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Lack of waiver moves put Calgary Flames opening roster into focus

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Photo credit:James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
6 months ago
Sunday was the final day for the National Hockey League’s 32 member clubs to place players on waivers before setting their opening rosters on Monday. According to multiple reports from our insider pals, the Calgary Flames placed zero players on waivers.
Their lack of waiver moves have brought their opening roster into pretty clear focus.
Long story short, here’s roughly how things look as of Sunday afternoon.

Waiver-eligible players set for opening roster

Goaltenders: Jacob Markstrom & Daniel Vladar
Defencemen: MacKenzie Weegar, Rasmus Andersson, Noah Hanifin, Chris Tanev, Jordan Oesterle, Nikita Zadorov and Dennis Gilbert
Forwards: Jonathan Huberdeau, Elias Lindholm, Andrew Mangiapane, Adam Ruzicka, Nazem Kadri, Dillon Dube, Yegor Sharangovich, Mikael Backlund, Blake Coleman, Walker Duehr and Dryden Hunt
That’s 20 players with a combined cap hit of $80.5 million.

Unavailable players set for injured/non-roster list

Three players won’t be available when the season opens: Oliver Kylington (personal), Jakob Pelletier (shoulder surgery) and Kevin Rooney (shoulder surgery).
The combined cap hit of these three players is $4.206 million. Combined with the 20 players who require waivers, that’s a cap hit of $84.256 million – $756,000 over the NHL’s cap ceiling. NHL teams are required to submit rosters with a minimum of 20 active players, so all this really means is that the Flames will be using long-term injury cap relief in order to file their opening roster.

Waiver exempt players

The Flames have four players left in camp that are exempt from the waiver process due to their experience levels: Matt Coronato, Cole Schwindt, Ilya Solovyov and Adam Klapka.
The Flames need to file a roster with a maximum of 23 active players (and, again, at least 20), so at least one of these players will be sent to the American Hockey League’s Calgary Wranglers before Monday’s roster deadline.

Anticipated final moves

The other day, our pals at PuckPedia outlined how the Flames cap optimize their roster (and their neccessary usage of LTIR):
LTIR candidates: Oliver Kylington ($2.5 million), Kevin Rooney ($1.3 million), Jakob Pelletier Season Opening IR ($406,000)
LTIR moves: With a roster of 21 healthy skaters that includes 12 forwards (Duehr/Hunt/Ruzicka as #10/11/12), and 7 Defencemen (includes Gilbert as #7), the roster is $1,681,000 over the cap.  Kevin Rooney ($1.3 million) plus Pelletier ($406K on SOIR) is $1.706M, so this roster is just $25K away from fully optimizing LTIR. After submitting their opening roster, they could subsequently add Kylington to LTIR, adding his $2.5 million as cap space. This would allow them to call up 2 more healthy players, like Schwindt, Solovyov, and/or Klapka.
PuckPedia’s scenario has the Flames keeping Coronato on their roster, exceeding the cap by $1.681 million, and placing Rooney and Pelletier on LTIR (combined cap hit of $1.706 million) and filing an opening roster of 21 players (two goaltenders, seven defencemen and 12 forwards). If they wish to carry an additional forward, they can look into placing Kylington on LTIR to open up cap space for one.
Anyway, the final moves the Flames seem likely to make to optimize their opening roster are sending Schwindt, Klapka and Solovyov down to the AHL. And then, based on how they’ve used him in the last few exhibition games, it seems probable that Schwindt would be called up (and Kylington placed on LTIR to accommodate that).
The roster deadline is 3 p.m. MT on Monday. The Flames open their regular season on Wednesday against Winnipeg.
Get your tickets for the FlamesNation Season Home Opener party, and come hang out with us at Greta Bar while we watch the Flames take on the Winnipeg Jets in their season opener!

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