen as your top pairing. I don’t think the Flames would waive Kulak to keep Anderssen up. They keep the young LD.

      • Stockton's Finest

        I think they will send down Valamaki since he is still on a slide contract. Plus it shields him from expansion. He could benefit from some time in Stockton to get used to the game. He has shown well this preseason, but I think Andersson has played a touch better. Plus Rasmus’ 10 games last year puts him just a tad ahead of Valamaki.

        On a personal note, I think Valamaki needs time in the A, if nothing more than to give me an opportunity to get a game worn jersey ?.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 左翼二

    CapFriendly.com Armchair-GM User-Generated Roster

    FORWARDS (13)
    Right wing: Elias Lindholm ($4,850,000) – James Neal ($5,750,000) – Michael Frolík ($4,300,000) – Austin Czarnik ($1,250,000)
    Centre: Sean Monahan ($6,375,000) – Mikael Backlund ($5,350,000) – Derek Ryan ($3,125,000) – Mark Jankowski ($1,675,000)
    Left wing: Johnny Gaudreau ($6,750,000) – Matthew Tkachuk ($925,000) – Sam Bennett ($1,950,000) – Dillon Dubé ($778,333)
    Extra – Garnet Hathaway ($850,000)

    DEFENSE (7)
    Right: TJ Brodie ($4,650,400) – Travis Hamonic ($3,857,143) – Rasmus Andersson ($755,833) – Michael Stone ($3,500,000)
    Left: Mark Giordano ($6,750,000) – Noah Hanifin ($4,950,000) – Juuso Välimäki ($894,166)
    Extra – Michael Stone ($3,500,000)

    Mike Smith ($4,250,000) – David Rittich ($800,000)

    BUYOUTS (3)
    Troy Brouwer ($1,500,000) – Lance Bouma ($766,667) – Ryan Murphy ($137,500)

    Roster Size: 23
    Salary Cap: $79,500,000
    Cap Hit: $77,540,042
    Cap Space: $1,959,958

  • buts

    It is sad that this is probably the end for Lazar. Puzzling on why he couldn’t make it but there’s a ton of first rounders that didn’t pan out throughout the years. At least BT has the guts to cut bait. I really like this years team……except for goaltending. I’m sure some change is coming if not no playoffs.