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Flames training camp could be interesting with PTOs

Carolina Hurricanes v Washington Capitals - Game Five

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 20: Devante Smith-Pelly #25 of the Washington Capitals warms up before playing against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Capital One Arena on April 20, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

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 or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.