The Calgary Flames will have several experienced NHL players battling for a contract in training camp, as the team announced today that Devante Smith-Pelly, Tobias Rieder, Zac Rinaldo and Alexandre Grenier have all signed professional tryouts. The team had previously announced that Andrew MacDonald would be in training camp on a PTO as well.
Smith-Pelly may inspire the most interest from Flames fans given his playoff heroics for the Washington Capitals in 2018, but after recording just eight points in 54 games last season and clearing waivers in February it’s hard to expect him to have much of an impact on the roster. The 27-year old spent a good chunk of the 2018-19 season in the minor leagues and is likely just trying to hold onto his place in the NHL.
Rieder meanwhile played 67 games for the Edmonton Oilers and was expected to provide a little offensive punch after scoring double-digit goals in each of the previous four seasons. Unfortunately things went horribly wrong for the 26-year old forward and he was held without a single goal all season. Rieder was infamously the target of some pointed criticism from Oilers CEO Bob Nicholson after his disappointing season, and will have to try to convince someone in the NHL to give him another chance to perform.
It’s important to remember that the Flames are cap-strapped already thanks to the impending contracts of Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane, meaning they don’t have a lot of money to go spending on these players if they do earn a contract. Any of the four could only really expect a league-minimum salary (or close to it) if they prove to be worthwhile investments.