84Dillon Dube
Photo Credit: James Carey Lauder/USA Today Sports

Flames send Dillon Dube to the AHL

Calgary Flames prospect Dillon Dube has done a lot of things in his young hockey career. He’s about to embark on a new challenge: the American Hockey League. The club announced on Thursday afternoon that they’ve assigned Dube to the AHL’s Stockton Heat.

The 20-year-old Dube has been on the Flames roster since the beginning of season after being one of the best players – if not the best player – in training camp. He’s been full of energy throughout his tenure with the Flames, but he’s struggled at times to withstand the physicality of the NHL game – particularly the battles in the corners. In 20 NHL games he’s put up a goal, four assists and a plus-four rating, while playing exclusively in the bottom six.

The pending return of Michael Frolik to the Flames’ lineup likely forced management to really assess Dube’s first quarter of the season. Frolik is what he is at this point and spending time on the bottom six likely won’t hurt his development, but Dube’s 20 and has a ton of runway left. Playing big minutes in Stockton – who coincidentally just lost a prominent winger in Morgan Klimchuk in a trade with Toronto – will do nothing but good things for his development on and off the ice. Let’s be honest: being The Guy in Stockton will be better for him than being part of the supporting cast in Calgary.

Until Frolik returns from the IR, it seems likely that Ryan Lomberg will play on the fourth line – given his age and skillset, that seems like a decent fit.

Considering Dube’s success at lower levels of hockey and how well he processes the game, Wednesday night likely isn’t the last we’ll see of him wearing a Flames jersey.

    • Flaming Glory

      I’d honestly not bring anyone up. Mostly because signing Czar then truly does become pointless. Let’s give him a real chance before we banish him to the press box. He was a free agent that chose Calgary, let’s treat the man with some respect. We want to still be seen as a good city for free agents. Secondly I think players should stay down because Stockton needs to win and become the powerhouse we were expecting in the off season. Winning breeds winning. Thirdly I don’t believe Mangi is ready nor do I believe we have a spot for him. He is essentially Czar with more upside. We don’t have a spot for Czar so why would we for Mangi? Both these players play more finesse games conducive for the top 6. Let everyone develop, wait till space presents itself and let’s keep public relations good.
      Thoughts?

      • Quinteco

        I can get behind that. Give Czarnik a chance to settle in. Let Dube build some chemistry with Mangiapane and then at some point they can move that chemistry up the NHL.

      • TriPPiNvdUb

        Public relations? No one is this leauge is goi g to be weary because AC cant keep his spot. He ok with the puck and can skate but he gets outworked and over powered allot of nights and his very ineffective. Mangi style is better suited in the big show, he plays with some sand and understands body positioning. If it were up to me, Andrew would have had a chance in the lineup before eved signing Austin.

        • Flaming Glory

          I suppose. That said it would be good if a free agent actually had success in Calgary instead of coming to die. I’m a new and young fan so I admittedly don’t have many examples at my disposal but allow me to try.

          Troy Brouwer:
          Sought after free agent. Had a name as a playoff performer. Fairly reliable and you could bet on 35-40ish points. We all know how that worked out. He then goes on the revive his career in Florida.
          James Neal:
          Perninial 20 goal scorer. Comes to Calgary and seemingly forgets how to play.

          Austin Czarnik:
          An insanely valued free agent. Isn’t getting much playing time and has barely touched the score board.

          Jonas Hiller:
          Previously an extremely solid (boarderline elite?) goaltender. Comes to Calgary and his career dies.

          These are all within the last 3-4 seasons. I do not think it would be outlandish to say that Calgary is creating a stigma for itself within the hockey community. I think it would be prudent to try to create more success stories before the black becomes insurmountable.

          • MDG1600

            I don’t think the Flames are alone – It isn’t difficult to argue that almost all UFA signings are bad. MTL just put Alzner on waivers and the list goes on. Because of the salary cap building through the draft is critical. Flames signed Neal because of a lack of home grown goal scoring prospects (Poirer, Klimchuk, Shinkaruk – all duds).

          • BlueMoonNigel

            Pretty much every FA signing linked to Tre I have disliked from the get go with the exception of Neal. To date, Neal has been a bust and even if he proves a flop in his Calgary stint, I will not blast Tre for this signing. The Flames needed a big time scorer and Neal was about as big as they came in last season’s FA class. Go big or go home. Tre went big and landed Jimmy. That was a coup for him and the org and told me as a Flames fan that the club was serious about winning now. I loved the courage of the move and still applaud Tre for pulling it off.

            As for Tre’s other free agent signings from last summer, didn’t care much for either. Yeah, if Peters loves Ryan then Tre was probably right to defer to Peters on this signing.

            Czarnik? Never even heard of the guy until Tre signed him. As for all the buzz he supposedly generated with other GMs, I’d call it free agent hype or all sizzle and no steak. Upon signing Czarnik, my source down east reported that Czarnik would never be more than a high-end AHLer.

            As for the purpose of this article, Dube being demoted, it seems reasonable. All I saw from Dube last night was a guy with a bad moustache who failed to distinguish himself in any way, shape or form. In addition to regaining his confidence as a playmaker in the AHL I suggest he start hitting the weight room at 5:00 am and add some bulk to his frame.

          • Flint

            @Baalzamon… so Hiller was a young stud one year and then an old hound the next? Must have been some terrible time-warped offseason. He’s the same age as Mike Smith, and he’s been back in Switzerland for 3 seasons. Age might be a contributing factor, but I think there was more to it.

        • withachance

          Optics and public relations are actually such a huge part of the league. The NHL is a brotherhood, and the way an organization treats its asset and other organizations is a strong factor. Why do you think offer sheets are nonexistent amongst GMs? Why do you think teams are so reluctant to go into arbitration with RFAs?

    • Harley Hotchkiss’s Ghost

      Lomberg is the most pointless NHLer I have seen the Flames tinker with in some time. He gets whipped in fights against even mid-sized opponents and he’s not an NHLer in terms of skill. So what’s the point?!?! Every fight he has he’s one punched by someone who isn’t even tough.

      Once Mangiapane gets healthy he should be up with the Flames, he’s earned a shot at the NHL.

    • Flint

      Mang last year handled physical play worse than Dube this year. Mang deserves his chances, because if you’re not going to give him his chances what’s the point of having him, but that comes with many **** The staff in the AHL need to be prepping Mang to play in the NHL, working on his puck protection, his strength, his awareness of the other players, cause he’s obviously got the skills to get called up, but when he’s up he does less than Dube has done, he doesn’t get a ‘scorers’ role and he can’t muck and grind. If anything he was a detriment cause he was always getting flattened.

    • Harley Hotchkiss’s Ghost

      I’d rather see Rychel than Lomberg who is barley an effective AHLer. He tries to be a super pest, but he just gets swatted away like a fly. He has zero strength and actually toughness for someone that acts so tough.

  • FlamesFanOtherCity

    Lomberg is a fine 14th forward, not a 4th liner on a consistent basis.
    With Frolik coming off IR, we would need to place Valimaki on IR or run with 8D and 13F, with Lomberg being the 13th. Honestly, there not much Lombo brings to the table. He’s a pest like Hathaway, He fights, but gets pummeled by bigger players.

    If you want a guy to be able to slot in on the 3rd or 4th line LW, bring up Mangiapane or Rychel. Ryan can be the start of an effective 4th line. Really the bottom 6 lines need to be sorted out. Actually, the 2nd line needs work. Bennett is fine with Backlund and Frolik in a shutdown role, but Tkachuk needs to play an offensive role. Tkachuk-Janko-Neal? Bennett-Backlund-Frolik? Rychel-Ryan-Hathaway? Mangiapane-Ryan-Hathaway?

    • Kevin R

      Not a chance putting Bennett back on a checking line with Backlund & Frolik. Bennett is ready & has played well. Would rather see Neal up with Gaudreau & Monahan & put Lindholm between Bennett & Tkachuk. Frolik Backlund & Ryan & then Janko between Hathaway & Czarnick.

  • everton fc

    How about Hathaway-Jankowski-Neal?

    4th line can be Czarnik-Ryan-Lomberg?

    That said, I think one of Mangiapane or Rychel’s coming to Calgary. If Mangiapane, he will replace Czarnik, perhaps, on that 3rd line.

    I’d like to see;

    Mangiapane-Jankowski-Ryan
    Rychel-Ryan-Hathaway

    I could also live with;

    Mangiapane-Jankowski-Neal
    Hathaway-Ryan-Lomberg/Czarnik.

    Get Czarnik off the 3rd line.

  • Mitchell

    Why bring up a guy like magiapane if hes going to be playing 4th line minutes? In my opinion one of Alan quine or kerby rychel should be called up. Stocktons finest has compared rychel to Hathaway, but with more skill. I cant speak to the playing style of quine, but he has decent size, and can take faceoffs. Additionally quine is over a point per game pace in the AHL, so he has to have some offensive talent.

  • withachance

    Not sure why everyone thinks they’re going to call someone up. Not gonna happen. Frolik is coming back, thus filling all roster spots. I’d rather Lomberg up here eating popcorn than Mangi when he’s getting top line minutes in Stockton. Lineup should look like this going forward:

    JG – Monny – Lindy
    Chucky – Backs – Benny
    Frolik – Ryan – Neal
    Hath – Janko – Czarnik

    Still think Neal needs to get away from Ryan and Janko should move higher up the lineup after the steady games hes had recently…

    • The GREAT WW

      Anyone who thinks Neal needs to play top 6 has not seen him play this year.

      He is slow, turns over the puck 90% of the time and shoots the puck straight into the goalies chest every time.

      He is completely useless…..

      WW

      • withachance

        Chicken or the egg scenario. What comes first? Goals, or talented linemates? I dont think Neal has ever been known to be a line driver, he needs talented playmakers to get him the puck for his shots. I’m saying give the guy a chance, and not straddle him with a defensive minded centre. He’s a perennial 20 goal scorer, lets at least try to get him going, that’s all im saying

        Anyone can highlight the negative aspects of a player’s game… Gaudreau is a defensive liability that cant hit, might as well trade the guy for being a plug right?

      • Captain Ron

        I went off on Neal on another thread last night trying more or less to make this same point. I have to say that I am honestly shocked at how ineffective Neal is as a player. He had to have been with line mates in the past who were doing all the spade work in order for him to get this far because he sure as hell hasn’t done much of it here. Even Chiasson has 7 or 8 goals already this year. Neal was supposed to be a guy that would help us get over the hump and into the upper echelon of the league but he has been a major disappointment so far.

  • Flamesforever

    I think Dube will eventually be this teams 2nd line centre. Monahan, Dube, Jankowski sounds good to me. He’s been called a left handed Brayden Point. If he develops into that type of player we should all be absolutely thrilled.

  • Flamesforever

    Dube will light up the A, get a call up in a month or two after he’s learned the pro game abit more and never look back. Another solid 2nd round pick from BT!

  • cjc

    I don’t know about this. He put up 3 points in his last 4 games, and he’s had plenty of golden chances. I guess it won’t hurt him, but I thought he was coming along just fine.

  • Stockton's Finest

    Your Stockton Heat lines:

    Mangiapane – Lazar – Dube
    Rychel – Quine – Foo
    Pollock – Graovac – Phillips
    McMurtry – Gawdin – Peluso
    (I know McMurtry is a center, but he was playing wing last game)

  • Spider you muda&@#ker

    Hoping to see a highly motivated flames team tonight playing teams coming off back to back losses to the oilers. Time for the team to go on a run here and create some seperation from the rest of the pack. Many times in the last couple years flames had top spots in the standings and stumbled back into the middle of the pack and chasing WC spots. Last game flames didnt look totally invested and looked satisfied maybe with there spot in the standings. Looking forward to a beatdown of the last place team tonight GFG!