Tagged: Calgary Flames


New York Rangers‘ rookie defenseman Tim Erixon(44) is trying to make the most of his 3rd recall from Connecticut Whale this season.

He’s appeared in 16 NHL games but has yet to register a point.

He leads the AHL in assists by rookie defensemen with 30 in 43 games.

Originally a Calgary Flames‘ 1st round pick in the 2009 draft (#23 overall), he refused to sign with the team and was traded to the Rangers on draft day 2011. He made their opening night roster out of training camp.

He was already playing professional hockey in Sweden before coming to North America as a 20-year old.

His life has come full circle, as his dad Jan Erixon played 10 seasons for the Blueshirts from 1983 – 1993.

Tim was born in the U.S. but grew up in Sweden when his family moved back home after his dad retired.

Original story: 3/22-12

He would finish his first season with 18 games and two assists for the Rangers and stick at that 30 assists mark in the AHL.

Maybe a little out of nowhere, he would get dished during the summer to Columbus Blue Jackets as part of the Rick Nash trade.

He started his sophomore campaign with affiliate Springfield Falcons but once he was called up near the start of the second half of the season, finished the season with the parent club.

2013/2014 was the lockout for the big league, so he went straight to the farm team and stayed there until the show was ready to start.

He started on the opening night roster but was on a yo-yo chain between teams for much of the short run and would rejoin the Falcons for their playoff push.

He ended up having a career year in the minors scoring 5 goals and 33 assists for 38 points in 40 games, then added another tally and helper in 5 postseason contests.

Given a one-year extension to continue he would once again make the roster out of training camp but after 19 games and his first NHL goal and new mark set for points at 6, he was traded to Chicago Blackhawks.

In and out of the lineup he lasted only 8 games before being reassigned back down but before that could happen was scooped off the waiver wire by his third team of 2014/2015 Toronto Maple Leafs, where he would finish the year but not before adding another goal to his totals.

He inked another extension but that only lasted a week and he found himself as another piece to a blockbuster deal that would send him to Pittsburgh Penguins with Phil Kessel.

Entering his 8th pro season (3 in Sweden with Skelleftea), the still super-young 24-year should find his place with the new squad as they are very thin on the blue line and will definitely be able to use him.


5th year, undrafted Calgary Flames‘ defenseman Joe Piskula(43) spent three seasons in the L.A. Kings‘ prospect system but skated only 5 NHL games with the team in the same year he completed his college hockey career.

He then played exclusively with the KingsAHL affiliate Manchester Monarchs on an entry level contract but failed to appear in another NHL game with them.

In the next season he signed a one-year AHL deal with Abbotsford Heat and played 71 games.

For the next couple seasons, he scored himself a bit of an unlikely contract with Calgary through 2013.

He’s was called up at the beginning of December and has played in 5 games but registered no points with a disappointing -5 plus/minus. More importantly though, they won 4 of the 5 games he skated in.

Original story: 12/29-11

He finished up the 2011/2012 setting new AHL career marks with 3 goals and 15 assists for 18 points with a +10 rating.

Starting the 2nd year of his deal in the minors, the former 2006 NCAA Champion at University Of Wisconsin was dealt to Nashville Predators right before the trade deadline and reassigned to finish the year.

A fairly steady presence on the blue line, he signed a one-year extension to stay with the organization.

He was only recalled for a pair of games but as assistant captain of affiliate Milwaukee Admirals he again matched his season best 3 goals and set new highs with 20 assists and was +20 on the ice.

Signed quickly to continue with the Preds, he was named team captain of the farm club for 2014/2015 and kept their defensive zone solid with another +20 rating.

Called up for a single game near the end of the season, it put his total games played in the NHL at 13.

Anaheim Ducks must have been spying on the 9th year veteran’s progress, because they stepped right in on the first day of free agency to offering him a one-year two-way contract.

Making the recently turned 31-year old the first captain of new minor league squad San Diego Gulls wouldn’t be the worst decision the club has ever made.


Undrafted, 3rd year mini-center Taylor Vause(34) has earned every inch of the ice he’s played on.

He joined Texas Stars on an ato after four plus seasons of junior hockey in the WHL, where he was team captain with Swift Current Broncos scoring more than a point-per-game in his last campaign (37-46-83 in 72 games).

Generously listed at 5’10” 185 lbs. he was able to put up his first pro goal and an assist in 5 AHL contests.

He signed a pto to continue in the lone star state for his rookie year and re-upped with a second tryout before getting a full-on contract.

While it took him a little time to find his spot in the lineup, once in he was also a bit slow to start but finished with 4 goals and 13 assists in 55 games, which was a decent debut for the tenacious forward. He also appeared in 3 postseason matches registering no points.

It was reported he signed a one-year deal with Idaho Steelheads in the off-season but after attending Texas‘ training camp was kept on board once again and split his playing time with both clubs gaining more consistency on the score sheet.

And even though he played in only a pair of playoff games, he did have his name included on the 2013 Calder Cup Trophy.

The 23-year decided to ink his next deal with Colorado Eagles and quickly established himself as a scoring threat.

It didn’t take the Calgary native to earn a recall and signed another pto with Adirondack Flames. He’d also been in their training camp.

The small pivot made an impact almost immediately and one month in was given an spc to stay with the team, although he was later reassigned back down after cooling off.

It only took him a week to return as he exploded for a 3 goal, 3 assist performance in his 3-game ECHL stint.

He’ll certainly have to keep his energy level up and connect but he might have found his home for at least the short term and will likely get an NHL camp look.

Original story: 1/21-15

He would finish his ECHL year playing in a career high 4 playoff contests (4 assists) and regular season best 30 games, 21 goals, 20 assists for 41 points and a +18 with 97 shots on net.

His stats in the AHL were also decent as he set a new mark of 6 goals.

Set to turn just 24-years old as the new season begins, he’s made the decision to head to Austria’s Erste Bank Eishocky Liga signing a deal with HC Bolzano Foxes for 2015/2016.


Calgary Flames‘ 2nd year center Corban Knight(10) has already found himself happily involved in the parents’ club early season recalls after his hot start with minor league affiliate Adirondack Flames, where he’s recorded 5 goals and 3 assists in 16 AHL games.

He recently appeared in his first pair of games of 2014/2015, getting 10 shifts in each contest with just over 6 minutes total ice time and was fantastic in the face off dot, although was held without a point.

Originally a Florida Panthers‘ 5th round pick in the 2009 draft (#135 overall), he was obtained by Calgary in an off season trade before he even got out of the gate.

The 6’2″ 195 lbs. forward was a strong skater in four years at University of North Dakota posting at least a point-per-game average in his last three seasons, winning consecutive NCAA/WCHA Championships from 2010-2012 and being named a Hobey Baker Award finalist as a senior.

He managed to continue his strong play upon turning pro on reassignment with then farm club, Abbotsford Heat finishing his rookie campaign in the top five scoring (18-27-45).

The now 24-year old also got the nod for his first NHL action and potted his first big league goal in 7 games.

He was recently sent back to Adirondack but it proved to be more of a paper transaction and he was once again summoned mid-trip and back in the lineup, although marked as healthy scratch, for now.

Even though he’s at the end of his 2-year entry level contract and set to become a restricted free agent at the conclusion of this season, if he can start to produce may stay where he is.

Original story: 11/28-14

Dealt in a mid-season transaction that sent him back to draft team Florida Panthers he was reassigned to affiliate San Antonio Rampage, where he stayed for the remainder of the regular season and skated in all three playoff contests scoring one goal.

He concluded 2014/2015 with 16 goals and 20 assists in 58 AHL games with a +2 rating.

Going into restricted free agency, the Panthers signed him up for another season on a two-way deal.

Set to turn 25-years old just before the start of the forthcoming season, he may start with Portland Pirates, the new affiliate of his new team but if turns up the scoring early again could find himself as part of an early recall.


For his 14th pro season Brian McGrattan(22) signed a one-year two-way deal with Anaheim Ducks and could find himself playing a decent amount of NHL for the first time in a couple of campaigns to protect all the players in that deep pool of talent in California.

He’ll turn 34-years old before the new season starts.

The huge force, who’s obviously in great shape and last had 11 fights playing for Calgary Flames in 2013/2014, just keeps on ticking.


Original story below 3/15-15:

Calgary Flames‘ 13th year right wing Brian McGrattan(22) was reassigned to the minors for the first time in a couple of seasons, joining affiliate Adirondack Flames .

He last played six games on a conditioning loan with Milwaukee Admirals while under contract to Nashville Predators but returned to Calgary (he spent 2009/2010 with the team) via trade.

The larger than life 6’4″ 240 lbs. rugged forward skated only 8 games (no points) with the parent club and was listed as  a healthy scratch all too often, so the parent club ultimately decided it was best to see if some more ice time could get him back into the lineup on what had become a much speedier squad.

In 2013/2014, he achieved career highs for games played (76), goals (4) and assists (4) while keeping the peace on ice.

The big man was originally a Los Angeles Kings‘ 4th round pick in the 1999 draft (#104 overall) but first signed with Ottawa Senators, who he spent his first six seasons with, scoring his first NHL goal.

After a trade to then Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes, he bounced around from team-to-team on one-year deals and even spent the full 2010/2011 with a pair of farm clubs.

A veteran of 278 AHL games he has the record for the most penalty minutes and fighting majors in one season (2004/2005) with Binghamton Senators, when he drop the mitts 39 times and recorded 551 minutes in the sin bin.

The 33-year old enforcer has skated in 317 big league contests but is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

He may either decide to take his game overseas for a year as he’s yet to explore the landscape outside of North America or hang up those skates and continue to help players with substance abuse problems, an issue of close importance to him.

See related: 11/1-10, 1/19-11, 2/17-11, 9/18-11,


Philadelphia Flyers‘ 9th year center Blair Jones(22) has appeared in NHL games in each of his seasons except for 2008/2009, when he skated the full slate of 80 AHL contests with Norfolk Admirals reaching a personal best 34 assists.

A veteran of 132 games in the big league (7 goals and 10 assists with a -18 rating) and 408 in the minors (100 goals, 168 assists with a -38 plus/minus), the 6’2″ 215 lbs. forward hasn’t always been blessed enough to be on good teams but is liked on the squads he’s played with because he skates a rough and tumble style and is tough to play against.

Originally a Tampa Bay Lightning 4th round pick in the 2005 draft (#102 overall), he spent his first 5 and a half seasons in their prospect system before being dealt to Calgary Flames, where he stayed for 2 and a half years before signing his current deal.

He missed 24 games in 2014/2015 due to a groin injury that required surgery and may be a bit of a long shot to return to the parent club but seems to be doing just fine where he is with 6 goals, 11 assists and a +5 in 24 games with Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Where the 28-year old goes next is likely up in the air but it would be little surprise to see him test out the waters on the other side of the hockey pond.

Original story: 3/25-15

Heading into his 10th year, he picks up a new NHL contract for 2015/2016 with Vancouver Canucks and will be a veteran presence for affiliate Utica Comets but could also put up another few games in the show.

He’ll turn 29-years old before the start of the new season and was limited to only 33 AHL games in ’14/’15 but managed to cobble together 9 goals and 12 assists with a +3 rating on a team that was well out of the playoff picture.

See related: 8/3-11, 11/18-10

Tom Kostopoulos













15th year, right wing Tom Kostopoulos(29) is another veteran player coming full circle in his pro career.

He signed a pto with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins late-ish last season, a team he is very familiar with from 369 regular season and playoff games and two seasons as captain, a position he currently holds for them again. He more than any other player is synonymous with this franchise and is their all-time leading scorer.

Six weeks before the end of the season, he was given a deal with Pittsburgh Penguins but grabbed from the waiver wire by New Jersey Devils. He skated in 15 games and scored one goal.

He appeared in 17 more AHL games before scoring another contract bringing his overall totals up to 465 games in the league, 136 goals and 233 assists to his credit.

Signed to a minor league contract for 2013/2014 through the Penguins‘ parent club, he’ already putting up point-per-game numbers with 3 goals and 5 assists in 7 games.

The former Pittsburgh 7th round pick in the 1999 draft (#204 overall) is mostly known for his tough to play against, agitating presence, which has kept the 6′ 200 lbs. forward at the highest level of hockey for 630 games.

His scoring proficiency might not be what it is in the lower league at 61 goals and 94 assists but he also plays a vastly different role as mostly a fourth line skater.

He’s also a -48 plus/minus in the NHL, whereas he has a great +30 in the A.

The 34-year old has always managed to find his place throughout his dozen plus seasons but he’s likely looking at an imminent transition into a great coaching career, as he’s been a mentor to his teammates for as long as anyone can even remember.

Original story: 11/6-13

Now 36-years old, he continues to lace up the skates signing his third contract to continue as captain of Wilkes Barre-Scranton Penguins for 2015/2016.

He’s managed to put up 40+ points in each of the past two seasons and will like reach that mark for the 8th time in the AHL.

His highest totals were in the 2004/2005 lockout, where he amassed 71 points for Manchester Monarchs before embarking of 9 straight years in the NHL with Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens, Carolina Hurricanes, Calgary Flames and New Jersey Devils.



Calgary Flames‘ 4th round pick in the 2010 draft (#103 overall) 2nd year defenseman John Ramage(49) was rewarded for his career year with affiliate Adirondack Flames, where he put up a career high 3 goals and 11 assists after only getting a single assist in 50 AHL games as a rookie.

The two-time former captain of University Of Wisconsin had his best college points mark as a senior, when the Badgers won the 2013 NCAA/WCHA Championship.

The 6′ 200 lbs. blue liner is definitely considered more of a stay at home style with good accountability.

In his NHL debut he skated 25 shifts for 18:10 total ice with a somewhat surprising 4 shots on net, 2 hits, 1 play breakup and went only a -1 in a 5-1 drubbing.

The 24-year old is set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season but will join the parents club practice squad for the playoffs and almost assuredly be qualified to stay.

His dad is Rob Ramage, who was the 1979 1st pick in the draft and played 18 years, 1044 games and won the 1989 Stanley Cup with Calgary, so this one has come full circle. Although he was selected by Colorado Rockies.


Calgary Flames‘ 2nd round pick in the 2011 draft (#45 overall) Finnish-born, 2nd year center Marcus Granlund(60) has been on a roller coaster ride between the parent club and farm team Adirondack Flames having been recalled and reassigned 8 times this season.

He puts up points with ease in the minors striking for 9 goals and 8 assists in 21 AHL games, and was equal to the task as a rookie with 25 tallies and 21 helpers in 52 contests.

The 5’11” 185 lbs. forward is a small-ish sized great skater with amazing stick handling abilities but could be stronger on the puck, which will likely improve as he does play with a good deal of gusto.

In 40 NHL games he has 5 goals and 9 assists with a -2 rating in the current campaign and is being pushed to continue to climb higher. Appearing in his first 7 games in late 2014, he got his first goal and 2 assists.

He is one of many European skaters that come to North American pro hockey after already skating two full seasons, 99 appearances in his home country’s top league SM-liiga with HIFK.

As a first year player he led the league in goals, assists and points with 15-19-34.

The 21-year old definitely has plenty of potential.

Signed through 2015/2016, he just needs to put it on display with more frequency in the show.


Almost a month after his 2nd recall from affiliate Adirondack Flames, Calgary Flames‘ 9th year defenseman Corey Potter(28) finally got into a couple of games to extend his streak of big league appearances to seven seasons in a row.

In 125 NHL big league contests, for two seasons with Edmonton Oilers he appeared in games only at the highest level and has skated the bulk of his games with the Canadian club (111).

Otherwise, he’s had a few nods here and there: from draft team (4th round in 2003, #122 overall) New York Rangers over a couple of seasons, 1 with Pittsburgh Penguins and most recently 3 looks from Boston Bruins after being grabbed off waivers.

The 6’3″ 205 lbs. has played 352 AHL games scoring a modest 28 goals and 125 assists but is an absolute mammoth of on ice accountability with an overall +97 rating.

At 31-years old he still has some more seasons left in the tank but it’s a bit of a wonder if he gets another major contract or plays out his time in the minors mentoring prospects and heads into coaching when it’s time to finally hang up the skates.

See related: 3/28-11