As of Thursday morning, the Calgary Flames have 31 players on their camp roster and one pre-season game left to evaluate them. With the sands rapidly disappearing from the training camp hourglass, here’s how the camp roster shakes out.
- NHL Locks: Jacob Markstrom & Daniel Vladar
- Headed to Stockton: Adam Werner
This is pretty simple, folks. Markstrom is the undisputed top dog. Vladar has been excellent in camp. Werner is the only one of the three that’s waiver exempt, so he’s the easiest to send to Stockton… and the third-best goalie in camp.
- NHL Locks: Chris Tanev, Noah Hanifin, Rasmus Andersson, Nikita Zadorov & Juuso Valimaki
- On the Bubble: Michael Stone, Erik Gudbranson & Oliver Kylington
- Headed to Stockton: Connor Mackey
- Headed to Season-Opening Injury Reserve: Johannes Kinnvall
Let’s work backwards, shall we? Mackey is waiver exempt, so he can easily be sent down. Valimaki is not waiver exempt, and his age and draft pedigree would make him a pretty appealing claim for other NHL teams. So that leaves three defenders on the bubble, all of whom require waivers: Stone, Gudbranson and Kylington. Of the trio, Kylington’s arguably played the best – you can argue that among lefties, only Hanifin has been a better Flames defender – so he probably has the inside track.
- NHL Locks: Mikael Backlund, Johnny Gaudreau, Milan Lucic, Matthew Tkachuk, Blake Coleman, Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm, Dillon Dube & Andrew Mangiapane (and Tyler Pitlick, if he’s healthy)
- On the Bubble: Brad Richardson, Trevor Lewis, Brett Ritchie, Byron Froese & Glenn Gawdin
- Headed to Stockton: Justin Kirkland & Walker Duehr
- Headed to Season-Opening Injury Reserve: Connor Zary
How many spots are up for grabs depends on Pitlick’s status – he hasn’t skated with the main group in awhile, so that’s not a great sign for his availability for next week. Nine players are basically locks (10 including Pitlick), followed by five players for what’s likely four spots (three if Pitlick is available). If Pitlick is out, Froese is probably the odd man out. If Pitlick is available, it’s probably Froese and Ritchie headed elsewhere given Gawdin’s superb camp thus far.
Who do you think will make the Flames’ opening roster? Who should make that roster? Sound off in the comments!