As the big club battled the Florida Panthers on ice last night, the Calgary Flames farm team took shape on paper.
And, in the process, a scrap for the final few NHL spots heated up.
Assigned to the Quad City Flames, 17 prospects had their time in Calgary come to an end.
A dozen forwards, four defenceman and goaltender Leland Irving were assigned to the American Hockey League affiliate, now hoping to make it back to the show as a call-up this season.
Centres Hugo Carpentier, Dan Ryder and Warren Peters, wingers Adam Cracknell, Kris Chucko, Carsen Germyn, Cam Cunning, Aki Seitsonen, Jonathan Tremblay, David Van der Gulik, Peter Vandermeer and J.D. Watt, and defencemen Brad Cole, Brett Palin, Ryan Wilson and Dan Spang will join Irving in the exodus.
Irving didn't get into any pre-season games and played just one period during the prospect tournament in Camrose last week as he fought through a groin injury.
He's likely to be joined by second-year pro Matt Keetley next week, and the two will duel to be the top backstop for Quad City.
It's unfortunate the 20-year-old Irving had to deal with the groin strain, because many believe he's the team's future between the pipes when Miikka Kiprusoff packs it in or is sent packing.
Chucko, Peters and Van der Gulik were the only three of the assigned to see pre-season action.
Despite coming a long way with his skating ability and scoring very strongly in the fitness testing, Chucko still needs to make strides. Big and strong, he could be a checker in the show one day.
Peters was the last prospect standing a year ago, but didn't have near the showing this fall.
Van der Gulik started camp on a line with Rene Bourque and Craig Conroy, but didn't debut until Thursday's game against Phoenix and didn't make a strong enough impression to stick for another week.
Talented but unsure of a life in hockey when leaving Quad City last season, Dan Ryder had a lot of eyeballs looking his way the last couple of weeks. He didn't stand out during the Camrose tournament, though, and didn't show enough in practice to earn his way into pre-season action.
Stay tuned to see how things go in the AHL.
Hugo Carpentier and Ryan Wilson are first-year pros with lots of potential.
An undrafted free agent, Wilson could take the Mark Giordano route to the NHL.
He's got strong offensive skills and needs a little seasoning.
After helping take the ECHL Las Vegas Wranglers to the Kelly Cup final in the spring, Seitsonen and Cracknell are hoping to stick around the Quad Cities this winter.
Cole could be the Baby Flames' captain, while Tremblay and Vandermeer are the designated policemen.
Keetley, centres Jamie Lundmark and John Armstrong, wingers Brett Sutter and Kyle Greentree, and defencemen Adam Pardy and Matt Pelech are also candidates to be assigned to the farm unless they win an NHL spot over the next week.
Mikael Backlund, who played between Mike Cammalleri and Todd Bertuzzi last night, will return to Sweden if his efforts fall short.
Pardy and Pelech are considered close to making the jump to the NHL, and their performance in the coming days could decide the fates of veterans Rhett Warrener and Anders Eriksson.