35Curtis Lazar Profile
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Brett Kulak, Curtis Lazar, Anthony Peluso clear waivers; no other Flames waived

With the NHL season just two days away, rosters for all 31 teams have to be set by 3 p.m. MT Tuesday. That means Monday is the last day for teams to cut players via the waiver wire, giving other teams a last chance at picking someone up for their own starting roster.

The Flames, however, seem to have gotten all of their waiving out of the way Sunday, when they elected to waive defenceman Brett Kulak, and forwards Curtis Lazar and Anthony Peluso – and evidently nobody else. All three players cleared waivers, leaving the Flames free to demote them to the Stockton Heat, though that isn’t an automatic guarantee that they do.

All three would be depth players, at best, for the Flames. Kulak has shown some promise as a steady bottom pairing guy, but with both Rasmus Andersson and Juuso Valimaki rising up through the system, his time may be limited, and may explain why Brad Treliving was willing to play hardball with him to the extent the Flames actually took Kulak to arbitration.

Lazar, acquired for a second round pick in 2017, has failed to live up to whatever expectations the Flames may have had for him. Over the course of 69 games for Calgary, he has scored three goals and 15 points while averaging 9:58 minutes a game. He hasn’t been deserving of much more, and now, forward prospects are making their case to displace him, evidently successfully.

Peluso, signed as a free agent this offseason, is a depth tough guy signing, but Garnet Hathaway may have the coveted “not gonna score a lot but will fight a lot” role covered for the Flames. Peluso spent most of his 2017-18 season playing for the Hershey Bears in the AHL, getting two regular season and no playoff games with the Capitals; him starting his year in Stockton wouldn’t be anything new for him.

Until we have word that all three players have been demoted, however, let’s recall that it’s possible the Flames choose to keep all three up in the NHL – though, considering their perceived roles, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them all demoted. They can always be brought back up later if the team feels it necessary (i.e. a prospect doesn’t work out, injuries, what have you will).

The only players still on the Flames who do not require waivers to be demoted are:

  • G Jon Gillies
  • D Rasmus Andersson
  • D Juuso Valimaki
  • F Dillon Dube
  • F Andrew Mangiapane

This seems to hint Gillies will be sent down, as well as one of the skaters, in order to get the Flames to a 23-man roster. It’ll just be their choice of if they decide to carry seven or eight defencemen, and 13 or 14 forwards.

You’d have to hope, though, that they’d have all of their kids playing.

Here’s today’s complete waiver list, if there’s anybody on there you feel the Flames should take a last-second grab at (including the ever-popular topic of Toronto goalies):

  • meat1

    Now that Kulak has cleared. why not put Stone on waivers RIGHT now? We can’t lose…either someone claims his salary and we bring Kulak back (I realize one is a rightie, one a leftie) OR it gives us great flexibility for a few games to let Andersson and Valimaki give it a go at the start. If they prove that they aren’t ready, they can be sent back and then Stone and Kulak come back. Prout can be the extra d man here and Stone and Kulak can get some solid minutes in Stockton to get themselves in a good groove if needed.

    • Avalain

      Wouldn’t picking up a goalie mean that we need to start the season with 3 goalies? I mean, I guess it would be fine if we waived Rittich late, kept 3 goalies on the opening day roster, and pushed down someone until Rittich clears. Really doubt something like that will happen, though.

  • T&A4Flames

    Im a tad surprised Kulak wasn’t claimed but the Oil managed to trade Jerabek. I’m happy though. I’d still like to see Valimaki gain at least a years experience in the AHL which also extends his ELC a year, I believe. I think he’ll get his 9 games and then go to Stockton. That also maintains a good level of controlable depth.

  • Redleader

    When someone clears waivers,is that like saying no GM on the league thinks there even worth a 7th pick? (Depending on roster availability,and/or salary room) so we couldn’t trade Lazar for anything?

    • sathome

      Not necessarily. There are times where a player might have more trade value after clearing waivers, because another team might want to take a shot on them but not want to risk losing them on waivers themselves.

  • Joeyhere

    I know it’s hindsight / spilt milk, but I give credit to FN writers and most of the posters here. When we traded a second for Lazar, most said it was an over pay by Tre.

    No issue with Flames management taking a risk but given Montreal’s track record on trades ( see recent fire sale) its a shame we didn’t hold the line at a third or 4th round pick for Lazar

    By all accounts he’s a quality person so I wish him well…just wish our second round pick had turned in to something.

    • HOCKEY83

      Lazar is still with the flames and still very young. He could still become something in the NHL. You never know. A year on the top line in Stockton could give him the confidence he needs because he was on the 4th line in Ottawa with crap players and on the 4th line in Calgary with crap players until this pre-season when he finally got to play with a little bit of talent. I really hope it works out for that guy.