While most teams prepare for an informal roster freeze over the upcoming NHL All-Star break, many are also stripping their roster down to the bare minimum to save as much cap space for the encroaching trade deadline in early March. Today, the Calgary Flames activated forward Martin Pospisil from the injured reserve, while optioning Matthew Coronato, Adam Klapka, and Cole Schwindt to their AHL affiliate, the Calgary Wranglers.
According to Ryan Pike of Flames Nation, this set of transactions by the Flames will save the organization approximately $497K in cap space, just by sending them down over the All-Star break. As one of the expected sellers leading into this year’s trade deadline, the nearly half a million in cap space could allow Calgary to weaponize their cap space, as many deadline sellers have done.
For development’s sake, with the NHL returning to regular season action on February 5th, the trio of players sent down by the Flames today will have the opportunity to play in three games for the Wranglers. Coronato projects to factor in the most, still leading Calgary’s AHL team in points, having already scored 12 goals and 29 points in 27 games for the Wranglers this season.
Other transaction notes:
- Similarly to the Flames, the Vegas Golden Knights have optioned Brendan Brisson, Sheldon Rempal, and Jonas Rondbjerg to their AHL affiliate, the Henderson Silver Knights, per a team announcement. Having been recalled on January 18th via an emergency loan, Rempal has largely been the most successful of the bunch over the last several games for the Golden Knights, scoring a goal against both the New York Islanders and New York Rangers over the last four contests.
- In an announcement earlier this afternoon, the Minnesota Wild sent down forward Jake Lucchini and goaltender Jesper Wallstedt to their AHL affiliate, the Iowa Wild. Not only one of the best prospects in the Wild organization but one of the best prospects across the league, Wallstedt was able to make his NHL debut in his previous call-up coming in early January, stopping 27 of 34 shots in the team’s loss against the Dallas Stars on January 10th.
- The Chicago Blackhawks have sent down forward Cole Guttman and defenseman Louis Crevier to their AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, per a media release this afternoon. Guttman has been the much better player in Rockford this season, playing with the team through much of October and November. Over that stretch, Guttman scored three goals and nine points in 12 games for the IceHogs, tying him for 12th on the team in scoring for the season.
- The Tampa Bay Lightning made similar roster moves today, sending down Maxwell Crozier, Mitchell Chaffee, and Waltteri Merela to their longtime AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch. Although neither of the three have made a large impact in their limited NHL experience, Chaffee has been the most successful over the last stretch, earning a goal and an assist in the team’s recent victory against the Arizona Coyotes on January 25th.