The Calgary Flames' roster is taking form. With preseason nearing its end and a 23-man roster due by 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6, decisions have to be made - and soon. The Flames have one less decision to make, now, as Drew Shore, who was placed on waivers yesterday, has cleared. He has been assigned to the Stockton Heat.
The 24-year-old dressed throughout the preseason, but never received much ice time, and failed to truly stand out in game situations. He still remains in the Flames' system, though, and will likely play big minutes for the Heat. Shore has experienced success throughout his AHL career, and his presence will likely help Stockton.
This leaves 28 players left at camp: 16 forwards, nine defencemen, and three goalies.
Included in the 28 are three injured guys: Joe Colborne, T.J. Brodie, and Ladislav Smid. Colborne and Brodie are both essentially week-to-week with a broken thumb and hand, respectively, while Smid has not yet been cleared to play. It's unclear when he will be, but he is partaking in normal practices.
Including the three injured guys, the Flames only need to cut two more bodies. Of those still at camp, Markus Granlund, Brett Kulak, and Ryan Wilson are three who can easily be cut with little consequence: Granlund and Kulak do not require waivers to be sent down, and Wilson doesn't even have a contract with the organization.
That's not going to happen, though; cutting Granlund would bring the Flames' forward group down to 14 healthy forwards, but cutting both Kulak and Wilson would give them just five defencemen. At least one of them will be on the opening day roster, if not both. All signs seem to currently be pointing at Kulak, who could end up getting a substantial cup of coffee with the Flames (at least until one of Brodie or Smid returns, and then, another decision will have to be made).
Then, there's still the matter of having three goalies at camp - all of whom require waivers. The goaltending situation really hasn't gotten clearer as time has gone on; however, a decision will have to be made, and soon. The Flames could keep all three, though - but they would likely end up with no extra defencemen on the roster in order to do so.