Ladislav Smid

Ryan Wilson

Calgary presents Ryan Wilson with PTO

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After missing the vast majority of the 2014-15 campaign due to a shoulder injury, it seems Ryan Wilson hasn’t been able to secure a new contract this summer. He might still end up on an NHL roster though as he’s been invited to attend the Calgary Flames’ training camp on a tryout basis, per the team’s website.

Wilson originally signed with the Flames back in 2008 after going undrafted. However, he didn’t play for Calgary before being dealt along with Lawrence Nycholat and a 2009 second round pick (Stefan Elliot) to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Jordan Leopold. Wilson went on to score seven goals and 67 points in 230 games with the Avalanche.

The 28-year-old defenseman was coming off of a three-year, $6.75 million deal, but this has been a particularly difficult summer for veteran players as teams have been more disciplined than usual in light of the relatively modest cap increase for the 2015-16 campaign.

That’s created openings for the Flames and other teams to extend tryouts to players like Wilson, but it’s hard to see how he would fit into their plans. Calgary has a deep blueline that features Mark Giordano, Dougie Hamilton, Dennis Wideman, T.J. Brodie, and Kris Russell. Throw in the fact that Ladislav Smid and Deryk Engelland are slated to come with $3.5 million and roughly $2.9 million annual cap hits this season and there just doesn’t appear to be room for another established blueliner barring an injury.

Flames release Douglas Murray from tryout

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Douglas Murray’s time in Calgary has come to an end.

On Wednesday, the Flames announced Murray’s tryout with the club had expired and he’d no longer be practicing with the team. Murray, 35, joined the team on Mar. 13 — not long after it had lost the services of captain and top d-man Mark Giordano to a torn biceps tendon, and veteran blueliner Ladislav Smid to a neck issue.

Prior to joining the Flames, Murray had spent time in the German League.

Though his footspeed and skating ability notably decreased over the last few seasons, Murray was one of the NHL’s most physical players and hardest hitters in his prime, thanks in large part to his 6-foot-3, 245-pound frame.

A veteran of over 500 NHL contests — and 75 Stanley Cup playoff appearances — Murray also has a fairly decorated international career, having represented Sweden at both the 2008 World Championships and the ’10 Olympics in Vancouver.

It should be noted that Murray wasn’t eligible to play for Calgary in the playoffs so, should he have earned a deal, it would’ve only been for the remainder of the regular season.

Douglas Murray joins Flames on tryout basis (Updated)

Montreal Canadiens v San Jose Sharks
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Bit of a surprise out of Calgary this morning, as the Flames announced they’ve brought 35-year-old defenseman Douglas Murray in on a tryout.

Murray, who spent last season in Montreal — appearing in 53 regular season and three playoff games — was unable to secure an NHL contract for this season and subsequently spent time with Cologne of the German League, recording one assist and 24 penalty minutes in eight games.

The Flames could be looking to add some veteran experience on the blueline following the loss of captain Mark Giordano to a season-ending biceps injury, and Murray may fit the bill. Though his footspeed and skating ability notably decreased over the last few seasons, Murray was one of the NHL’s most physical players and hardest hitters in his prime, thanks in large part to his 6-foot-3, 245-pound frame.

A veteran of over 500 NHL contests — and 75 Stanley Cup playoff appearances — Murray also has a fairly decorated international career, having represented Sweden at both the 2008 World Championships and the ’10 Olympics in Vancouver.

Updated: Two additional things to point out regarding Murray’s tryout: 1) If signed, he could only play in the regular season and would be ineligible for the playoffs, and 2) the Flames confirmed that another d-man, Ladislav Smid, is also officially ruled out for the year with a neck injury, which could further explain the Murray tryout.

Flames’ Smid suffers reported upper-body injury after high hit from Despres

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Calgary Flames defenseman Ladislav Smid left Friday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins with what the Calgary Herald reported as an upper-body injury.

Smid took a high and devastating hit from Penguins defenseman Simon Despres in the second period and did not return. Below is a GIF of the hit, courtesy @myregularface.

source:  There was no penalty called on Despres. Now, will the league see it differently and issue supplemental discipline? There hadn’t been an announcement from the league’s Department of Player Safety.

“It looked like a forearm or something to the head,” Flames star defenseman Mark Giordano told the Calgary Herald. “It all depends on how the league sees it.”

Meanwhile, the once red-hot Flames have now lost four in a row, after getting defeated 3-1 by the Penguins, who were without their star Sidney Crosby, as he’s held out of the lineup for at least one more game for precautionary reasons.

Flames worry that Markus Granlund suffered a concussion

Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks

Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley is concerned that young forward Markus Granlund might have suffered a concussion during Friday’s 3-0 exhibition defeat against the Vancouver Canucks, the Calgary Sun reports.

The Flames might limp a bit into the beginning of the 2014-15 season if this pattern holds and rapid progress isn’t made. David Jones will miss Sunday’s preseason game with a lower-body injury while Ladislav Smid is still recovering from what sounds like a pretty nasty tooth infection.

There is a bright side, though; underrated center Mikael Backlund reportedly resumed skating on Saturday. That said, it’s too early to get too excited about the useful 25-year-old pivot:

“It’s encouraging,” Hartley told the Calgary Sun. “Right now he’s so far behind, we’re going to ramp him but, but at the same time, we’ll be careful with him. We’ll try to get him ready for Game 1. We got some good news and you should see him (practising fully) soon.”

Backlund is considered a diamond in the rough along the same lines as defenseman Mark Giordano in Calgary, so if the team wants to surprise some people this coming season, having a healthy Backlund would make a difference.