What do you get for the team that has everything? Any Calgary Flames trades that happen in the next week are going to be minor – with one possible exception.
Possible Calgary Flames Trades
The Flames made their big move a month ago, bringing in Tyler Toffoli to shore up their scoring. Toffoli has been excellent for them, scoring eight goals and 13 points in 14 games. Calgary is one of seven teams to break 200 goals this season, so overall scoring is solid. Their defence is one of the best in the league, allowing just 143 goals in 59 games. And yes, that includes the Erik Gudbranson – Nikita Zadorov paring. Daniel Vladar has been sound in backup, so it hasn’t just been the nightly Jacob Markstrom Magic Show accounting for their goals against. Though that doesn’t hurt.
When a team is in a strong position like the Flames are, the trade pieces they have available tend to be futures. Draft picks or prospects for current NHLers. But there is also some hesitation about bringing in anyone too big for fear of disrupting team chemistry. After all, only one team can win the Stanley Cup. Shooting your shot every year can run you out of bullets real quick.
Big deals are also harder to pull off during the season than in the Summer. There’s balancing of cap space, negotiating with your own free agents, guessing which prospects can make the team for cheap… Those aren’t small issues. If a team puts a dent in the payroll with a major acquisition, they’ll have more time to work out the details in August.
Enough caveats. What might pre-deadline Calgary Flames trades look like?
Brent Sutter Hates Us
To Calgary Flames:
Victor Mete – $500,000 retained
To Ottawa Senators:
2023 4th round pick
The Flames defence is a formidable one. Kind of. There’s one little flaw with their top-six: with Oliver Kylington out, their top goal-scorers were Noah Hanifin and Erik Gudbranson. So far it’s worked for them, but it’s understandable if they wanted to add a bit more punch for the playoffs. Mete isn’t owned anything at the end of the season, but the Flames will retain the restricted free agent’s rights. That he can play either side is useful, even though as a small (5’9″) defenceman Sutter may never use him.
For the Senators, a 4th round pick for a waiver pickup they aren’t using is money for nothing. They are buying a pick for $700K. If the Flames want a more physical player, Michael Del Zotto is available. But at $2 million for another year that’s a little rich for Calgary’s taste. They’re looking for an emergency blueliner for the season, not a permanent member of the team.
Brent Sutter Loves Us
To Calgary Flames:
Brett Ritchie – $500,000 retained
2022 2nd round pick (Florida Panthers)
If you’re going to go in, go in. This move would leave Calgary with three draft picks this year, one each in the 2nd, 5th, and 7th rounds. But it brings in a veteran defenceman who is playing 20 minutes a game right now. It doesn’t address the team’s lack of scoring, but Kylington is coming back anyway. Ask any coach who they’d rather replace Kylington with – Braun or Michael Stone – and you’ll hear one answer. The Flames have had very good luck with big, physical defencemen.
What Philadelphia gets is obvious. Ritchie is in to make the money work and is owned nothing after this season. That second-round pick, on the other hand, is a good price for their vet. The last part of this season is for seeing the kids and planning for next year.
Let’s Get Big
To Calgary Flames:
To Anaheim Ducks:
You know what? Screw defence. It’s good enough. How about the next Calgary Flames trades make a good forward corps great instead? Adding Rakell to the middle-six is frankly terrifying. Yes, it’s a rental, but with Monahan moved out the Flames would be in a position to make him an offer if they like what they see.
As for the return, Välimäki’s shine has come off somewhat since his 2017 16th-overall selection. But he was a first-round pick for a reason and getting a good blueline prospect who’s just edging on NHL-ready fits the Ducks’ timeline. As for the ever-bewildering Monahan, the team gets one year to see who he is. His $6.375 million deal expires after next season, and if he turns into a useful piece they can pitch him at a lower rate. If he returns to his occasional 30-35 goal form, he can be a useful trade chip for the rebuilding team next deadline.