Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Flames demote Curtis Lazar to the AHL

After recalling defenceman Rasmus Andersson from the Stockton Heat, the Flames have sent their affiliate a replacement body. The team has announced that extra forward Curtis Lazar has been reassigned to the AHL after having cleared waivers on Monday.

Lazar was acquired at trade deadline 2017, picked up from Ottawa with AHLer Michael Kostka in exchange for a 2017 second round pick (Alex Formenton, who is already in the NHL) and Jyrki Jokipakka.

The Flames hoped the 2013 first rounder would buck the issues that were holding him back in Ottawa and blossom into a middle six right winger, but were rewarded with more of the same performances he put up with the Senators.

Despite a hot start with the club, where he picked up three points in his first four games and was rewarded with a two-year contract in the offseason, he struggled through most of 2017-18. He became a permanent feature on the fourth line, picking up 12 points in 65 games last season.

The move doesn’t do much for the NHL roster, as Lazar was already on the outside looking in. With plenty of depth acquired this offseason, he was the odd man out and was unlikely to factor in at either right wing or centre. The Flames generally don’t want their young players sitting in the press box, so the demotion was likely a foregone conclusion.

Perhaps the Flames bring up another forward body, such as Anthony Peluso, Alan Quine, or Buddy Robinson, but we’ll have to wait to see. This also gives them the option of keeping eight defenders on the roster whenever Travis Hamonic gets healthy.

Salary-cap wise, placing Lazar in the AHL and carrying a 22 player roster saves the Flames $5,100 of cap space per day compared to keeping him on the NHL roster. It’s not huge, but cap savings like that can add up over a full season and help the club at the trade deadline.

Lazar will presumably become a top line player for the Stockton Heat. Perhaps the hope is that he can reclaim some of his potential and find some consistency, but at age 23 with 245 NHL games played, one must wonder if it’s too little, too late.

  • FlamesFan27

    From all accounts, he’s a great guy. He was drafted way too high, so expectations were unrealistic from the start. But, that’s not his fault. I wish him the best and that he will be able to carve out a career in the NHL.

    • The Doctor

      Yeah, his scoring stats in junior were never any screaming hell, which in 20/20 hindsight now looks like a red flag indicating he was probably drafted too high, unless he was going to be the Second Coming of Bob Gainey. Which he clearly is not.

    • HAL MacInnis

      Nobody wanted to fight Peluso in the last preseason game. He tried more than a couple of times to start a something. He’s pretty intimidating; even Lucic didn’t want to dance with him.

  • Flaming moe

    Last night Dougie Hamilton ties the game with a slap shot with 60 seconds left in the game.
    Tonight Mr Michael Ferland already has a goal and an assist.

  • Skylardog

    Never forget. He was a better linemate for Stone and Hoffman than Turris. Lazar, Hoffman, and Stone put up a 4.95 GF/60 with a 2.82 GA/60 in just over 85 minutes together in 2014/15. Using 50 minutes as a threshold, only David Jones, Mony and Gaudreau in 149 minutes together posted better numbers in terms of GF/60 in the last 5 Flames seasons.

    The kid is capable of creating offense. He has still not had a chance with any talented players in Calgary. In his short time with Gaudreau he has a 3.63 GF/60, better than what Monahan created with Gaudreau last season.

    I remind you all again that he was 10th in the NHL in PK GA/60 of those over 20 minutes.

    And he went into camp playing with Peluso and Klimchuk. He gets just 2 games in preseason and a total of 18 minutes of ice time. Mangi who did nothing in 10 NHL games got 6 preseason games. Talk about being set up to fail.

    Or was the plan all along just to quietly sneak him into Stockton without being picked up on waivers.

    • Jumping Jack Flash

      Conspiracy theory? Lazar is a character guy but on the ice he does not bring anything 4 th liner could not bring. Mangi an Dube were put in different situations in the pre season but that is no different than Lazar being given a shot in the top 6 for a couple of games. The spot has been there for Lazar and Bennett but neither have ceased it. Janko was given a spot on the top 6 after the Shore who was just picked up.

      • Skylardog

        When did Lazar get top 6 time?

        Not a conspiracy theory. A smart and calculated plan to get Lazar into Stockton without being claimed by another team on waivers because being in Stockton and playing is what the kid needs to get his game back on track. I honestly think it was a calculated and planned move. Good on both Lazar and BT for recognising this is what he needs.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    7-0 and they are keeping Parsons in net….why. I watched the first period streamed an if it wasn’t for Montoya Stockton would have had a substantial lead….PK is struggling.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    How the devil did Lazar make the Flames in the first place? If those morons Tre and Billy had once ounce of prevention they would have kept Peluso over Lazar and dressed Peluso on opening night knowing the Canucks run dirty. As it stands, Prout plays tonight just until he gets a game misconduct for instigating a fight, so the club goes the rest of the way with 5 defencemen, including the rookie Valimaki. It seems to me that the club should dress Andersson tonight and have 7 defencemen in the lineup.

    Test of your new coach’s smarts is whether he also puts Hathaway in the lineup with the not-so-eureka-thought that the rough stuff will not be limited to the main combatants.

    I wonder how many Flame fans since Wednesday’s game are still thrilled that Tre didn’t do enough to secure the valuable services of rugged Ryan Reaves.

    • Skylardog

      Hath needs to dress and with Prout also in the line up we have the deterrence against any garbage from the Canucks. I would not expect any retribution unless the score gets out of hand.

      As for Lazar making it, I don’t think that is accurate. He had already been waived. Suspect he was around to ensure we had a body if Tkachuk couldn’t go.

    • LannyMac

      Well done Blue always love your takes. Keep the negativity flowing. That’s all this franchise deserves until all of them top to bottom starting displaying winning attitudes and results. They start showing a cohesiveness and a hatred to loose I will post positives but not until then.

    • Mickey O'Reaves

      Nigel, a little early to be throwing some #couldahadreaves red meat my way ain’t it?! That might precipitate another rant spewed upon the pages of Flames Nation.

      But do not fret! All is not lost! It has been mentioned, and apparently is common knowledge in the new style NHL, that a great powerplay will cure all ills.

      That’s why Tre and Billy didn’t secure Reaves’ services, or make a pitch for Maroon, because Austin Czarnik will single handedly make the PP so friggin’ good, that other teams won’t dare target a guy like Czarnik because he’ll kill you with the man advantage. See? Simple.

      The player’s are obviously giddy with delight. They know that bringing in a Czarnik or Ryan will make the PP score at a 38.56% clip (based on computer models) so nobody has to worry about who’s next to get their head busted up by the tough guy on the other team.

      Having that one tough guy on your team is soooo last century, bra.

      • Toma41

        Relax. They went after Reaves. He chose not to sign with the flames. Cant fault Tre for that. Maroon wanted a lot of money to play in Calgary. When we had a fighter (engelland) everyone wanted him off the team. Hamonic CANT fight.i said this before. It might as well have been Gaudreau to fight Gudbranson. He would have had just as good as a chance…

      • Alcanivorax

        This “need a fighter cause look what happened against Vancouver” narrative is stale.

        The Flames lost the game and we seem to be focusing on that result as stemming from Hamonic’s lost fight.

        That’s plain wrong.

        And I know you don’t like this “A good PP solves it” story but consider if the Flames went 2/7 instead of 0/7.

        That’s 2 more goals for the Flames and a possibility that the Canucks don’t score those 2 back breakers right after failed Flames PPs.

        That makes the score 4-2 Flames.

        I’m not saying an effective PP stops people from taking liberties (we do have Prout if/when needed) but if the PP could actually score and not keep losing team momentum the effects on the team and results would be noticeable different.

        Just having Reaves/Peluso/Prout in the lineup doesn’t mean we win that last game or the next game.

        Continuing 0 for X on the PP is a sure fire way to keep losing games.

        • Mickey O'Reaves

          “Just having Reaves/Peluso/Prout in the lineup doesn’t mean we win that last game or the next game.”

          Not having any big body deterrent all but guarantees that what happened to Travis Hamonic would keep on happening until half the squad is on the disabled list.