The Calgary Flames will kick off their 2020-21 training camp on Sunday with meetings and on-ice action on Monday. In advance of the club’s roster announcement on Sunday, here’s what to keep an eye out for among all the names.
The numbers game
When you check out the Flames’ reserve list on PuckPedia, you might notice that the Flames have oodles of players under contract. Including the recently-signed Connor Zary, they have 46 players signed – though Zary, Jakob Pelletier and Dustin Wolf will be in junior and likely have their contracts slide for 2020-21.
But with a limit of 36 skaters in camp and 40 under contact, who gets nudged out? We already know that defender Johannes Kinnvall remains in Sweden on loan. But who joins him on the outside of this year’s smaller camp? 12 of the remaining 39 skaters are defensemen, which splits nicely into two or three on-ice groups. So presumably three of the forwards under contract won’t be coming to camp. Which ones? With the Stockton crew a mixture of first and second year pros (who could benefit from practising with the NHLers) combined with veterans like Zac Rinaldo and Buddy Robinson, it’ll be interesting to see who doesn’t make the camp cut.
The junior jumble
An interesting wrinkle this year is the proximity of the Flames’ top young prospects to town. Zary, Pelletier and Wolf are in the World Junior bubble when the tournament ends on Jan. 5, one or more of them could be coming to camp. Because they’re travelling from Edmonton’s bubble (and aren’t going between provinces), they wouldn’t be required to quarantine before joining the Flames on the ice.
We’re told that Zary coming to camp was a carrot dangled to encourage him to sign. Does Pelletier join him and bump another player likely destined for Stockton from the NHL camp? Does Wolf join in and get some reps in while waiting for the WHL to start up?
The Flames will have at least five goalies in camp, in the form of Jacob Markstrom, David Rittich, Louis Domingue, Artyom Zagidulin and Garret Sparks. Is Tyler Parsons far enough along in his injury rehab from an ankle malady that he comes to camp? Does Wolf? And how is the workload distributed among the netminders who come to camp?
Via Pat Steinberg, it sounds like Sparks will be the only try-out player in camp.
Not expecting any #Flames PTO’s other than Sparks ahead of training camp this weekend. 36-skater limit is tight.
Also curious to see if Zary, Pelletier, and Wolf attend camp. Calgary at more than 36 skaters under contract, so would have to omit a few for Zary and/or Pelletier.
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) December 29, 2020