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Should the Calgary Flames invite a player to training camp on a PTO?

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Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Munnich
7 months ago
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We are only 44 days away from the start of the 2023-24 season. Now is the time in the off-season where we start to see NHL teams inviting players to their training camps on a professional tryout (PTO).
Will the Calgary Flames be one of the teams bringing in players on a PTO to make the big club? Let’s take a look at the current roster and see if it makes sense or not.

Goalies

This is a quick one. No, the Flames will not need to bring in another goalie to training camp. They will have a three-goalie battle for two spots in the NHL between Jacob Markstrom, Dan Vladar, and Dustin Wolf.

Defence

The addition of Oliver Kylington to the Flames lineup is going to be huge. With Kylington in the mix, the Flames have one of the best defence cores in the NHL for this season.
LDRD
Noah HanifinRasmus Andersson
Nikita ZadorovMacKenzie Weegar
Oliver KylingtonChris Tanev
Dennis GilbertJordan Oesterle
Jeremie PoirierBrady Lyle
As currently constructed, this is a very deep group of defencemen. On the surface, you would think that it wouldn’t be necessary to bring someone in on a PTO. The problem the Flames could run into is running out of NHL defencemen if they decide to trade any of the 2024 UFAs which includes Hanifin, Tanev, Zadorov, and Kylington.
Who is going to replace the big-time minutes left behind by those veteran defencemen? The only prospect who looks like he can play in the NHL is Jeremie Poirier, but he will likely need another year or two in the AHL to develop. Do you want the likes of Jordan Oesterle and Dennis Gilbert playing every night?
With all that in mind, it might make sense for the Flames to look at bringing in a veteran on a PTO.
Here are some available free agents who the Flames could consider inviting to training camp who could play NHL minutes:
Ethan Bear, Jordie Benn, Nick Holden

Forwards

Let’s take a look at the Flames depth chart up front.
LWCRW
Jonathan HuberdeauElias LindholmYegor Sharangovich
Andrew MangiapaneMikael BacklundBlake Coleman
Dillon DubeNazem KadriMatthew Coronato
Jakob PelletierAdam RuzickaWalker Duehr
Dryden HuntKevin RooneyAdam Klapka
Clark BishopConnor ZaryCole Schwindt
The Flames are going with a younger lineup when it comes to the forward group. We will likely see Matthew Coronato, Jakob Pelletier, Walker Duehr and Adam Ruzicka get long looks in the NHL, or even be regulars in the lineup for the entire season.
The Flames don’t have much depth after that group of 12 forwards. What happens in they get into injury trouble? What happens if one or two of their young forwards aren’t playing up to NHL standards? What happens if the Flames trade Backlund or Lindholm?
Who is going to get called up in those situations? This is where it might be a good idea to bring in at least one forward to training camp on a PTO and give them a legitimate shot to stay on the roster. That doesn’t mean they need to be in the lineup every night. But it could mean they are a 13th forward.
The Flames could use someone who is fast, physical, and can play center or wing. Here are some free agents that could fit that description:
Zach Aston-Reese, Josh Bailey, Tyler Motte, Noah Gregor

My two cents

I think the Flames should bring at least one NHL forward to training camp on a PTO. I know Craig Conroy wants to leave spots on the NHL roster open for young players. The Flames can do that and still bring in another forward to compete for a 13th forward role. There is very little depth among the forward group in the Flames organization. Bringing in someone like a Tyler Motte or Noah Gregor makes sense and adds another NHL player to the bottom of their roster.
Do you want to see the Flames bring in any players to training camp on a PTO? If so let us know which ones in the comments section!

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