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The Calgary Flames likely won’t need PTOs to meet pre-season veteran requirement

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Photo credit:Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
9 months ago
August is winding down, folks, and in a few short weeks the Calgary Flames (along with 31 other NHL clubs) will be gathering for training camp. League-wide, we’re seeing the usual frenzy of clubs signing veterans to professional try-out (PTO) agreements. Most of these players won’t make their NHL rosters, but are being signed nonetheless to boost up competition and fill out pre-season rosters.
The Flames likely won’t need to sign anybody to a PTO to meet the league’s pre-season roster requirements.

What’s a pre-season veteran?

The league defines a “veteran” for the purposes of pre-season games as someone who meets one of four criteria:
  • A skater that played in 30+ games during the previous season
  • A goaltender that played in 30+ games (or dressed in 50+ games) during the previous season
  • A first-round pick from the most recent NHL Draft
  • Any player that has played 100+ career games
Teams are required to dress eight (or more) veterans, as defined here, for any pre-season game. The rule probably has two thoughts behind it: teams shouldn’t be allowed to rest all of their regulars until the season starts, and since fans are paying for pre-season tickets they should get something vaguely resembling an NHL roster to watch.
However, typically the veteran requirement is waived for split-squad games, and in practice what actually happens is teams dressing their veterans at home and sending a skeleton crew on the road early in the pre-season. Case in point: the Flames had seven and five veterans dressed in their first two pre-season road games. (They dressed 10+ at home and in their two later road games.)

Which Flames qualify as veterans?

At this point, the Flames have 22 players that fit one of the requirements to qualify as a veteran player for the pre-season.
Skaters that played in 30+ games during the previous season:
  1. Nazem Kadri [82 games]
  2. Andrew Mangiapane [82 games]
  3. Mikael Backlund [82 games]
  4. Blake Coleman [82 games]
  5. Dillon Dube [82 games]
  6. Nikita Zadorov [82 games]
  7. MacKenzie Weegar [81 games]
  8. Noah Hanifin [81 games]
  9. Elias Lindholm [80 games]
  10. Jonathan Huberdeau [79 games]
  11. Rasmus Andersson [79 games]
  12. Yegor Sharangovich [75 games]
  13. Chris Tanev [65 games]
  14. Jordan Oesterle [52 games]
  15. Adam Ruzicka [44 games]
Goaltenders that played in 30+ games (or dressed in 50+ games) during the previous season:
  1. Jacob Markstrom [played in 59 games]
  2. Dan Vladar [dressed in 82 games]
First-round picks from the most recent NHL Draft:
  1. Samuel Honzek [16th overall]
Players that have played 100+ career games:
  1. Kevin Rooney [227 games]
  2. Dryden Hunt [202 games]
  3. Oliver Kylington [168 games]
Brett Sutter, signed to an AHL contract with the Wranglers and likely attending main camp on a PTO, falls into the fourth category (and counts as a veteran). For the curious, the Flames had 23 veterans in training camp in 2022.
Between general manager Craig Conroy’s stated intention to give young players a chance to win roster spots in camp and the Flames having a bunch of veterans (as defined here) already on their existing roster, don’t expect too much PTO activity between now and when main camp opens on Sept. 20.

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