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2014-15 Flames opening roster announced, Sam Bennett's injury, and more

The season begins tomorrow! Sam Bennett will not be a part of it. Probably not for a while yet. Uh, oops.

I was going to use more of a "lineup-y" picture but no Hiller is too cute in this one.
I was going to use more of a "lineup-y" picture but no Hiller is too cute in this one.
Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

SB Nation 2014 NHL Preview

Let's kick it off with the biggest item. The probable opening night roster for your 2014-15 Calgary Flames:

Left Wing Center Right Wing
Curtis Glencross Sean Monahan Jiri Hudler
Mason Raymond Mikael Backlund Lance Bouma
Johnny Gaudreau Joe Colborne Paul Byron
Brandon Bollig Matt Stajan Brian McGrattan
Left Defense Right Defense
TJ Brodie Mark Giordano
Kris Russell Deryk Engelland
Ladislav Smid Dennis Wideman
Jonas Hiller
Karri Ramo
Devin Setoguchi David Jones Rafa Diaz

Oh god, what did Stajan do?!

Also, Ramo is expected to get the start for the Flames' second game of the year on Thursday.

You better believe if this line manages to stick and ever accomplishes anything this blog is going to see a rise in dick jokes.

"It's a doughnut hole. A little ball of pastry."

"Oh, okay. ... Wait a minute."

Speaking of Gaudreau, guess who officially has #13 now! ... It's Gaudreau. I gave that one away pretty quick.

Also, by virtue of his contract, Diaz has upgraded from #36 to #33.

Pressing on with the minor roster details:

Brief news updates:

  • Markus Granlund has been cleared from his concussion, so he has been reassigned to the Adirondack Flames.
  • Sam Bennett and Corey Potter remain injured, so they have been put on injured, non-roster status. This is not the same thing as injured reserve. This is a completely other thing. Neither player has made the team's roster at this time.
  • Re: Potter, he is recovering from an off-season injury, and should be cleared soon. The Flames will deal with that when the time comes.
  • Re: The guy people care about significantly more (sorry Corey), Bennett has a shoulder injury he has been dealing with for "some time". This is where the news updates stops being brief snippets, so, leaving the bullets now...

The Flames suspect he's been dealing with his shoulder problem for longer than he let on. Bennett himself didn't think it was that big a deal, until it was. The Flames are going to take a day or two to figure out what the best option is going to be for Bennett. They have not yet decided if surgery will be necessary, but he certainly won't be playing for a while yet.


Don't be too worried, though. As Brad Treliving said in his press conference, "This is going to be a really good young player. These things happen. ... I don't look at this as a major setback for Sam." When asked if he thought Bennett needed to get stronger, Treliving replied, "Yeah. All 18-year-olds need to get stronger. I have zero, ZERO concern about Sam Bennett."

In short, the organization knows they have a good player, and a silver lining for them is they appreciated how competitive he was to hide the injury.

An additional silver lining is if that's how good Bennett is with a shoulder that's apparently been hurt for months, how good is he going to be when he's 100%? Geez.

Other minor housekeeping:

  • This is Bob Hartley's last year on contract. Treliving and Hartley have only known each other for about three weeks now, and have been more focused on getting ready for training camp. The issue of renewing (or not) Hartley's contract will be addressed at a later date.
  • Treliving likes the Flames' goaltending status, from Hiller and Ramo to all the prospects throughout the organization. He did, however, lament on the status of the Flames on defence. The Flames are aware their defensive prospect pool is very poor and needs way more. Rhymes.
  • Throughout his press conference, Treliving stressed there were several players on the cusp of coming back, whether it be due to injury or performance (either theirs or someone in the big club's). He singled out Michael Ferland and Patrick Sieloff in particular, admiring their work since they haven't played in a long time. He also mentioned Josh Jooris as someone who made a name for himself.
  • When asked about Sven Baertschi, Treliving said, "He was very close. The one thing is, every player that left is disappointed. That's a good thing. ... There are still some things in Sven's game he has to round out. Now, do I think he's on the cusp? Yeah, he's very close. Now, the message to Sven, the message to all these players: These things change in a heartbeat. It could be a day, it could be a week, it could be a month from now."
  • His message to all the prospects is to simply just play. That's all they can control, so they should take advantage of that.
"There's a group that needs to push themselves."
- Treliving on Flames prospects on the cusp

"It's deeper than I thought, but clearly we need to add."
- Treliving on the Flames' organizational depth

"The opening day roster is just that. You file it, and the league allows you to make a lot of moves form that day forward. We've got some hungry guys eager to make it back here."
- Treliving, presumably saying, "please don't freak out about the opening roster I promise you it will all be okay," which ain't gonna fly buddy, this is Canada not Phoenix, what fun is it if you don't freak out about everything?

Let's end it on some baseball talk:

I mean, that's great and all, but the Royals actually did make the playoffs first, a concept that hasn't been seen in Alberta in... a while. Also I hope that doesn't mean they're falling back into the trap of "all you have to do is get in, and then who knows what can happen!" because that is a poor strategy to rely on. But hey, as long as they're motivated to not suck completely, that's good.