10Zac Rinaldo
Photo Credit: Stan Szeto/USA Today Sports

Austin Czarnik clears waivers, assigned to Stockton; Zac Rinaldo recalled

The Calgary Flames have continued their roster shuffling. Forward Austin Czarnik has cleared waivers and has been assigned to the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat. Forward Zac Rinaldo, assigned to Stockton yesterday so there would be a roster spot for Czarnik during the waiver process, has been recalled from Stockton.

Czarnik hasn’t played an NHL game since suffering a high ankle sprain back in October. The idea right now is he needs to play a lot to get up to NHL speed, which is probably something he can’t do on an NHL team that’s in the midst of battling for their playoff lives right now. Plus, the roster situation is a bit of a crunch with Dillon Dube playing so well.

Let’s do some quick salary cap math, friends:

  • Rinaldo back up adds $700,000 to the Flames cap hit.
  • $175,000 of Czarnik’s $1.25 million cap hit remains on the Flames cap.

All-told, the Flames roster is now at the 23 player maximum (14 forwards, seven defenders and two goalies) and their cap hit is approximately $81.75 million, a scant $250,000 over the cap ceiling (but that’s allowed as the Flames still have Juuso Valimaki on the long-term injury reserve so they’re allowed to go $894,000 over the cap while he’s injured).

Rinaldo’s waiver exemption will expire tomorrow, so the Flames will have very minimal cap and roster flexibility for the foreseeable future.