Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Flames roster moves: Backlund activated, Rychel recalled; Mangiapane, Gillies sent to Stockton

In anticipation of their second game of a back-to-back, the Flames have made a number of notable roster moves, the biggest of which is activating Mikael Backlund from the injured reserve.

In addition to activating Backlund, the team has also made a number of moves involving players going to and from the AHL: Kerby Rychel has been brought up to the Flames, while Andrew Mangiapane and Jon Gillies will return to Stockton.

The implication seems to be that Backlund is good to go, as should be Mike Smith. Gillies was recalled in case the Flames needed him on their three-game road trip, but if Smith is available, then there’s no need for the club to carry three goalies.

Smith left the ice after two periods of hockey against the Flyers on Wednesday, and was said to be day-to-day in his injury and/or illness. He did not dress against the Wild, but will be either on the bench or in the net for the Flames against the Blues.

Backlund has been unavailable for a bit longer: on Dec. 6, he sustained a hit to the head from the Wild’s Matt Dumba in the dying moments of what ended up being a 2-0 win. He was placed on the injured reserve Dec. 7, and was eligible to be activated as early as this past Friday. His loss has been the biggest for the Flames, as he’s the team’s second line and shutdown centre and overall fifth best forward. His addition to the lineup also pushes Mark Jankowski and Derek Ryan down, making the forward group that much deeper once again. The Flames went 3-1-0 in his absence.

Rychel, 24, was acquired by the Flames for Hunter Shinkaruk. He’s been off to a great start in his tenure as a member of the organization, scoring 13 goals and 21 points in 25 games for the Heat. He’s the Heat’s leading scorer at the time of his recall.

Mangiapane, 22, meanwhile, got off to a good start when recalled at the start of the month, but despite a number of scoring chances, he has yet to get his first NHL point. His game appears to have faded some as time has gone on, so his demotion after seven games makes some sense: though he’s no doubt improved from his first recall stint from a year ago, some more time in the AHL may yet be needed. He has seven goals and 14 points in 13 games for the Heat.

      • Avalain

        If only you could actually be your own person and contribute to site instead of impersonating someone else. I seriously have no clue if you actually mean what you say or if you are just making a point of being contrary to WW. I agree with you, but I don’t know if I’m agreeing with someone who is sincere.

        • The GREAT WW.

          All my points are honest and how I feel. Yeah I am a prick for copying WW but sometimes arrogant bullys need to have someone come back at them. I have been here for 2 years and have sat by as he slanders, bullys, and spews trash. People may get angry, but I enjoyed breaking bad and I feel a more positive, less repetitive WW is more enjoyable. Plus my name has a period.


          • Flint

            Why don’t you ignore him then? You say “Yeah I´m a prick”… so you’re solution is to lower the bar vs raise it? If someone is a jerk that’s one problem, but you’re creating two, or three, or four and then the comments are full of BS. I for one am tired of it, get it together or get out.

          • The GREAT WW.

            Sorry you feel that way. Don’t read my comments and all should be right in your world again. My comments are BS?, I say no to that. They are hockey comments. Positive hockey comments. Enjoy the game fellow Flames fan.


          • Flint

            But you’re not sorry that I feel that way and I didn’t say that your comments were BS. I said the forum is full of BS, which is the back and forth between people that aren’t contributing to the conversation, and creating duplicate accounts, and creating “copy” accounts which you admit to above. If you were sorry about how people felt you’d listen to them and take action.

          • deantheraven

            I couldn’t care less if you are having your period or not.
            Get original. break his balls if you like, but choose yer own handle. There’s only 1 WW ’round these parts.

          • Mitchell

            I’m not really a fan of all these fictitious personalities on here either. I would like to see a sincere hockey conversation between everyone, but this is an online forum. You have to expect some jokers on here.

          • Stu Gotz

            I do not agree with you! This site is intended to express opinion and that is exactly what he is doing in an unconventional manner. I have been reading his comments for many years and although I do not agree with everything I actually enjoy them. Your childish games are annoying. Be a man and express your own opinions and let him express his. If you don’t like it simply trash and move on!

  • FlamesFanOtherCity

    Was Smith even injured? Pride maybe. A tired Rittich is still better than a 95% healthy Smith, so I don’t know it makes sense to start Smith. We need the win more than we need Mike Smith to feel like he hasn’t lost his job.

  • Spider you muda&@#ker

    Mangiapane’s game just doesn’t translate to the big league’s yet. Its to bad that first game when he flew in off of the wing and ringed it off the post I was like damn this guy means business this year but I cant remember him doing really anything the last couple games. Glad to see Backlund back and Smith as inconsistent as he has been flames are going to need him because I dont think Rittich can manage a heavy starters work load. Stluis is the perfect kinda team for him to play against if he lets in a stinker good chance boys can overcome it. Games like last night though we need a guy who doesnt let in the softies and I think alot more tight checking 2-1 games are coming so heres hoping Rittich is up to the task.

  • buts

    If Smiths injury was the flu, because a muscle pull wouldn’t heal this quick, then Wednesday’s game was a timbits showing by him. Not something to be optimistic by. Mangiapane really tailed off in his last few games, he needs more seasoning. He will make it one day.

        • The Great perra

          First of all love the name Porcupine. Second Bennett out is not good. Guy wears his heart on his sleeve and goes at 100% every game. Rychel should be able to fill that roll temporarily, but I think the team is going to hurt a little without Mr. moustache.

          • deantheraven

            Don’t be surprised if Rychel fills that role even after Benny comes back.
            This team is starting to have an identity, and Benny’s initials are all over it.
            Rychel has decidedly more grit (and size) than the previous place holders. And he has experience. I hope he makes the most of this chance and makes a hard choice for BT & BP later.

        • Luter 1

          It was the boards yesterday, most guys wouldn’t have got up, he was swearing on his way to the dressing room, then had a very bad shift after that. Concussed to an extent guaranteed. He will be missed part of the new team toughness that has been built and Suter definitely played a little different after Benny never put up with his chippy crap and gave him a good shot to the Shnoz.