With preseason half over, the Flames have begun to cut their roster down. Today, they assigned Mason Morelli, Alex Gallant, Jeremy McKenna, and Nick Schneider to the Stockton Heat.
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) September 21, 2019
Obviously, these aren’t huge cuts. Morelli, Gallant, and McKenna are only on AHL contracts, so cutting them is a formality. Schneider is on an NHL deal, but he was never really in the goalie competition, evident by him not playing any preseason hockey for the club.
All of these players will likely be competing for the fringes of the Stockton Heat. Morelli, a 23 year old LW NCAA free agent, had a nice audition with the Heat at the end of the 2018-19 season scoring three goals and adding an assist in nine games, but figures to slide in behind established AHL veterans and NHL contracted Flames prospects.
Ditto for the RW McKenna, 20 years old, who’s a bit more intriguing due to his very productive QMJHL career (former teammate of Jakob Pelletier) but also has a list of Flames wingers to battle against. Gallant, 26, is the fighting bear of the group, having racked up 102 PIMS and two points in his most recent AHL campaign.
Schneider is likely headed to the ECHL. With Artyom Zagidulin, Jon Gillies, and Tyler Parsons ahead of him on the depth chart, he’s the odd man out, even if one of those goalies gets shipped out.
The Flames’ camp roster now sits at 49 players – five goalies, 16 defensemen and 28 forwards – excluding the injured Juuso Valimaki and unsigned restricted free agent Matthew Tkachuk.