As the Calgary Flames embark upon a four game road trip, they’ve gotten some backup. The club has announced that they’re called up defenceman Juuso Valimaki and forward Adam Ruzicka from the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat.
#Flames have recalled C Adam Ruzicka and D Juuso Valimaki from AHL Stockton as expected.
Both players have met the team in Los Angeles.
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) April 4, 2022
While not specified in the release, all indications are these are “regular” (non-emergency) to give the Flames additional healthy bodies with the club. The Flames are down to one “regular” recall remaining, having already called up Connor Mackey with their first recall.
For Saturday’s game, the Flames were without Sean Monahan (LTIR), Calle Jarnkrok (non-COVID illness) and Oliver Kylington (day-to-day, unspecified) and had just one extra healthy skater, blueliner Mackey. With Brett Ritchie leaving the game with a lower body injury, the Flames were potentially without an extra skater of any kind. Adding Valimaki and Ruzicka gives the Flames some wiggle room, and allows them to use up their ample cap space (via Monahan being on LTIR).
Does their presence tell us anything about the severity of any of the injuries or illnesses the Flames have? Nope! (Jarnkrok was a full participant in Monday’s morning skate.) But the Flames have added two players with recent NHL experience to their roster at a time where their schedule is about to get pretty hectic – they play four games between now and Saturday – and having some extra bodies around will be a big plus.
Valimaki was sent to the AHL in December to get some playing time, with his roster spot eventually going to Ruzicka, who ended up playing well as a third line centre. Ruzicka was returned to Stockton back on Mar. 16 after the Flames acquired Jarnkrok from Seattle and needed cap space and a roster spot for him. Valimaki has two points in 8 NHL games and 17 points in 30 AHL games this season. Ruzicka has nine points in 23 NHL games and 19 points in 16 AHL games this season.
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