The Calgary Flames have re-signed Rinat Valiev inking the minor league defenseman to a one-year deal, meaning he will not need the arbitration hearing scheduled for early August. The same can be said about Ryan Lomberg, who has also signed a one-year two-way contract. Both deals will carry $700K salaries in the NHL.
Valiev, 24, has bounced around the minor leagues the last few years, suiting up for the Toronto Marlies, Laval Rocket and Stockton Heat. The third-round pick from 2014 has just 12 games in the NHL and likely won’t see much more with Calgary this year. He will however be asked to be a leader on the Heat as one of the more experienced defensemen and a bridge for Artyom Zagidulin and Alexander Yelesin, both coming over from Russia for their first years in North America. Valiev will qualify for Group VI unrestricted free agency next summer unless he somehow finds his way into 68 games at the NHL level.
Lomberg, 24, is much of the same story. Undrafted he joined the Flames organization a few years ago after a couple of years in the NCAA and USHL, but hasn’t made a huge impact at the NHL level. Playing in 11 games for Calgary he has been used almost exclusively as a physical presence, recording 32 penalty minutes and just a single point. Lomberg is however a real contributor when playing for the Heat, and he’ll likely return there to continue his role in the minor leagues.