In advance of their first round series, the Calgary Flames have made a roster move. The club has recalled goaltender Jon Gillies from the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat.
— z – Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) April 9, 2019
Gillies, 25, has spent the entire season with the Heat (aside from a pair of recalls to dress as backup when one of the Flames’ netminders were nursing injuries). He’s posted a 16-18-5 record with a 3.51 goals against average and .889 save percentage in 45 games with Stockton this season. He’s got a one-way NHL contract for the 2019-20 season, so it makes sense for the Flames to have him around both as a development opportunity for him and as an insurance policy for the club. The team’s carrying 15 forwards, 10 defensemen and now three goaltenders, so they have enough extra bodies to run a full practice if Mike Smith or David Rittich take a morning off here or there to nurse any bumps, bruises or soreness – and in the event anything goes wonky, Gillies has dressed as backup this season so it wouldn’t be anything out of his comfort zone to do so again.
In terms of the CBA mechanics of the move, it’s deceptively simple. The NHL’s weird four regular recall rule no longer is in place following the end of the NHL’s regular season. However, teams are limited to having four players on their roster that were brought up from the AHL on “regular” (non-emergency) recalls until the AHL season is finished in another week. With Alan Quine and Juuso Valimaki already up on regular recalls and Dillon Dube hanging around (and presumably soon to have his emergency recall retroactively turned into a “regular” one), bringing up Gillies gives the Flames their full allotment of AHL call-ups.
The Heat have three games remaining. Tyler Parsons will presumably get the bulk of the starts, with Nick Schneider re-assigned from the ECHL’s Kansas City Mavericks to serve as his backup.