19 Players Reassigned in Flames First Cuts

Bruce Bennett

Following a pair of split-squad games against the New York Islanders, the Flames have made their first training camp cuts.

The Flames have cut their training camp roster from 57 players to 38 following a set of split-squad games last night. Those assigned to the Abbotsford Heat are:

Carter Bancks

Laurent Brossoit

Paul Byron

Mark Cundari

David Eddy

Turner Elson

Ben Hanowski

Brady Lamb

James Martin

Zach McKelvie

Greg Nemisz

Brett Olson

Joni Ortio

Players returning to their junior teams are:

Ryan Culkin

Coda Gordon

Morgan Klimchuk

Brett Kulak

Emile Poirier

Eric Roy

Overall, the list isn't that surprising (Greg Nemisz? You're still here? ... Why?). As the prospect pool increases in both quality and quantity, this may have been Paul Byron's last shot, so the return on the Regehr trade isn't looking too great right now (not that it ever really did). Ben Hanowski isn't too shocking, either, as he needs time to adjust to the pro-game, and the AHL is perfect for that.

As for Mark Cundari, his being cut is a little surprising, especially considering the remaining defencemen (Keegan Kanzig? Uh... because grit?). At the same time, there are a lot of bodies on the blueline, and the Flames may wish to take a closer look at other prospects such as Tyler Wotherspoon and John Ramage, the latter of whom has had a strong camp thus far.

The already-crowded crease isn't any clearer following these cuts. Karri Ramo and Reto Berra are both fighting for an NHL spot, while Joey MacDonald is likely there for insurance and to provide a veteran presence in net. This leaves no room for Ortio and Brossoit, so their reassignment was expected.

As for the junior kids, Poirier's cut is a little surprising, but realistic: he had a good showing, but wasn't likely to be in the opening night roster. Due to Culkin's late birthday, he's actually eligible to play in the AHL this year, but the Flames have yet to sign him to a professional contract and are instead choosing to send him back to the Quebec Ramparts. The Flames' sixth overall pick Sean Monahan, meanwhile, remains in camp.

Klimchuk and Roy were hurt for the duration of camp. Likewise, Chris Breen has yet to skate, but he remains in camp, as does Patrick Sieloff, who suffered a broken cheek bone during a pre-season game.

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