The Calgary Flames have made an expected roster move on Saturday afternoon, announcing they’ve re-assigned defenseman Rinat Valiev to the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat.
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) February 9, 2019
Valiev has been recalled to the NHL twice this season due to injuries. Both times he was called up to be an extra body in case someone was hurt in warmups. In both cases he played zero games – he’s been in the NHL for nine days and been a healthy scratch for four games. (He’s appeared so rarely that we still have to use his Montreal photo, as no other is available from our regular channels.)
But with Travis Hamonic’s return to action, it was time for Valiev to head back to the AHL. He likely would’ve been sent down following Thursday’s game had Hamonic not had a bit of a scare late in that game; it looked like he may have had a hand injury, but apparently everything’s okay on that front.
The lesson, kids, is to take a league-minimum contract. Valiev is making just $650,000 at the NHL level and as a result has seemingly been the Flames’ go-to option for short-term recalls on the blue line.