Flames put Galiardi (back) on IR

The Calgary Flames have put forward T.J. Galiardi on injured reserve with back spasms, putting an end to what’s been a curious last few days.

Things began going sideways for Galiardi on Friday, when he was made a healthy scratch for the first time this season in a 4-3 shootout win over Florida.

“It’s his overall game,” head coach Bob Hartley explained to the Calgary Sun. “I had a few good talks with him. It’s not fun for him, and it’s not fun for all of us. My job is to make decisions for the best of the organization. TJ is a class guy — he works hard and he means well.

“But since the start of the year, his play has gone down.”

Acquired from San Jose this summer and immediately signed to a one-year, $1.25 million extension, Galiardi started well in Calgary — he had three points in his first three games — but he’s hit a wall since then, notching three assists (zero goals) over his last 19 contests.

Hartley has gone the healthy scratch route with other underachieving forwards this season — including Sven Baertschi and Mikael Backlund — but the Galiardi scratch was noteworthy because he’d appeared in the Flames’ first 22 games of the year while averaging 16:30 TOI.

(What’s more, the 25-year-old sat second among Flames forwards in hits and led all with 24 blocked shots.)

Things got worse following the healthy scratch, as Galiardi went down with the aforementioned back spasms during Monday’s practice and landed on IR. Calgary has since recalled Max Reinhart from AHL Abbotsford as a replacement forward.

Raffl coverts PTO into one-year, $575K deal with Jets

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There’s another Raffl in the NHL.

On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.

Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.

“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.

With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.

For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.

Flyers to start season with seven d-men; MacDonald sent to AHL

Andrew MacDonald, Matt Calvert
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Seven defensemen will comprise the Philadelphia Flyers’ opening-day roster, which the club finalized today.

Those seven are Radko Gudas, Michael Del Zotto, Luke Schenn, Nick Schultz, Brandon Manning, Mark Streit, and Evgeny Medvedev.

Not on the list? Andrew MacDonald, who has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Lehigh Valley. (That move allowed the Flyers to keep both Manning and youngster Scott Laughton.)

Also not on the list were prospects Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Sam Morin, Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim. The first three will start the season in the AHL. The last two have been sent back to junior.

But the opening-day roster is not where this story ends. How the Flyers’ defensive mix changes as the season progresses will be worth watching.

They’d no doubt love to move Schenn, a pending unrestricted free agent with a $3.6 million cap hit. He could also end up in the AHL, a la MacDonald.

Medvedev, the 33-year-old who came over from the KHL and put up five points in five preseason games, is another pending UFA. The club could either look to re-sign or flip him.

Might 37-year-old Streit be a chip worth cashing in at the deadline, especially if the Flyers aren’t in a playoff position on Feb. 29? He’s only got two years left on his contract.

Meanwhile, GM Ron Hextall will be watching pending restricted free agents Manning and Gudas closely. Are they part of the future?

So, lots of decisions to make in Philly as the blue line continues its much-needed transition.