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.

  • 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.

  • 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 ?.

  • 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).

  • 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.

      • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Stockton's Finest

    Now that the picture is getting a little more clearer, here is my first stab at a Stockton line up. Please note that I have not seen most of these guys in person: I am basing this on stats and some eyewitness accounts. And I don’t know who else is coming in.

    Klimchuk – Lazar – Foo
    Phillips – Quine – Ehliz
    Rychel/Pollock – Gawdin – Robinson
    Lomberg – McMurtry – Pollock/ Rychel
    Extra forwards include Peluso, Graovac, Fischer, Auger (if signed)

    Valamaki – Kulak (both left shots)
    Kylington – Paliotta (AHL contract)
    AOM – Healey
    Extras include Hogstrom (injured right now?), Andrew O’Brien (AHL), Willie Raskob (AHL)

    Goalies are Gillies and Parsons – 60/40 split.

    • freethe flames

      SF: I suspect they will play Phillips on the RW as that is the position they hope for him to play at the NHL level. Based on the preseason Ehliz is a traditional 4th line energy guy and I suspect you will see him with Lomberg.
      So I could see your first line as a line then Pollock/Gawdin/Phillips, Rychel/Quine/Robinson giving you 3 solid offensive lines. The energy line could be Lomberg/McMurty(Shaw or Gravovac)/Ehliz. However Peluso will play as will Gravovac. Fischer is likely playing in the ECHL.

  • 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…

  • PhillyWerg

    I like this lineup, seems to spread out talent evenly with no line to hide. And gives some nice chem. Having Frolik on the 4th might be tough though.

    Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
    Tkachuk – Backlund – Czarnik
    Dude – Ryan – Neal
    Bennett – Janko – Frolik

    Gio – Brodie
    Hanifin – Hamonic
    Valimaki – Stone/Anderson

    • everton fc

      To me, Czarnik is a 4th liner, at this point. Frolik adds way more value up in the top 6-9 slots.

      Dube-Ryan-Frolik would be a very interesting line. Mangiapane might push Bennett, for playing time. If Jankowski stalls, I could see Dube slotted in that 4C roll.

      Certainly have flexibility, with these hungry young guys.

      • PhillyWerg

        ya I’ve just liked what I’ve seen from Czar with Tkachuk, understand that Frolik does bring a lot higher in the lineup though. Just not sure if i like Neal with Chucky and Backlund.

        • LannyMac

          Watching Neal play it reinforces for me how much playing in the Stanley Cup playoffs takes out of a guy. He doesn’t look quite ready. I would limit his min. if he starts slow. Might be more effective with 14 min a night compared to 18.

    • freethe flames

      Don’t think of them as your traditional 1-4 lines. Going with what you have here the Monahan and Ryan lines get most of the Ozone starts while the Backlund and Janko lines get the D zone starts. If for some reason you switch Lindholm and Neal then The Monny lines gets exclusively Ozone starts while the other 3 lines depending on how they are going are just rolled. I have to say I like Czarnik better with Backs than with Janko and Frolik looked really good with Janko and Bennett.

  • 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.

  • Jimmyhaggis

    If Dube and Magpie make the team, Flames will be one the smallest teams, which isn’t all bad, considering the way the NHL is heading, more speed and skill. I like ValimakI but I think going to Stockton makes the most sense.

  • Brian McGrattan's Salute

    I’m having a hard time understanding why both Dube and Mangiapane are making the team. We only have room for one spot in the line up for a prospect, no? Are we to just switch them out every other game or something? And then what about Hath? Just wondering what other folks are thinking?

    • Off the wall

      I’m guessing :
      Gaudreau- Monahan- Lindholm
      Tkachuk- Backlund- Neal or Czarnik
      Frolik- Ryan- Neal or Czarnik
      Bennett- Jankowski- Dube
      Extra- Hathaway

      That’s kinda how I see it ?
      I think Mangiapane has played extremely well. It’s the battle in the greasy (dirty) areas that Dube separates himself from Mangiapane.
      Dube has been hard to knock off the puck and just a bit more refined overall.

      I guess if you had to choose between a left winger and a center who can play all positions, it becomes a little clearer.
      Mangiapane is worthy of being on the club. It’s numbers that only becomes the biggest obstacle. Honestly, I’d dress Mangiapane over Bennett, but that’s never happening.

    • Sea of Redd

      Mangiapane has nothing left to prove in the AHL. Why send him down? I can see more players being a healthy scratch this year. Whether its because of a small injury, a couple bad games or to get some fresh legs in there. It won’t be such a drastic step down to put in Dube or Mang on any given night.

    • oilcanboyd

      One of the forwards needs to be gone, unless there is an injury. Tkachuk did not play the third period – lower body injury. Hoping he heals totally for Wednesday night…

  • 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.