The Calgary Flames have made another roster move. With an eye towards having an extra healthy body around, they’ve recalled defenseman Rinat Valiev from the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat.
Originally acquired in the swap that sent Brett Kulak to Montreal, Valiev has played 20 games with the Heat this season and has three assists. The 23-year-old is a left-shot defender originally from Russia, but he played his junior hockey as an import with the Western Hockey League’s Kootenay ICE. He’s played 12 NHL games in his young career: 10 with the Toronto Maple Leafs and two with the Montreal Canadiens.
With the Flames playing back to back games, it made sense to have a player around as an insurance policy. Having Valiev on the roster gives them the option to swap a defender out for Sunday’s game in Edmonton, or potentially even go with 11 forwards and seven defenders if needed.
Though not indicated in the media release, presumably Valiev is taking Mikael Backlund’s roster spot and the Flames forward has likely been placed on the injured reserve.