This just in, the Calgary Flames have signed four veteran NHLers to professional tryout (PTO) contracts. Joining the team for training camp will be Devante Smith-Pelly, Tobias Rieder, Zac Rinaldo and Alex Grenier.
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The 27 year old Smith-Pelly scored four goals and eight points in 54 games with the Washington Capitals last season and, of course, was a force for the team during the 2017-18 Stanley Cup Playoffs where he scored an incredible highlight reel goal against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.
The 26 year old Rieder went goaless for the Edmonton Oilers last season, but managed 11 assists in 67 games. Oilers president Bob Nicholson infamously placed the blame for the Oilers’ woeful 2018-19 season at Rieder’s feet saying, ““If Toby Rieder would have scored 10 or 12 goals, we’d probably be in the playoffs.”
Placing the blame for another failed season in Edmonton at the feet of a third line forward hardly seems fair and Nicholson was quick to backpedal after his comments went viral. “I take the blame. I said it. I phoned the player and apologized. He chuckled and said, ‘Don’t worry about it Bob.’”
As for Rinaldo and Grenier, the two veteran forwards will be relied on to provide some fourth line grit and even drop the gloves when called upon. The 29 year old Rinaldo played just 23 games for the Nashville Predators last season and put up 20 penalty minutes. The 27 year old Grenier has played just nine NHL games, all for the Vancouver Canucks, and played 28 games with the Laval Rocket of the AHL last season.