56Juuso Valimaki
Photo Credit: Candice Ward/USA Today Sports

What will the Flames roster look like this weekend?

The Calgary Flames lost three players from their lineup after Thursday’s win over the Minnesota Wild. Mikael Backlund is out with an injury, while Ryan Lomberg and Mark Giordano are suspended for the weekend.

With all these complications, the Flames’ roster situation over the next few days could get pretty complex. Here’s our best attempt to simplify things.

Who’s on the active roster?

The following players are currently on the 23-man active roster, per the NHL’s media site. We’ve broken them down into categories:

  • Goalies (2): David Rittich and Mike Smith
  • Defensemen (6): Rasmus Andersson, Dalton Prout, TJ Brodie, Travis Hamonic, Noah Hanifin and Oliver Kylington
  • Forwards (11): Derek Ryan, Johnny Gaudreau, James Neal, Matthew Tkachuk, Garnet Hathaway, Sean Monahan, Austin Czarnik, Elias Lindholm, Mark Jankowski, Andrew Mangiapane and Sam Bennett
  • Injured (2): Juuso Valimaki and Mikael Backlund
  • Suspended (2): Mark Giordano and Ryan Lomberg

Michael Frolik and Michael Stone are on the injured reserve and don’t count against the active roster.

Wait, the Flames don’t have enough forwards…

That’s right. But they have some options. Because they have fewer than 12 healthy forwards they can use an emergency recall to call up a forward for the weekend. Once Lomberg is no longer suspended, they’d need to send that recalled forward back to Stockton (or open up a roster spot to recall them “regularly”).

But because Valimaki’s been out for longer than a week – he hasn’t played since Nov. 23 – he can be placed on the injured reserve for the weekend to open a roster spot and then be activated at any time. And if the expectation is Backlund will be out for at least a week, they can put him on the injured reserve to open another spot.

Putting them both on the injured reserve would facilitate two regular recalls from Stockton and probably wouldn’t impact roster flexibility past the weekend.

Do they have to use Dalton Prout?

They’re probably going to use Prout. He’s an experienced NHL defenseman, one of six healthy defenders on their roster, and their other available options in Stockton are Rinat Valiev (23, 12 NHL games), Matt Taormina (32, 59 NHL games), Andrew Nielsen (22, 0 NHL games) and Josh Healey (24, 0 NHL games).

Prout’s not an ideal option, but he’s a known commodity with the most NHL games of anybody available to them, and carries fewer question marks than anybody they could bring up from the AHL.

What’s the most likely scenario?

Our best guess is Valimaki and Backlund both go on the injured reserve on Saturday morning and the Flames bring up two players – potentially a defenseman and forward – so they have some extra bodies around for the two weekend games.

The contenders for the forward spot are likely Kerby Rychel or Alan Quine (or even Curtis Lazar), while Taormina seems the simplest defenseman to bring up if the idea is that he’ll be a healthy scratch – the younger players in Stockton can stay there and keep playing.

    • buts

      Wake up FN. Backlund had his head down creating his own injury from a clean hit. Gio had a brain cramp and deserved his suspension…. I think Zucker got under his skin…..bottom line is rally the troops, focus and win these games to show your a team not dependent on individuals. Adversity makes you stronger, we deserved the suspensions, there’s no conspiracy and quit whining.

  • KeepitReal

    Slightly off topic but is it just me that wonders why the BOA is on a Sunday night instead of Saturday’s national broadcast?? Do the suits south of the Mason Dixon / east of the Mississippi even know the storied past involving BOA’s??? To top it off, the tall foreheads put our captain on the shelf for the BOA. Oh well, time to put our big boy pants on.

    GFG

  • Korcan

    My line-up:
    Johnny Mony Neal (i want to see what Neal can do with a couple games with those two)
    Tkachuk Lindholm Bennett
    Mangiapane Jankowski Czarnik/Hathaway
    Rychel Ryan Hathaway/Czarnik

    Hanafin Hamonic
    Andersson Brodie
    Kylington Prout

    • Chucky

      Stick with what works
      Gaudreau – Monahan- Lindhom 18 minutes
      Tkachuck – Jankowski – Bennett reunited from last year 17 minutes
      Mangiapane – Ryan – Neal 12 minutes
      Czarnik – Rychel – Hathaway 6 minutes
      9 minutes of power play and penalty kill.

      Leave Kylington Andreson and Hamonic Hanifin alone, hope that Brodie can cover for Prout

    • Luter 1

      Are you Neal supporters ready for a wakeup call. This guy can’t skate with Mony and Johnny and is close to being a Lucic with McDavid situation we all laugh about. Sorry this guys underwhelming skating is not improving with a line change.

  • withachance

    To be fair, I’m pretty comfortable if Prout plays against the Oilers 3rd and 4th lines, which are basically just two 4th lines. EDM do get the last change, but if Tkachuk can be stapled against McJesus most shifts, hopefully itll be ok.

    It’ll be a grind of a game with Hitch as their coach as well, so hopefully perfect kind of game for Bennett and Neal to shine. At this point, I dont even care about the NSH game, just beat the frigging oilers.

  • Beer League Coach

    I will try again. My 1st comment about 20 minutes ago did not post.

    It will be difficult to get a player up here from Stockton for the Saturday game unless they already recalled somebody before the 5 o’clock announcement of the suspensions. If Andrew Nielson is still in Calgary he could be “recalled” and activated for the Nashville game. He was acquired in the Klimchuk trade with Toronto and was waiting in Calgary for his work visa to enter the US for employment purposes. He is a LD with a bit of a mean streak and has 0 games in the NHL. He could be the 12th fwd and give you 5 or 6 minutes on the 4th line or play on the D with Prout being the 12th fwd. Derek Engelland played wing as well as D when he was with Flames.

    Remember when Backlund came over from Sweden to play in the WJC and stayed in Canada and joined Kelowna? Flames had injury problems then and Backlund actually played a game in the NHL before joining the Rockets and starting his jr career in the WHL.

    I know all of this sounds unusual and desperate. However, sometimes a far out type of solution works and the team reacts with a super effort to overcome all kinds of adversity.

    Stockton also plays 2 games this weekend and recalling a player from them would disrupt the coaching plan for their games as well.

    • Sir ryosus

      That is the worst I’ve ever read on the. Maybe you couldn’t post earlier because the internet spit it back at you. Read it again and see if it’s as terrible to you now as it is to us.
      You suggest playing a spare part ahl d man at forward for 5-6 min!!? England was a pro when tasked with that. I don’t remember why but guessing it would have been a cap issue or logistics. They have both time and money in this case. When backlund came in he was highly touted prospect. Neilson not so much.

      More beer less coach

  • Getpucksdeep

    I absolutely assure one and all in the Flames dressing room they’ve shook it off and have complete confidence they can still beat Nashville tomorrow. They aren’t even thinking about Edmonton tonight or tomorrow. Close knit teams take it one shift at a time.

  • BendingCorners

    I hope the team remembers they are playing Nashville next and not the Oilers. The fanbase seems to be skipping ahead a game.
    Missing Backlund and Giordano for a few games will be a test of the team’s depth, especially against the Predators. BP’s line juggling is about to pay off, I hope.

  • Abagofpucks

    Lucic is doing what Hitch want’s him to do. Since the Oiler’s are such a garbage team you should have no problem kicking our butt’s right Lazarus. Can’t wait for sunday.

    • Jumping Jack Flash

      Feeling pretty confident, is it because we are missing our best D man and 2 way center. I think Hitchcock’s model is sustainable…just play boring hockey and pray that you can get to 4v4 OT or SO and the send out McD and Drai. What…there is no 4v4 OT or SO in the playoffs…that is unfortunate. You can still play the boring hockey…if you get there.

      • Leichs

        You must have missed the 7 goals last night against the team that the Flamess only mutered two greasy goals agaisnt the night before. Flames so overrrated. Yall act like you are the best team in the league. You are having the best start in Flames history and still are only 6 points up on the Oil who have changed coaches mid season with over half the season left. Oil are only going to get better as its been shown under Hitch and Flames will come back down to earth. Going to be a rude awakening.