The NHL Trade Deadline just a few weeks away, the Calgary Flames are reportedly going to be very active on the phones, surfacing in plenty of rumors.
Most of the speculation has been about potential changes in goal but some new rumors have surfaced as well.
The Flames are looking for a big bodied two-way player, as well as possibly a for sure starting goalie. Recently tossed out, names such as; David Backes, Bryan Bickell, Jonathan Bernier, Brian Elliot, Steven Stamkos, Frederik Andersen, and even Jonathan Drouin.
Potential Trade Targets:
- Steven Stamkos – C / Tampa Bay Lightning
- Jonathan Drouin – RW / Tampa Bay Lightning
- Jonathan Bernier – G / Toronto Maple Leafs
- Frederik Andersen – G / Anahiem Ducks
- Brian Elliot – G / St.Louis Blues
- Cam Ward – G / Carolina Hurricanes
Questionables, Worth trading for or Nah?
- David Backes – C / St.Louis Blues
- Bryan Bickell – LW / Chicago Blackhawks
- Dustin Byfuglien – D / Winnipeg Jets
- Andrew Ladd – LW / Winnipeg Jets
- Ben Bishop – G / Tampa Bay Lightning
- Jimmy Howard – G / Detroit Red Wings
Potential Trade Assets:
- Jiri Hudler – RW / Calgary Flames – $4M Cap Hit
- Dennis Wideman – D / Calgary Flames -$5.25M Cap Hit
- Kris Russell – D / Calgary Flames – $2.6M Cap Hit
- Jonas Hiller – G / Calgary Flames – $4.5M Cap Hit
- David Jones – RW / Calgary Flames – $4M Cap Hit
- Ladislav Smid – D / Calgary Flames – $3.5M Cap Hit
- Deryk Engelland – D / Calgary Flames – $2.9M Cap Hit
Some thoughts on the latest surrounding the Flames:
First and foremost, the Flames are looking for a big bodied forward. Calgary had their lunch handed to them by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2nd round of the playoffs last season and Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler – three very talented but gritty players – were the biggest reasons for that.
This is a copycat league and, though the Ducks didn’t win the Cup, they had great success this season and beat the Flames because of their size/skill. Now it seems Calgary is trying to copy that formula. Although, not quite as much using their formula, as to try and build around their skill by adding a few big bodies.
I think Calgary could benefit from a guy like David Backes but I also think they could benefit much more from a guy like Steven Stamkos. The Flames aren’t overly interested in Stamkos – likely due to the fact that he may be a rental, unless you want to pay him $10.5M/year. But, the point is they don’t have to add a big body to improve their team, as skill will work just fine. If they can get a skilled player who plays with an edge that’s ideal, but trading for a possession anchor just because he hits isn’t a good idea. Although, Steven Stamkos is only 26. He would be a good investment, for a team that has a slumping Sean Monahan, it could work.
As for the names tossed around I’m not sure any would be great fits. Backes is a good player and would certainly help but a) it’d take a lot to get him and; b) he’s a UFA next summer. That means the Flames could pony up quality assets and lose Backes after a year or they’ll be forced to hand out a big contract that they’re trying to avoid. The same can be said for Steven Stamkos. Jonathan Drouin is a player who has awesome potential, and in my opinion is going to be a franchise winger. It would cost a bit to get him, but in the long run, again, would be well worth it.
Stamkos would be expensive, with the amount you would have to give to get him, and to sign him. In the long run, he is 26, and would help your team win a Stanley Cup. In my eyes, I say go for Stamkos.
Bickell fits more into what Calgary’s price range in that he’s signed for two more years at $4 million per. The Flames could certainly work that into their payroll.
The problem is that Bickell has just 58 points in 176 regular season/playoff games over the last two seasons. That’s .32 points per game, which isn’t worth $4 million per season even though he is fairly solid in possession.
Bernier or Andersen, would be huge upgrades in net. Due to the fact that the Flames defence is superb, either goalie would help. Although, with Andersen’s contract up at the end of the season, they would have to resign him, at a decent price. Ultimately, I think Brian Elliot would suit the Flames better. He wouldn’t be near as expensive and could be a solid piece.
Andersen has potential but the Ducks want a pretty decent return for him. Not quite sure if the Flames would be willing to do that. Bernier though, could probably be traded for Hiller and a 3rd round pick, other than that I wouldn’t budge.
Should the Flames want to bring in a new goaltender I think they’d be best off saving their assets and signing a free agent, possibly Frederik Andersen, if he decides not to resign with the Ducks nor gets traded.
We’ll find out soon if GM Brad Treliving feels the same way, but we all know he will do what he believes is best for the Calgary Flames.