The 2020 NHL Trade Deadline is right around the corner. When it comes to the Calgary Flames trade deadline, GM Brad Treliving has a couple of options. In the past, Treliving has been quiet at the deadline. As GM, he has not made any significant addition to the roster prior to the trade deadline. Instead, he has opted to do most of his work in the offseason.
In the 2018-19 NHL Season, the Flames shocked a lot of people by finishing first in the Pacific Division. Even though they flamed out in the opening round to the Colorado Avalanche, their regular-season performance greatly enhanced hopes for the 2019-20 NHL Season. These hopes have not been met. Currently, the Flames sit in 4th in the Pacific Division, and first in the Wild Card race. Due to the disappointing season, they have had so far, fans are calling for the Flames to make a deal prior to the trade deadline on February 24th to bolster the roster in preparation for a playoff run.
Calgary Flames Trade Options
Treliving and the Flames front office have a few options over the next few days. First off, they could address their top six. More specifically, they could add a top-six right-handed shot. Another option would be to add defensive depth. With Mark Giordano and Travis Hamonic out, the Flames could use some extra depth to help them into the playoffs. Or, Treliving and company can sit on their hands and watch things play out.
Top Six Right-Handed Shot
The Flames seriously lack right-handed shots as they only have a few in their forward group. Their only top-six forward with a right-handed shot at the moment is Elias Lindholm. Due to a large amount of line shuffling we have seen this season, Lindholm has struggled to find a home in the Flames lineup. He has moved between lines, and even between right-wing and centre. Currently, he is playing on the right-wing. However, with the uncertainty surrounding the lines, the Flames should look to add flexibility to their lineup, just in case they look to move Lindholm back into the middle during the run towards the playoffs.
With a strong option like Tyler Toffoli already off the board, the Flames are forced to look at other options. There are multiple intriguing right handed-shots who can fit in well as a top-six player. To name a few, Ilya Kovalchuk, Kyle Palmieri, and Josh Anderson would all be good fits. Kovalchuk will be a UFA this summer, Palmieri still has one year left with a modest cap hit of $4.65 million, and Anderson will be an RFA this summer. These are interesting options that would improve the current roster. However, it is fair to wonder whether a trade would be worth it in a season where the Flames are surrounded by uncertainty.
Depth on Defence
Due to recent injuries suffered by Travis Hamonic and Mark Giordano, it is fair to wonder whether the Flames should look to make improvements to their backend. For both Giordano and Hamonic, the timeline of their injury is still unclear. This has created concern among Flames fans. However, the group of Oliver Kylington, Michael Stone, Brandon Davidson, and Alexander Yelesin has shown their ability to take on an advanced role since the injuries to Giordano, and Hamonic.
To obtain an impactful player at this year’s trade deadline, the Flames would almost certainly have to give up a current NHL player.
One player who could be on the move is Mark Jankowski. Jankowski has had a really tough season so far but has started to turn the corner with four points in his last five games. With Jankowski figuring out his game, it does not seem like the right time to move on.
Sam Bennett‘s name is being thrown around the trade block as well. However, his playoff performance last season should deter the Flames from moving on. He was one of the most noticeable forwards on the team during their playoff loss to the Avalanche.
Due to the depth of the Flames defence, Oliver Kylington has been prevented from obtaining a critical role on the blue line. The absence of Hamonic and Giordano is an opportunity for Kylington to eat more ice-time and get an advanced role within the team.
Even though an addition at the deadline would improve the team’s chances down the stretch, it does not seem realistic to make a big Calgary Flames trade at the deadline. The Flames are far from a playoff lock. Even if they can make it there, they do not look like a team capable of making a deep run. Therefore, this season it may be best for Brad Treliving to spend the trade deadline watching from the sidelines.