In advance of the Calgary Flames’ game on Thursday night with the Los Angeles Kings, they made a roster move. Oft-scratched defenseman Juuso Välimäki has been assigned to the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat.
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) December 3, 2021
Välimäki, 23, has played eight games and between scratched for the other 14 games this season. When he has played, it’s been (a) decently and (b) on the club’s third pairing. He has two assists in those eight games.
Välimäki is young, talented, and still pretty raw as a pro after missing a season and a half due to injury over his first two pro seasons. He’s headed to a Stockton Heat club that is lacking in high-end defensive talent, so he should be able to go down there, play a ton, and perhaps regain his swagger in all three zones.
$1.125 million of Välimäki’s $1.55 million cap hit will be buried in the minors, which means Välimäki will still carry a $450,000 cap hit while he’s with Stockton. (Since he was sent down after 5 p.m. MT, his demotion won’t be reflected against the salary cap until Friday.)
The Flames have 22 players on their active roster now: two goalies, seven defensemen and 13 forwards.