On Sept. 27, the Calgary Flames finally made huge cuts to their training camp roster, sending 15 players down. Two of the 15 were defencemen Kenney Morrison and Patrick Sieloff who, while clearly getting better as camp went on, were not going to make the team, and needed to be at the Stockton Heat training camp.
Well, those two are back. There are complications involving the other four defencemen sent down that day: Ryan Culkin is injured, Keegan Kanzig hasn't played any preseason games and his spot could be in question, Oliver Kylington may end up going to junior, and Rasmus Andersson had no choice but to go to junior and cannot be recalled.
So now, there are 13 defencemen at camp. Sieloff and Morrison, as well as:
- T.J. Brodie
- Deryk Engelland
- Mark Giordano
- Dougie Hamilton
- Brett Kulak
- Jakub Nakladal
- Kris Russell
- Ladislav Smid
- Dennis Wideman
- Ryan Wilson
- Tyler Wotherspoon
Of that group, Brodie is definitely injured, Smid is possibly no longer injured, and Nakladal may be injured but probably is not. We also know that of that group, Brodie, Giordano, Hamilton, Russell, and Wideman will be on the Flames, and do not have to fight for spots.
Engelland and Smid also have rather large contracts that would be difficult to move, so one presumes they're on the team, as well - but that doesn't mean they're playing.
That still leaves Kulak, Nakladal, and Wotherspoon to fight for spots, as well as Wilson, who has to fight for a contract on top of that.
When you take out the five sure bets, that's six defencemen fighting for a spot. When you take out Engelland and Smid, that's four. And that's obviously not enough for a full lineup.
The Flames don't really need to see anything else from the given five. Hell, they already lost Brodie for potentially all of October thanks to a broken hand in his first preseason game. Those defencemen can sit out the remaining two preseason games; we have nothing left to learn from them.
The Flames do, however, still need to decide who their bottom pairing defencemen are going to be. So it's those guys who should be playing.
Morrison and Sieloff help round that group out.