FlamesNation Mailbag: one week until the trade deadline
Photo credit:Mike Gould
By Ryan Pike1 year ago
We’re seven days (and a few hours) away from the annual National Hockey League trade deadline! The Calgary Flames are in first place in the Pacific Division! Things are happening!
Let’s dive into the mailbag, friends.
Oliver Kylington’s injury over the weekend was (a) minor and (b) seemingly discovered early on Saturday, as indicated by Michael Stone’s comments. For road trips, the Flames always prefer to have an extra healthy defender and forward in case somebody gets hurt during warm-up – with Kylington out, they were carrying two forwards. Ruzicka was likely to be rotating out of the lineup in the back-to-back anyway, so floating him down to Stockton to open a short-term roster spot was the best (and only) option given they didn’t have enough time to put anybody on waivers.
In short: it was for insurance.
Cole Huckins is listed on the roster for the Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the QMJHL. But he hasn’t played since Feb. 13 and has been listed by the club as a healthy scratch on their game sheets. The team hasn’t declared anything about his status either way, and typically teams provide some minor injury updates – it’s been a month, so you would think the Titan would’ve mentioned something about an injury in the interim. They haven’t, so we’re left to speculate.
In short: yes. When the Flames have clinched a playoff spot, I imagine a few players will become day-to-day with minor injuries and sit out to recover from said injuries, allowing the Flames to bring up a few players short-term on emergency recalls. Matthew Phillips and Jakob Pelletier are prime contenders for those gigs.
If we’re being honest here, the Flames won’t make any significant roster changes for the 2022 playoffs, but they’ll need inexpensive depth players for the 2022-23 season given the raises likely being given (or offered) to key players, these short-term recalls are likely going to be auditions for future full-time gigs.
The hats are collected and donated to local charities. (The charities have varied from year to year and I haven’t gotten confirmation about the current charity they use.)
The big challenge is the Flames’ cap situation. They like Nikita Zadorov and how he’s played, but I’m sure they’d rather keep Erik Gudbranson given #44’s penalty killing excellence and lower cap hit. Keeping either of the third pairing players will be really tough next season given the big raises likely being given (or offered) to several key players this off-season.
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