Sports Flames hopefuls Kulak, Jankowski and Glass make the cut … for now

08:56  03 october  2017
08:56  03 october  2017 Source:   Calgary Herald

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Lost in the shuffle of Monday’s Jagr-buzz was the fact that Brett Kulak , Tanner Glass , and Mark Jankowski still had spots in the Calgary Flames dressing room. Earlier in the day, the main story was that the team made headlines in the National Hockey League by reportedly inking Jaromir Jagr

Flames hopefuls Kulak , Jankowski and Glass make the cut for now . Lost in the shuffle of Monday’s Jagr-buzz was the fact that Brett Kulak , Tanner Glass , and Mark Jankowski still had spots in the Calgary Flames dressing room.

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Lost in the shuffle of Monday’s Jagr-buzz was the fact that Brett Kulak, Tanner Glass, and Mark Jankowski still had spots in the Calgary Flames dressing room.

Earlier in the day, the main story was that the team made headlines in the National Hockey League by reportedly inking Jaromir Jagr to a one-year contract worth $1 million.

But the side story was that they made a handful of roster moves, placing Garnet Hathaway and Luke Gazdic on waivers with the purpose of sending them to the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat.

They also dispatched netminder Jon Gillies and defenceman Rasmus Andersson to their AHL affiliate.

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  New Flames forward Glass brings element of The Calgary Flames made their 23-man roster official on Tuesday ahead of the 2017-18 National Hockey League season. And Tanner Glass, who inked a one-year deal worth $650,000 on Tuesday morning, was on it. Glen Gulutzan recalled the 33-year-old Craven, Sask., native’s impact in the 2017 playoffs which saw him score one goal and three […]The Calgary Flames made their 23-man roster official on Tuesday ahead of the 2017-18 National Hockey League season.And Tanner Glass, who inked a one-year deal worth $650,000 on Tuesday morning, was on it.Glen Gulutzan recalled the 33-year-old Craven, Sask., native’s impact in the 2017 playoffs which saw him score one goal and three assists in seven post-season contests.

Flames hopefuls Kulak , Jankowski and Glass make the cut for now . Lost in the shuffle of Monday’s Jagr-buzz was the fact that Brett Kulak , Tanner Glass , and Mark Jankowski still had spots in the Calgary Flames dressing room.

Mark Jankowski looks all but certain to make the Flames ; if he’s competing with anyone, it’s less For my money, I think the victors of these last few battles will be Lack; Bartkowski and Kulak ; and Jankowski , Hamilton, and one of Hathaway or Glass . Will Pedan make the cut ? 13 mins ago. 2.

Assuming Hathaway and Gazdic clear — and the Flames sign Jaromir Jagr —that leaves 15 forwards, seven defencemen and two goalies, meaning that by Tuesday at 3 p.m., one forward will be released.

Glass, of course, is the only one remaining that is currently on a professional tryout offer without a contract. Meanwhile, Jankowski could still be sent down.

But Kulak?

Just like last year at this time, he’s here to stay — well … at least until further notice.

“I was talking with Paul Jerrard (the Flames defence coach) earlier, and I said, ‘It’s a different feeling than it is last year when I stuck around,’ ” Kulak said. “I was really happy to be here and just excited to be around, even though I was just penciled in at that time even as just the eighth d-man at the start of the season.

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“This year, it’s different. I just feel like I need to be here, and now it’s a matter of me getting into the lineup and working every day to improve my game and eventually become a top player in this league.”

The 23-year-old cracked the Flames roster at the start of the season and wound up playing 21 games with the big club and another 22 games at the AHL level.

In 2017-18, however, the blossoming blueliner is expected to take another step.

“As an organization and Brett, he’s done a great job of putting himself in this position,” said Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan. “(Last season,) that’s a great development year for a young defenceman.

“He’s on a good path of development, and his expectations should be to not only stay here but be an everyday NHL player.”

As for Jankowski and Glass, the jury is still out as to what shakes down with the pair of forwards.

During Monday’s practice, Glass skated on the left side with Matt Stajan and Freddie Hamilton (who rotated at right wing with Curtis Lazar), while Jankowski was the extra skater.

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No news is usually good news in the hockey business.

But Glass, a veteran of 511 regular-season games, won’t feel at home until he’s officially signed a contract with the Flames.

“It’s positive, all signs are pointing to getting something done,” Glass said. “I’m hoping that happens soon. But I won’t totally comfortable until I put pen to paper here, so hopefully it happens soon, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Since the Flames not officially announcing the signing of Jagr on Monday — a report late in the afternoon indicated that Jagr was working through immigration issues and would not be expected in Calgary until Wednesday — that means both Glass and Jankowski could be on the opening-day roster.

Jankowski has been an intriguing storyline all training camp and appears closer than ever to being NHL-ready.

The 2012 first-round (21st overall) draft pick is now 6-foot-5 and 210 lb. and looked much improved, scoring three goals in five pre-season games.

“It’s his size and strength and speed as an athlete,” Gulutzan said of the 23-year-old Hamilton native who played his first pro season in ’16-17. “He has the I.Q. Now he just needs the seasoning to get time here. He had a great year in the American League. He’s gotten bigger and stronger even from a year ago. Some of his (fitness) tests were off the charts, so he’s really put in the work, so he’s maturing every day. Now he’s just gotta mature a bit in the NHL, and he’ll be off to the races.”

So does that maturing in the NHL start on Wednesday when the Flames square off with the Edmonton Oilers for the 2017-18 lid lifter at Rogers Place (8 p.m., Sportsnet West/Sportsnet 960 The Fan)?

While Gulutzan would not say if that means he’ll play in the NHL or AHL, he indicated that Jankowski — like all prospects— needs icetime.

“Any young guy has to play,” Gulutzan said. “And like we’ve said with Brett, there’s a balancing act there too. And usually the player tells you those things.”

kodland@postmedia.com

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