100Johnny Gaudreau
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports

Handicapping the training camp battles

There are a lot of bodies in Calgary Flames training camp. The club has 55 players in camp as they try to put together a team that could capture a Stanley Cup – or at least win a playoff round. But many of the NHL jobs are already spoken for.

Here’s a glance at who has a shot at jobs in camp, and who’s just happy to get an invite.

Locks

These guys are definitely on the team.

Goalies (2): David Rittich and Cam Talbot

Defensemen (5): Rasmus Andersson, Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie, Travis Hamonic and Noah Hanifin

Forwards (9): Derek Ryan, Mikael Backlund, Johnny Gaudreau, Milan Lucic, Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm, Michael Frolik, Mark Jankowski and Sam Bennett

Conveniently, these guys are all part of the same on-ice group (Team Murzyn) in camp.

On the bubble

There are likely one or two defensive spots available and between two and four forward spots, depending on the salary cap situation and whether the Flames get their restricted free agents signed.

Defensemen (4): Michael Stone, Andrew MacDonald (PTO), Oliver Kylington and Brandon Davidson

Forwards (6): Devante Smith-Pelly (PTO), Austin Czarnik, Dillon Dube, Alan Quine, Matthew Phillips and Glenn Gawdin

Kylington is likely only on the team if he wins a job on the third pairing, as there’s no point parking a waiver exempt youngster in the press box. The other three could be the seventh defender. Phillips and Gawdin have worked their way into this group with strong rookie camps.

Davidson, Gawdin and Phillips are in the secondary (Team Otto) group in camp, suggesting they may be on the outside looking in.

Happy to be here

These guys aren’t going to make the Flames roster out of camp. They’re here to get some reps in and improve with an eye on working their way into call-up spots (or NHL contracts).

Goalies (5): Jon Gillies, Tyler Parsons, Artyom Zagidulin, Nick Schneider and Dustin Wolf (unsigned)

Defensemen (7): Rinat Valiev, Andrew Nielsen, Alexander Yelesin, Eric Gryba (PTO), Corey Schueneman (AHL), Rob Hamilton (AHL) and Zac Leslie (AHL)

Forwards (17): Tobias Rieder (PTO), Zac Rinaldo (PTO), Byron Froese, Alexandre Grenier (PTO), Luke Philp, Jakob Pelletier (unsigned), Jeremy McKenna (AHL), Justin Kirkland, Buddy Robinson, Adam Ruzicka, Milos Roman (unsigned), Ryan Lomberg, Eetu Tuulola, Martin Pospisil, Dmitry Zavgorodniy, Mason Morelli (AHL) and Alex Gallant (AHL)

Pretty much everyone listed here is part of Team Otto during camp.

Injured

This guy would be on the team, except they’re hurt.

Defensemen (1): Juuso Valimaki

Waiting on contracts

These guys would be on the team, except they’re unsigned RFAs.

Forwards (2): Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane