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Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Breaking down the Phase 3 roster, from Andersson to Zagidulin

It’s finally here, gang! After being off for four damn months, the Calgary Flames are back on the ice for reals on Monday for Phase 3 of the Return to Play. They have 35 players in camp, so we’ve gone to the trouble to handicapping everybody’s chances of making the trip north for Phase 4 and the onset of the post-season.

Note: When we refer to years pro, we’re referring to years being a full-time pro. Sorry European players, but your year split between junior and the SHL doesn’t count here.

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ANDERSSON, Rasmus [RD]

#4; 23-years-old; from Malmo, Sweden
Calgary’s 2015 second round pick; fourth year pro, 5 NHL playoff games (Flames)
A lock to play in Phase 4; likely second defensive pairing

BACKLUND, Mikael [C]

#11; 31-years-old; from Vasteras, Sweden; alternate captain
Calgary’s 2007 first round pick; 11th year pro, 20 NHL playoff games (Flames)
A lock to play in Phase 4; likely second line centre

BENNETT, Sam [LW]

#93; 24-years-old; from Holland Landing, Ontario
Calgary’s 2014 first round pick; fifth year pro; 20 NHL playoff games (Flames)
A lock to play in Phase 4; likely fourth line winger
Pending restricted free agent

BRODIE, TJ [RD]

#7; 30-years-old; from Chatham, Ontario
Calgary’s 2008 fourth round pick; 10th year pro; 20 NHL playoff games (Flames)
A lock to play in Phase 4; likely first defensive pairing
Pending unrestricted free agent

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CZARNIK, Austin [RW]

#27; 27-years-old; from Detroit, Michigan
Signed as a free agent; fifth year pro; 1 NHL playoff game (Flames)
Potential depth forward for Phase 4; status as a right shot forward and his speed are big assets
Pending unrestricted free agent

DUBE, Dillon [LW]

#29; 21-years-old (turns 22 on July 20); from Golden, B.C.
Calgary’s 2016 second round pick; second year pro; 0 NHL playoff games
A lock to play in Phase 4; likely third line winger

FORBORT, Derek [LD]

#20; 28-years-old; from Duluth, Minnesota
Acquired in trade from Los Angeles; seventh year pro; 0 NHL playoff games
Probable to play in Phase 4; loss of Travis Hamonic makes his penalty killing near-essential; probably third defensive pairing
Pending unrestricted free agent

FROESE, Byron [C]

#38; 29-years-old; from Winkler, Manitoba; Stockton’s captain
Signed as a free agent; ninth year pro; 0 NHL playoff games
Bubble player for Phase 4; he’s a right shot center, but age and upside a concern – if you had a choice, Adam Ruzicka likely gets more growth from the Phase 4 experience than Froese would
Pending unrestricted free agent

GAUDREAU, Johnny [LW]

#13; 26-years-old (turns 27 in August); from Carney’s Point, New Jersey
Calgary’s 2011 fourth round pick; sixth year pro; 20 NHL playoff games (Flames)
A lock to play in Phase 4; likely first line winger

GAWDIN, Glenn [C]

#42; 23-years-old; from Richmond, B.C.
Signed as a free agent; second year pro; 0 NHL playoff games
Potential depth forward for Phase 4; right shot forward who plays multiple positions and got called up this season
Pending restricted free agent

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GILLIES, Jon [G]

#32; 26-years-old; from Concord, New Hampshire
Calgary’s 2012 third round pick; fifth year pro; 0 NHL playoff games
Potential depth goalie in Phase 4; he’s played NHL games, which makes him a preferred Plan C over Artyom Zagidulin
Pending Group VI unrestricted free agent

GIORDANO, Mark [LD]

#5; 36-years-old; from Toronto, Ontario; captain; 2018-19 Norris Trophy winner
Signed as a free agent; 16th year pro; 13 NHL playoff games (Flames)
A lock to play in Phase 4; potential first defensive pairing

GUSTAFSSON, Erik [RD]

#56; 28-years-old; from Nynashamn, Sweden
Acquired in trade from Chicago; eighth year pro; 5 NHL playoff games (Chicago)
Probable to play in Phase 4; power play specialist who can play either side of the ice; probably third defensive pairing
Pending unrestricted free agent

HANIFIN, Noah [LD]

#55; 23-years-old; from Boston, Massachusetts
Acquired in trade from Carolina; fifth year pro; 5 NHL playoff games (Flames)
A lock to play in Phase 4; likely second defensive pairing

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JANKOWSKI, Mark [C]

#77; 25-years-old; from Hamilton, Ontario
Calgary’s 2012 first round pick; fourth year pro; 5 NHL playoff games (Flames)
A lock to play in Phase 4; fourth-best centre on the roster, but also a known commodity – it probably wouldn’t be smart to give Glenn Gawdin his first NHL taste in the playoffs; probably fourth line centre
Pending restricted free agent

KYLINGTON, Oliver [LD]

#58; 23-years-old; from Stockholm, Sweden
Calgary’s 2015 second round pick; fifth year pro; 0 NHL playoff games
Potential depth defender; has NHL experience and chemistry with this group, but Forbort and Gustafsson played ahead of him down the stretch
Pending restricted free agent

LINDHOLM, Elias [RW]

#28; 25-years-old; from Boden, Sweden
Acquired in trade from Carolina; eighth year pro; 5 NHL playoff games (Flames)
A lock to play in Phase 4; likely first line winger

LUCIC, Milan [LW]

#17; 32-years-old; from Vancouver, B.C.
Acquired in trade from Edmonton; 13th year pro; 114 NHL playoff games (Boston/Los Angeles/Edmonton), Stanley Cup winner in 2011
A lock to play in Phase 4; likely third line winger

MACKEY, Connor [LD]

#6; 23-years-old; from Tower Lakes, Illinois;
Signed as a free agent; 0th year pro; 0 NHL playoff games
Not eligible to play in Phase 4 (contract doesn’t kick in until 2020-21)

MANGIAPANE, Andrew [LW]

#88; 24-years-old; from Bolton, Ontario
Calgary’s 2015 sixth round pick; fourth year pro; 5 NHL playoff games (Flames), scored only playoff game-winner for Flames against Colorado in 2019 playoffs
A lock to play in Phase 4; likely second line winger
Pending restricted free agent

MONAHAN, Sean [C]

#23; 25-years-old; from Brampton, Ontario; alternate captain
Calgary’s 2013 first round pick; seventh year pro; 20 NHL playoff games (Flames)
A lock to play in Phase 4; likely first line center

PHILLIPS, Matthew [RW]

#41; 22-years-old; from Calgary, Alberta
Calgary’s 2016 sixth round pick; second year pro; 0 NHL playoff games
Probable depth forward for Phase 4; can play multiple positions and was called up (but didn’t dress) earlier this season

QUINE, Alan [LW]

#89; 27-years-old; from Belleville, Ontario
Signed as a free agent; seventh year pro; 10 NHL playoff games (NY Islanders)
Probable depth forward for Phase 4; can play multiple positions and has playoff experience
Pending unrestricted free agent

RIEDER, Tobias [RW]

#22; 27-years-old; from Landshut, Germany
Signed as a free agent; seventh year pro; 4 NHL playoff games (Los Angeles)
Almost a lock to play in Phase 4; can kill penalties and play multiple positions; potentially alternates a fourth line spot with Zac Rinaldo
Pending unrestricted free agent

RINALDO, Zac [LW]

#36; 30-years-old; from Hamilton, Ontario
Signed as a free agent; 10th year pro; 14 NHL playoff games (Philadelphia)
Almost a lock to play in Phase 4; has playoff experience and can play a heavy game; potentially alternates a fourth line spot with Tobias Rieder
Pending unrestricted free agent

RITTICH, David [G]

#33; 27-years-old (turns 28 in August); from Jihlava, Czech Republic
Signed as a free agent; eighth year pro; 0 NHL playoff games
A lock to dress in goal in Phase 4; a coin-toss to be the Game 1 starter; Brad Treliving referred to him as the team’s first-half MVP recently

ROBINSON, Buddy [RW]

#53; 28-years-old; from Bellmawr, New Jersey; given name is Charles Robinson III
Signed as a free agent; seventh year pro; 0 NHL playoff games
Probable depth forward for Phase 4; is big, can play physical, and has NHL experience
Pending unrestricted free agent

RUZICKA, Adam [C]

#63; 21-years-old; from Bratislava, Slovakia
Calgary’s 2017 fourth round pick; first year pro; 0 NHL playoff games
Probable depth forward for Phase 4; is big, is young, and would likely benefit from being around the team even if he doesn’t dress

RYAN, Derek [C]

#10; 33-years-old; from Spokane, Washington
Signed as a free agent; ninth year pro; 5 NHL playoff games (Flames)
A lock to play in Phase 4; likely third line centre

STONE, Michael [RD]

#26; 30-years-old; from Winnipeg, Manitoba
Signed as a free agent; 10th year pro; 6 NHL playoff games (Flames & Phoenix)
Probable depth defender for Phase 4; has size, a right shot, and experience in the playoffs
Pending unrestricted free agent

TALBOT, Cam [G]

#39; 33-years-old; from Caledonia, Ontario
Signed as a free agent; 10th year pro; 15 NHL playoff games (NY Rangers/Edmonton)
A lock to dress in goal in Phase 4; at worst a coin-toss to be the Game 1 starter given his strong performances down the stretch
Pending unrestricted free agent

TKACHUK, Matthew [LW]

#19; 22-years-old; from St. Louis, Missouri; alternate captain
Calgary’s 2016 first round pick; fourth year pro; 9 NHL playoff games (Flames)
A lock to play in Phase 4; likely second line winger

VALIMAKI, Juuso [LD]

#8; 21-years-old; from Nokia, Finland
Calgary’s 2017 first round pick; second year pro; 2 NHL playoff games (Flames)
Potential depth defender; arguably the club’s top prospect, but hasn’t played in a year due to a knee injury

YELESIN, Alexander [RD]

#45; 24-years-old; from Yaroslavl, Russia
Signed as a free agent; third year pro; 0 NHL playoff games
Potential depth defender; has NHL experience this season and is a right shot (a rarity on this blueline)

ZAGIDULIN, Artyom [G]

#50; 24-years-old (turns 25 in August); from Magnitigorsk, Russia
Signed as a free agent; fourth year pro; 0 NHL playoff games
Bubble goalie for Phase 4; has no NHL games under his belt and folks might be nervous about him being a couple injuries away from playing

A probable Phase 4 roster

I project that the Flames will bring 3 goaltenders, 9 defensemen and 19 forwards to Edmonton.

Johnny Gaudreau – Sean Monahan – Elias Lindholm
Andrew Mangiapane – Mikael Backlund – Matthew Tkachuk
Milan Lucic – Derek Ryan – Dillon Dube
Sam Bennett – Mark Jankowski – Tobias Rieder
Zac Rinaldo – Glenn Gawdin – Matthew Phillips
Alan Quine – Adam Ruzicka – Austin Czarnik
Buddy Robinson

Mark Giordano – TJ Brodie
Noah Hanifin – Rasmus Andersson
Derek Forbort – Erik Gustafsson
Oliver Kylington – Michael Stone
Alexander Yelesin

Cam Talbot
David Rittich
Jon Gillies

Projected Cuts: Artyom Zagidulin, Connor Mackey, Juuso Valimaki, Byron Froese

Zagidulin lacks NHL experience and it would be unfair to throw him into the deep end in this situation. Mackey’s not eligible to play so that’s an easy cut. Valimaki is coming off a serious injury and would be expansion exempt if he doesn’t play. And it’s between Froese and Ruzicka for the last spot, to me, and Ruzicka likely grows his game a bit from being a practice body in this situation.