The perpetually injured David Jones is no longer injured. The Flames, who are carrying the maximum number of players on the roster, didn't have to send anybody down, though, as a new injury has been revealed. At some point over the past week, likely during the game against the Capitals, Mason Raymond suffered a shoulder injury severe enough to put him on the injured reserve on a week-to-week basis.
Raymond played 20:39 against the Capitals, the most of any Flames forward. He's one of the team's leading scorers, with five goals (including a hat trick against the Oilers) and two assists giving him seven points, tying him for second with a handful of Flames in team scoring. Raymond's 20.8% shooting percentage has certainly helped with that, and he wouldn't be able to keep up that pace, but he was still a useful depth player at the absolute least.
Jones, meanwhile, returns to the Flames after missing the past eight games. His one and only game this season came against the Oilers. He played just 16:22 against them, and was pointless. It's a downgrade.
This begs the question, though. Assuming nobody else requires injured reserve placement by the time Raymond comes back, the Flames will need to remove a player from the roster, likely via AHL demotion. So, who should it be?
Johnny Gaudreau and Josh Jooris don't require waivers, and would be easy to send down. Would you do that to them, though? Gaudreau is one of the Flames' most promising prospects, and has dazzled offensively, even if he hasn't always been able to score (yet, hopefully). Jooris is playing fourth line minutes now, but he's done well with them, and has scored his first NHL goal and assist over the four games he's played so far. So it probably wouldn't be fair to demote either of them.
But someone has to go. There's Brian McGrattan, who hasn't played since the Flames' loss to Columbus back on October 17. In his four games this season, he's only averaged six minutes of ice time. He's on the final year of his relatively cheap $750,000 contract, and the Flames clearly have little desire to play him nowadays. Which is good. Because he's bad at hockey.
Devin Setoguchi is another candidate. Like McGrattan, he's only played four games this season, his last coming on October 19 against his former Jets team. Setoguchi, however, has been trusted more, as he's averaged 12:45 in ice time. Should someone suddenly not be able to play the team's next game - like how Lance Bouma was a last minute scratch against the Blackhawks - then Setoguchi is a far better choice to have in the lineup than McGrattan, if only because he can be trusted with more than five minutes a game.
I could see the Flames sticking with McGrattan over Setoguchi, however, if only because 1. truculence and 2. he's an established locker room voice. I would suggest Setoguchi is the more likely of the two to be picked up on waivers, but suspect both could pass through with little scare.
I'd like to throw a third hat in the ring: Brandon Bollig is pretty terrible at hockey, yet for whatever reason, he is immune to being scratched. I don't know if it's because the Flames genuinely believe he hasn't been bad (he has been so bad) or if they're still attempting to justify an unjustifiable trade. Anyway. Considering his salary (he makes nearly double what McGrattan and Setoguchi do) and his limited hockey playing ability (averages fewer than 10 minutes a game), he would not get claimed.
But that'll never happen. Because he's a cockroach. He just never goes away, no matter how much he deserves to.
You'd have to think Gaudreau is safe as well. Tonight, against the Canadiens, Jooris will pass both McGrattan and Setoguchi in games played this season. So when Raymond comes off injured reserve, if nobody else takes his place, then you have to think it's one of those two getting the demotion.
One last note: Corey Potter is finally healthy, has cleared waivers, and is now skating with the Adirondack Flames.