13Dillon Dube
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports

A quick look at the Flames’ forward call-ups so far

The Flames went into the 2018 offseason focusing on depth. When they caught the injury bug during various points of the 2017-18 season, there were few able to step up and make positive impacts. To remedy the issues, the Flames brought in fresh faces in an attempt to not only upgrade the NHL regulars, but the guys who they needed to replace the NHL regulars.

Especially so for forwards. The team needed depth scoring last season, didn’t get it and suffered the consequences. With a playoff-ready top six, this just wasn’t acceptable.

Their attempts at addressing forward depth have been put to the test early and often this season. Injuries and suspensions have required the Flames to dip into their AHL prospect pool to ice a full roster. So how have those call-ups done so far?

Dillon Dube – C/LW

Games played Goals Assists Points 5v5 CF%
23 1 4 5 47.92%

It’s kind of weird to call Dube a call-up. After all, he began the season in Calgary and was one of the exciting stories in the early goings of the season. The Flames had finally broken their second round drafting curse and found an energetic and useful bottom sixer. He made the team out of camp and stuck around in the lineup for about a quarter of the season.

But it’s obvious that he’s had his struggles. Dube may be one of the Flames’ most promising and NHL-ready prospects, but he still isn’t there yet, and has spent most of his recent time in the AHL. He’s been one of Stockton’s best players in the nine games he’s spent in in California, picking up nine points along the way.

Dube will likely get another shot to prove he can stick around in the lineup full time. There’s a spot in the lineup that ostensibly can be taken by a prospect, but no one has outright claimed it just yet. With continued strong AHL appearances, he’s likely not going to spend much longer in that league.

Alan Quine – C

Games played Goals Assists Points 5v5 CF%
9 3 1 4 46.88%

A July 1 signing, Quine figured to be good AHL depth. Although he hadn’t played in that league full time since 2015-16, he had found scant usage on Long Island and didn’t really have a place on a packed Calgary lineup.

Quine’s worked his way back up the ladder. He was recalled in early December and scored in his Flames debut, later followed by a two-goal outburst against the St. Louis Blues. However, he wasn’t really noticeable in the lineup. Twice, Quine was held to fewer than five minutes of ice time.

Quine will likely be back in Calgary at some point. He is an experienced player who, surprisingly, does have NHL playoff experience (I actually gasped at learning he had five points in 10 playoff games). He probably won’t light the lamp as often as he did in his first recall, but he’s a guy who has seen more of the NHL than other call-ups, which is valuable.

Andrew Mangiapane – LW

Games played Goals Assists Points 5v5 CF%
7 0 0 0 46.92%

Mangiapane’s been a long time coming. He’s been a high scorer at every level but the NHL, but injuries and lack of opportunity have kept him away from the league.

For Mangiapane, turning potential into results has come tough. He looked alive when he was recalled but just as quickly fell to the wayside. Perhaps it was related to the injury that kept him on the IR until recently, but it is undeniable that he became less and less effective as his recall went on.

He’s one of those candidates who could win the same job Dube above is competing for, but Mangiapane currently might have the inside track. While it was expected that he would be reassigned after being activated from the IR, he’s currently a healthy scratch in the NHL, with hints that Bill Peters might use him soon. It’s an opportunity for Mangiapane to claim a spot.

Ryan Lomberg – LW

Games played Goals Assists Points 5v5 CF%
4 0 0 0 25%

Lomberg’s made his name in the pros as a fearless competitor always willing to take on a bigger opponent. Add in a minor scoring edge and shorthanded ability, and you can see why he’s a tempting recall.

Lomberg has had an adventurous four-game stint in the NHL this season. His retaliation against Minnesota’s Matt Dumba earned him a two-game suspension, but that was about the only significant thing. He’s quite clearly not cut out for regular NHL action, as his numbers show. The Flames might go for him as a recall anyways for the qualities listed above, though.

Anthony Peluso – RW

Games played Goals Assists Points 5v5 CF%
4 0 0 0 50%

The Flames knew what they were getting in Peluso, a big fighter from the Winnipeg Jets. He was here to fight and provide AHL leadership when he wasn’t in the NHL.

In the NHL, he’s a dancing bear that’s danced once. He’s only seen more than five minutes of ice time on one occasion, and even then he was only 16 seconds over his quota. I don’t think he’s going to return to Calgary anytime soon, but coaches love the tough guys.

Kerby Rychel – LW

Games played Goals Assists Points 5v5 CF%
2 0 0 0 34.38%

Rychel’s career has been a rocky one. Considered a standout prospect after being drafted in the 2013 first round, he’s been shuffled from team to team without having found an NHL opportunity anywhere.

Ditto in Calgary. Unfortunately, we just don’t know enough about Rychel at the NHL level to say anything about him. He’s always been a very good AHLer, but his inability and/or lack of opportunity at the NHL level has kept his career parked in neutral. Maybe we see more of him when the season starts winding down.

  • MDG1600

    If depth scoring was the objective I wouldn’t call 4 goals in 49 games a success. The success of the Flames and the top line in particular is masking the reality that we have a very weak prospect pool at the moment.

    • freethe flames

      This and the lack of production from the FA signings is why we keep discussing the need for adding a forward before the TD. Janko, Bennett, Backs, Hathaway, and Frolik’s numbers will all be around last years numbers; give or take.

      • withachance

        I dont think those guys were the problems last year. The problem was that the bottom 6 was bleeding goals against, and I just dont think thats happening this year with Ryan and Czarnik/Hath. IMO, if the depth players can prevent the other team from scoring consistently, thats the same as getting better numbers than last year.

        I dont think anyone expected the callups to come in and light it up, but they’ve shown they are responsible players and not pushovers defensively. To me, the depth players between this year and last year is night and day. I trust the 4th line players today so much more than the 4th or 3rd line players of last year.

    • wot96

      The prospect pool is a puddle in part because we have traded away some high picks but also because the Flames have succeeded with so many of the high picks they kept. A couple of seconds, a couple of firsts from recent years (three or less) are playing for the big team. Most franchises would love to have that success ratio from the first two rounds.

      • Harley Hotchkiss’s Ghost

        The prospects pool won’t seem as bad in a year or two when Petterson, Posposil, Zavgorodny, Roman, etc take a step forward next year. It’s better now than it was back when Ryan Howse was our top rated prospect under Sutter. There is some actual potential NHL talent there, even if it’s jot super glamorous.

        Having Ty Smith though in the system would be sure nice right about now if we didn’t give away the farm for Hamonic.

  • deantheraven

    The NHL is a fickle mistress. Patience is seldom practised while often preached. ‘Tweeners’ abound. To my eye, it’s impossible to determine the ceilings of these players. I wonder how many of these call ups here will match or better the Paul Byrons of seasons past, or if they’ll ever get the chance to prove their worth in the Big Time.
    What a career choice!

    • freethe flames

      I have said for much of the season that a guy like Mangiapane career so far reminds me a lot like Byrons and that is why I am patient with him; he is still young. The same can be said for Dube. The others are true tweeners(25+ years of age) and some of them have breakout years but most remain tweeners.

  • L.Kolkind

    I read on article on Tyler Graovac today on the The Athletic and he could be in line for a call up as well. He has produced pretty well, has NHL experience and is a big man. The Flames have some quality call up options at the forward ranks, but are very low in goal and D.

    • oilcanboyd

      Great backstory on a guy I knew sweet tweet about! Makes you want to pull for him. In case of injury to a centre do you call up Lazar who hasn’t bust the door down to secure an NHL career or Tyler Graovac at 6’5″ 208#. Size insurance with Tyler Graovac.

      • freethe flames

        A tweener and I have no problem with him being a call up. We have lots of bottom 6 forwards to call up and he is indeed one of them. My concern is for the top end.