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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Flames reassign Curtis Lazar to Stockton

The Flames have made a minor move today, reassigning forward Curtis Lazar back to the AHL after recalling him prior to the trade deadline.

The right winger was recalled on Feb. 15 after James Neal went down with injury, but despite picking up 36 points in 46 AHL games after being demoted to start the season, Lazar did not factor into any of the Flames’ lineups during the 11 games he was on the roster. He was probably not viewed as a lineup option, but rather insurance in case of a game-time decision.

Lazar was not in danger of losing his 30-day waiver exemption (if the Flames were even afraid of him being claimed on waivers), falling eight days short. There’s probably a few reasons for sending Lazar. The primary one is most likely Neal’s eventual return to the lineup. Although there is no indication that he will play Sunday night against Las Vegas, Neal is skating again. It also likely indicates that Sam Bennett is healthy after a dangerous hit ended his night early in Arizona.

But that’s only part of the rationale. The other part may be that the team did not feel that Lazar would add an upgrade on anyone in the lineup or scratch any particular itch. Speculating of course, but Bill Peters indicated that the Flames will recall another forward prior to their tilt against the Golden Knights.

Lazar will rejoin a streaking Stockton Heat team, who have won four of their last five games. The Flames still have three recalls remaining between now and the end of the regular season.

  • Hockey4life

    Not sure why he wouldn’t have got a couple games in to see if his success and confidence from the A would factor in at the NHL level.
    I’m happy to have Neal back. I have a good feeling about him for some reason.

  • The GREAT WW

    Good thing he has such a great attitude because I don’t think we have treated him all that well…

    Keep playing hard Curtis!!!!
    You’ll get another chance.

    WW

  • Dunk

    Yah keep the same crap up.
    They sure havent given Lazar a chance. They should send Monahan down. Maybe someone would pick him up. Free Johnny from his ball and chain…

  • Skylardog

    A four game losing streak, only 5 goals in the last 4 games, and 14 in the last 8, and we can’t find a single game for a fast, physical, defensively responsible, positive player for even one game?

    Really lost some faith in the organization. If the team was rolling along fine, but this is a team on a death spiral right now.

    Absolutely shocked…

  • Jimmyhaggis

    Don’t like this move, the guy works his butt off in Stockton, improves his game with hope of another chance, gets called up, sits, then back to jail. Crush a guys confidence 101.

  • Hockey4life

    Ok now I’m even more pissed. Originally this post said it must mean Neals returning to the lineup but now they say they are recalling a different forward. WTF??? This makes no sense. You deserve better Curtis.

    • deantheraven

      After a strong season in Stockton, a career “Team Guy” who knows his role and goal like Lazar is just the type of player who would make a difference in the room and on the ice.

  • SouthernFlame

    Maybe they thought it was better for him to head back down to get some game time in instead of sitting and watching. They play tomorrow in San Jose I believe. Although I do agree with everyone that he did deserve at least a game. Do they stream their games down there? I wouldnt mind watching tomorrows early game

  • Korcan

    I had forgotten he was with the Flames. Him not getting a chance to play is more a testament to how well the depth players have been playing than anything else. I dont think anyone was expecting Czarnik’s game to take off the way it did when Neal went down.

  • Joel Ottos Jock

    How Mangiapane gets dressed and plays on the fourth line over Lazar blows my mind. Poor player usage and asset management. I really hope Lazar keeps his happy go lucky attitude thru this.

    • Sir ryosus

      Lazar got the demotion he asked for. How many points did he put up last year? Why does everyone go on like he could be a game breaker- he’s not. Loved the guy in world Jr’s. Positive attitude is great but AHL player if we’re honest with ourselves.

          • Skylardog

            Lazar with the Flames, 1.31 P/60, Mangi 0.93 P/60

            P/game this year is 0.20, but throw in last season and what is it? The answer, 0.15. It has been 0.20 on a team this season that can flat out score and in a season where points are up across the board.
            Include all of Lazar’s time in Calgary and you get 0.22. That was on a team that has trouble scoring and in a season where production was much lower than what it is this year.

      • HOCKEY83

        Disagree. He hasn’t been given a fair shake playing with any sort of skill in Calgary…who’d he play with last season Brouwer and Stajan for limited minutes on the 4th line. He also got a bum deal in Ottawa too…I guess not everyone with very limuted skill can be gifted top line minutes with skilled players like Ferland was gifted.

        • Albertabeef

          4th liners might not be relied on for points, but they should chip in. They are ones who tend to turn tides of a game when they contribute unexpectedly. However top 20 first round picks and guys that cost the team a second round pick generally are expected to produce at a Frolik to Backlund range. Lazar is Hathaway “lite”. The only way I’d play Lazar is if Hathaway got injured.

    • Albertabeef

      Mange has 3 goals this season so far, Lazar had 2 last year. Go ahead and bring up he Played with Stajan and Brouwer last season. They both had career worst years last year. Could that be from having to play with a crappy Lazar? Hell Brouwer has 3 more goals this year with a worse team.

      • Skylardog

        Lazar did have 3 last season. Are you arguing that Mangi is better than Lazar, because in reality, neither are lighting it up.

        At least Lazar can stay on his feet in the corner…

        And yah, it must have been Lazar that made Brouwer bad. After all, he did spend way too many minutes on the powerplay with JG and Mony. How did that go?

        • Albertabeef

          According to NHL.com/stats Lazar had 2 goals and 10 assist for 12 points in I think 64 games(not looking it up again). You said Lazar had more points, yes you were right but Mangiapane has a higher points per game ratio. Stats wise at the NHL and AHL level would suggest that Mangiapane is the better player.

  • FlamesFanOtherCity

    Other than being handled poorly, I’m not sure why people are so upset. He didn’t make the team out of camp over Dube. Wasn’t claimed by any team. People were so PO’d that we traded a 2nd for him and he failed to impress here. Somehow, we need to play him on a team that is 1st in the West? He’s a good sport, but probably not part of the future here.

    • Jumping Jack Flash

      He is easy to like and cheer. He deserves a chance with BP as a coach after playing under GG last year. It is tough to see what we have in him until he is given a chance in the new system.

      • Albertabeef

        God please no more “Stajans”. Nice guy who works hard but struggles to produce. Although Stajan played his role extremely well(wage was my biggest issue with him), and Lazar isn’t even close to his level of play.

    • Skylardog

      Dube got 7 games playing with top notch players in camp.
      Lazar played in just 2 preseason games, mostly with guys that weren’t making the team.
      Not saying Dube is worse or better, but man, could we treat Lazar any worse?

      I am at the point I really hope for him the Flames let him walk in the summer. He will crack an NHL roster if given the chance.

      • Albertabeef

        National Heineken League? Maybe Swiss league. It would probably do him some good to leave the country for a year or two and get a new perspective. I’m still pissed about this trade and that Shinkaruk trade. Andersson this year has calmed my Baertschi trade anger.

      • Kevin R

        Lazar got 2 years to show something & when they fall back down the depth chart it will take extra to find his way back. Law of the jungle, I wouldnt shed too many tears.

    • SgtRoadBlock

      yeah same with the 6’6 Deer they all love him, best Dman to rack up goals on roster at that time, They find out he Reads book so tar and feather him on the way out,

      Heads up Sean loves books…

      GFG

  • Puck Head

    The thing I don’t get about Lazar not getting at least 1 game in while he was up is that some (most) of the guys were playing like feces and should have been sat out.

  • Skylardog

    I have been thinking that this move indicates that Lazar is done with the Flames.

    He has likely had conversations with the Flames while he has been up, and get the strong feeling that he has indicated that he wants to play, either here or in Stockton. A decision to not put him in tomorrow has likely resulted in him asking to go back to Stockton.

    This is about the only thing that makes sense with Peters indicating another player would be brought up to replace him.

    The funny thing is, with the picture above of him battling a Blue Jacket, I get the feeling he will be heading to Columbus over the summer on either a contract or a PTO.

    Really hope I am wrong, but all signs point to his end with the Flames.

    • Jumping Jack Flash

      You may be right but I think BP knows that his bottom 6 has been carrying the team and deserves some loyalty. If Bennett was hurt Iwould have expected Lazar to stay up. Lazar has been passed on the depth chart but I disagree with how he has been handled.

      • Albertabeef

        As far as I can tell he has been handled properly, he may not have handled himself that way. He dressed for 65 games last season and wants to boo hoo about playing time. Get a grip! You have to be better than Hathaway to play on this team, Lazar is not. No way is he knocking anyone out of the line up. Besides we have a 23 player roster limit right? 3 D sitting on the sidelines, someone had to move because of Stone making a comeback.

      • Jumping Jack Flash

        Do people really expect the Flames to do a 360 degrees turn and forget how to score and limp into the playoffs? The team’s confidence is low right now…there is nothing indicating that it is going to stay that way.

        All the teams that picked up a shiny new toy are making an impact but it will tail off. We may not be ideally built for the playoffs but we are a well balanced team that is built to make some noise.

        • Sir ryosus

          My guess is that in playoffs our problem will be that we have no answer to buff, Reaves and the like. Prout doesn’t seem like much of a deterrent. I’m hoping to get to 2nd round let the boys get a taste what it takes to win, dump ?y Smitty and get it done next year.

          • Albertabeef

            since Dec first
            Smith .903 2.73GAA
            Rittich .905sv% 2.87GAA
            since Jan first
            Smith .905 and 2.77
            Rittich .898 and 3.01
            since Feb first
            Smith .912 and 2.57
            Rittich .885 and 3.31

            As it is trending, Rittich blew a tire late last season and seems headed that way again. If he can’t stop his late season slides he will not be our goalie of the future.

      • Albertabeef

        I’m guessing you don’t bet because you know you would never win with your analysis? I know I do gamble and I would never place a significant amount on a bet I did not feel at least 80% confident in. Long shots I play but not with serious amounts, playoffs are a long shot. Low risk high reward bet says I’d put no more than $100 bucks on them to win the cup. At 240-1 odds earlier in the season, that would be a nice payday. I would not mortgage the house on any team in the playoffs, not even Tampa.