Flames training camp could be interesting with PTOs

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On Tuesday, PHT discussed a few lingering “bargain bin” free agents. The bargain bin looks a bit like the bread aisle before a storm after teams got done with it by Wednesday.

The Calgary Flames were handing out the most tryouts (or PTOs), as they invited these four players: Tobias Rieder, Devante Smith-Pelly, Zac Rinaldo, and Alexandre Grenier.

Reider and Smith-Pelly are the most intriguing names, as while Rieder served as a surprising scapegoat for the Oilers’ failure after what was undoubtedly a brutal season for the winger, he does bring the sort of speed and skating that can be valuable for Calgary. Smith-Pelly, meanwhile, is a rugged player who scored some big goals during the Washington Capitals’ 2018 Stanley Cup run, although he struggled to make it into the lineup during much of 2018-19.

It doesn’t hurt to take a look, and the Flames are doing just that, even if it’s tough to imagine many spots being open on the team that finished atop the West regular season standings — although they’re likely not lingering on that accomplishment after the Avalanche launched them out of Round 1 in a staggering fashion.

Other teams made some mildly interesting PTO invites, too, in the last day or two:

  • The Dallas Stars might find some cheap defensive forward help with Stefan Noesen.

  • Dale Tallon loves his former Blackhawks, so the Panthers are giving it a whirl once again with Troy Brouwer on a PTO. Brouwer played in 75 games for Florida last season.
  • The Minnesota Wild are taking a look at Drew Stafford, who’s fallen on tough times lately.

Sometimes PTOs are just filler for split squad exhibitions and training camp competition, but every now and then, a team stumbles upon a gem. We’ll see if any of the names above, or maybe someone else, can be diamonds in the rough.

• ProHockeyTalk’s 2019 NHL free agency tracker
• Your 2019-20 NHL on NBC TV schedule

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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