Friends, the exhibition calendar has begun league-wide and the Calgary Flames began their pre-season schedule on Sunday night with a defeat at the hands of the hated Edmonton Oilers. As everyone licks their wounds, let’s check out what we have in this week’s mailbag!
(We had a few questions about Erik Gudbranson.)
Gudbranson is signed to a one-way deal worth $1.95 million per season, so he’s going to be on the Flames salary cap docket regardless of if he’s on the NHL or AHL roster. He was not good against Edmonton on Sunday evening, but he’s a veteran who will likely be given more games to work himself into game-readiness. (Sunday was definitely not a great start.) Based on his cap hit and reputation, he’s probably starting the season on the NHL roster and is probably on the third pairing for opening night.
That said, he’s probably battling Michael Stone for games during the season. They probably split the 82 games between them, barring injury further up the rotation, so I’d estimate Gudbranson gets into around 40-45 games.
What the Flames officially said was that Tyler Parsons wasn’t invited to camp because he couldn’t satisfy quarantine regulations required for international travel. Now, there are no quarantine requirements for international travel if someone is fully vaccinated. So we can assume that it has something to do with his vaccination status, but general manager Brad Treliving declined further comment at the opening press conference and Parsons’ representatives haven’t responded to requests for comment.
Presuming that the AHL has similar requirements and restrictions for players that aren’t fully vaccinated, then Parsons wouldn’t be able to play games in Canada (without going through quarantine on his way in). The Heat play fewer games in Canada than the Flames do – they have two trips to Abbotsford in February but that’s it – so it probably wouldn’t be a big issue necessarily. But a player who’s not fully vaccinated would have a tough time getting a call-up to the NHL roster if they had to deal with quarantine issues whenever they crossed the border into Canada. Such a player might not get a ton of AHL reps, either, especially if the other players on the team wouldn’t face similar challenges at the border for call-ups or other travel.
So assuming that Parsons is not fully vaccinated – which we do not know for certain – he could play for the Heat, but it would be logistically challenging to call him up to the Flames.
Emil Heineman is under contract to Leksands IF in the SHL and he’s not at Flames training camp because their regular season is already underway.
Depending on how the Flames’ season goes, Martin Pospisil probably stands a decent chance of getting a call-up. He’s big and moves reasonably well for a guy of his size. If he can get off to a good start in Stockton, and the Flames need a big-bodied forward for their bottom six, he’s definitely going to be in the mix for a recall.
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