We’re a couple weeks out from the scheduled start of Phase 3 of Return to Play, training camp, and Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving provided a lot of detail on his club’s approach to camp (including a roster) on Friday’s media conference call.
Other info: Teams will be permitted to bring 30 skaters plus an unlimited number of goaltenders to camp, and 28 skaters plus unlimited GT for tournament. Players on IR do not count against limit.
— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) June 20, 2020
Consistent with Larry Brooks’ reporting from a week ago, NHL clubs are operating under the assumption right now that they can have 30 skaters and unlimited goaltenders in training camp and bring 28 of those skaters to the hub for Phase 4.
It hasn’t been set formally in stone, so it could change, but it seems fairly final.
The tentative invite list
Treliving shared a tentative list of players that are being invited to camp: forwards Alan Quine, Buddy Robinson, Byron Froese, Glenn Gawdin, Austin Czarnik, Matthew Phillips and Adam Ruzicka, defenseman Alexander Yelesin, and goaltenders Jon Gillies and Artyom Zagiduln.
Ryan Lomberg is recovering from a significant injury suffered in Stockton, so he’s a question mark for camp. College signing Connor Mackey is coming to camp but isn’t eligible to play. The thought is getting experience in the camp will be beneficial to Mackey’s development.
Regarding the inclusion of Ruzicka, a 21-year-old first year pro (and the youngest player in camp), Treliving had a pretty simple rationale: he deserves it. He provided his thoughts on the camp invites:
To me I think it was serving two purposes. Making sure your roster is ready for injury and having depth to call up, and because of a lot of players there, are there people here that I think the camp experience is going to be good for their development, too.
Phase 4 eligible players not brought to camp include Jakob Pelletier, Luke Philp, Eetu Tuulola, Martin Pospisil, Dmitry Zavgorodniy, Justin Kirkland, Rinat Valiev, Andrew Nielsen, Carl-Johan Lerby, Nick Schneider and Tyler Parsons. Emilo Pettersen, Colton Poolman, Johannes Kinnvall and Dustin Wolf weren’t eligible to play in Phase 4 and weren’t invited. It was very much a numbers game.
The tentative roster
Based on the final NHL rosters on March 12 and the disclosed invites, here’s who will (tentatively) be in camp on July 10:
Goaltenders : David Rittich, Cam Talbot, Jon Gillies and Artyom Zagidulin
Defensemen : Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie, Noah Hanifin, Travis Hamonic, Michael Stone, Erik Gustafsson, Derek Forbort, Rasmus Andersson, Oliver Kylington and Alexander Yelesin
Forwards : Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm, Mikael Backlund, Matthew Tkachuk, Andrew Mangapane, Milan Lucic, Derek Ryan, Dillon Dube, Sam Bennett, Mark Jankowski, Tobias Rieder, Zac Rinaldo, Austin Czarnik, Byron Froese, Glenn Gawdin, Matthew Phillips, Alan Quine, Buddy Robinson and Adam Ruzicka
Injured non-roster : Juuso Valimaki
Non-roster : Connor Mackey
Question mark/injured : Ryan Lomberg
Presuming that Valimaki and Lomberg (injured) and Mackey (can’t play) aren’t included in the tally, that’s 30 skaters.
Treliving noted that while the Flames had a few injured bodies on the blueline when the season was paused, they’re healthy now. Juuso Valimaki is considered an exception – he’s still considered injured – and they’ll evaluate him when he arrives in town.
The Flames had a fairly defined veteran group this season, but don’t think Treliving is going to shoo anybody from the existing NHL group into the qualifying round roster by default.
Because of the uniqueness of the situation, camp’s important. The top 20 play. This isn’t one of those things where, ‘okay let’s take the first third of the season and see how everybody goes.’ So I don’t care if you played in Stockton or if you played 10 games here, or if you played 70 games here. Can you help us beat Winnipeg? If the answer’s yes, you’re in.
Phase 3 begins July 10. Phase 4’s start date has yet to be set.