What are the next steps for Calgary Flames blueliner Oliver Kylington?

Photo credit:Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
4 months ago
After nearly 20 months away from the National Hockey League, Oliver Kylington returned to the practice ice with the Calgary Flames on Monday. After media onlookers – and even head coach Ryan Huska – remarked at how good Kylington looked in early sessions, questions have arisen regarding next steps for Kylington.
Here’s what we know.
Via Sportsnet 960’s Pat Steinberg, here’s how the Flames lined up for Wednesday’s practice at the ‘Dome:
As of Wednesday, Kylington was on the Flames’ long-term injury reserve list. The NHL is allowing Kylington to skate with the team in full practice as he works his way back from his absence. He doesn’t currently count against the 23 player active roster limit. While he does count against the team’s salary cap ceiling, the Flames have the ability to exceed the cap ceiling (if needed) while he’s on the LTIR – the math is dumb and complicated, but the spirit of the rule is that the Flames are allowed to exceed the cap by Kylington’s cap hit in order to replace Kylington while he’s unavailable.
So if Kylington feels ready to go and Huska decides that Kylington can help the team win hockey games, what do they need to do?
As it turns out, not much.

The active roster

The Flames are currently carrying 22 players on their active roster: two goaltenders, seven defencemen and 13 forwards. They have three players that are considered injured or non-roster: Kylington, Martin Pospisil and Dillon Dube.
The Flames have one open spot on their active roster. Kylington could just be activated and take it.

The salary cap

Let’s get into some math quickly:
  • The Flames’ cap commitments – including their 22-man active roster and their injured/non-roster players – are $83.127 million currently.
  • The Flames are allowed to spend up to $85.943 million while Kylington is on the LTIR, but they need to get below $83.443 million in order to activate him.
Kylington currently counts against the cap. They’re not using his LTIR space at all. They’re at the point, cap-wise, where they can just activate him without having to do anything else.
Kylington hasn’t played an NHL game since late May 2022. He has played two pro games, both in the AHL, since then. It might take a bit of time for him to feel good about taking on the challenge of an NHL game. But from a roster and salary cap standpoint, the Flames don’t need to do anything to activate him.
When Kylington’s ready to go and the coaching staff are keen to get him into a game, the Flames could just add him to the active roster.

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