Last season, when the Flames were looking for much needed fourth line scoring (isn’t that always the story) the likes of Mike Smith were kept around, and two point producers in the Quad City AHL affiliate were kept below. Not much has been written on why the Flames never brought up their number one and two point producers in Grant Stevenson and Krys Kolanos. Stevenson was a late camp cut and Kolanos — along with some attitude problems — joined the AHL team 20 games in and put up point a game production numbers.

Top Minor League Scorers Let Go

AHL Scoring Stats 2007-2008

10Grant Stevenson80304373-6581902480.121
32Krys Kolanos65303363-16841102720.110

Certainly bringing up one of the players could have been an options to test the mettle of the third or forth lines. Although Moss, Nystrom, Boyd, were in fact brought up, and perhaps salary cap issues were in play, the fact remains Calgary never used the assets down below and now they’re gone without feasible replacements.

Although the team has depth at the 3-4th line forward department, they are also over salary cap and need to loose players not demote them. that leaves them short in the minors of any real scoring threats (and of any legitimate call-up candidate if things go sour up in the bigs).

Both were lost as UFA’s, Stevenson to the Thrashers and Kolanos another victim lost to the Wild.

Perhaps their purpose from the get-go was to remain in the minors and help the team and younger prospects develop. Perhaps their loss isn’t really a loss since they were never impact players in the bigs. Fact is, Calgary got thinner in the minors, and perhaps answered some questions up front by keeping younger, yet still unproven, players for the big club.

What are your thoughts about the minor league prospects this year and last season’s non-call ups of seasoned minor league vets? Does the AHL affiliate club have a chance this year to make damage despite being younger?