There are five games remaining in the Calgary Flames’ 2020-21 schedule. With the clock ticking on their campaign, they have a decent amount of flexibility in terms of how they organize their roster.
The Flames are carrying 24 players on their roster: two goalies, eight defensemen and 14 forwards.
Of those 24 players, two are considered unavailable:
D Noah Hanifin had shoulder surgery and is out for the season.
F Josh Leivo was just activated off the COVID-19 protocol list after spending 14 days on that list (and being required to isolate after a positive test back on Apr. 23).
Functionally, the Flames are rolling with one extra active defenseman (Oliver Kylington) and forward (Byron Froese) until Leivo’s fully up-and-running. (That could take awhile given he hasn’t skated in a few weeks.)
They’re also carrying five players in their six taxi squad slots: Artyom Zagidulin, Connor Mackey, Glenn Gawdin, Dominik Simon and Zac Rinaldo.
The club has two “regular” recalls left and one taxi squad spot open. (You only use up a recall by adding a player to the main NHL roster from elsewhere on assignment – where it’s the taxi squad, Stockton or elsewhere.)
Now, if the Flames are in a roster emergency situation – falling below the level of heavy two healthy goalies, six healthy defensemen or 12 healthy forwards – then they can recall players directly tied to a roster emergency without using up their “regular recalls.” After 51 games, the list of players dealing with lingering injuries is pretty long and so it wouldn’t be much of a challenge for the Flames to find themselves in a roster emergency.
In terms of movement off their roster, their hands are basically tied. They cannot demote anybody who was on their NHL roster as of the trade deadline, so everyone but Froese and Kylington are locked in. And Kylington requires waivers to be demoted, so he’s probably sticking on the NHL roster, too.
The salary cap
The Flames have oodles of cap space. They’ve stashed away $913,000 of space thus far, and can add a bunch of players on short-term recalls without using up all of their space.
In terms of weird stuff, the only player that has a chance of hitting a performance bonus is Juuso Valimaki, who could hit one bonus that pays out $36,280. That’s way less than the cap space they have available and wouldn’t be a hindrance if he hit it.
In other words
The Flames don’t have a lot of restrictions right now. They have more than enough cap space to do a lot of different things with short-term recalls and with the AHL season over and Stockton’s players kicking around until May 16, they can basically bring up anybody under contract right now. (The only “real” exception is probably Jakob Pelletier, because he’s still active in the QMJHL playoffs.)
How would you like the Flames to use their flexibility? Which players in their system do you want to see play games? Let us know in the comments!