March 04 2014 02:14PM
(pic via imgur)
The most astute of hockey inclined calendar experts will notice a typo relating to the holiday Christmas. It's listed as the 25th of December on your standard, run of the mill calendar, when in fact it should be the 5th of March. After all, that's when the Trade Deadline is scheduled this year.
For many NHL enthusiasts, this is one of the best days of the 365 we have at our disposal, yearly. We book the day off work or school - the reasoning we give is usually less than truthful, *cough* *sniffle* - and flip on TSN's Tradecentre for a glorious 10 hours (no offense to Sportsnet). Watching the ever talented James Duthie stall for the first four or so hours before the first trade is usually made is just as enjoyable as hearing the "Insiders" break the blockbusters.
The Flames always seem to sneak into the picture one way or another at the Deadline, but this year they're primed to take a front and center position. Outside of maybe Mike Cammalleri, they probably won't be involved in a massive blockbuster deal, but they could very well be the busiest team on Wednesday - Burke has hinted as much. The Flames have many pieces in play that could add the needed depth a contender requires when making a run at Lord Stanley's hardware.
Mike Cammalleri is the obvious one, and we've taken a look at 4 landing spots (LA, NJ, PIT, PHX) speculated at being likely ones but fact is there are a few other teams that could have interest in Cammi.
Anaheim is one team feeling the heat after St. Louis loaded up with Miller and Ott. The Ducks are not only one have one of the best NHL rosters, but also one of the best prospect bases. Guys like Emerson Etem and Hampus Lindholm are the calibre of prospect I'd take straight up for Cammalleri. Others like William Karlsson, Rickard Rakell and Stefan Noeson aren't too far behind. Corey Pronman ranked the Ducks' top prospects last summer, so you can take a look and cobble a deal together yourself.
The Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers are two teams that have been mentioned in Cammalleri rumours. The Bolts are also stacked at the prospect level (rid your mind of that Jonathan Drouin scenario) and could offer up a healthy return for the 31 year old. In New York, JT Miller is a top gun prospect there (he was a line-mate of Johnny Gaudreau's at last year's World Juniors), with former Oil King Michael St. Croix and defenseman Brady Skjei being other solid prospects the Flames could look at.
The Ottawa Senators have been rumored to be sniffing around at Matt Moulson in their quest to find Spezza a winger and if that falls through, they could look to the Flames and Cammi as a solution.
Finally, the Toronto Maple Leafs are reportedly for some reason open to dealing Nazem Kadri or Jake Gardiner. Do you do a straight up deal for one of those two with Cammalleri? Although, in Kadri's case, you'd probably need to add a little something more to make that work.
Lee Stempniak is a guy who hasn't been attracting quite as much attention as Cammalleri, but may very well be on the move as well. The 31 year old as had an up and down year with the Flames and is an UFA at season's end.
Teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning, Phoenix Coyotes, St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings have been mentioned as potential suitors for the skilled, yet gritty winger. The list is probably much longer though, as I'm sure any contender wouldn't mind adding a middle tier scorer that can grind tough minutes in the playoffs.
The return for Stempniak will be nowhere near that for Cammalleri, but he could still land a pick or prospect - maybe even a combo of the two. My best case scenario for Stempniak is a 2nd rounder, with the realistic one being a decent, "B" prospect.
It was also mentioned by Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun on the weekend that some teams are kicking tires on TJ Galiardi. The 25 year old could add to the much belabored element of depth on a contending roster. Galiardi probably won't fetch much on the open market and if he's dealt it'll probably end up being a Blake Comeau, low draft pick, type deal. Best case scenario for me is a 3rd round pick, although a 4th/5th seems a lot more likely.
Jiri Hudler probably isn't going anywhere but if someone offers a real juicy deal (1st round pick +), you need to consider it, right? I wonder if Hudler is worth more than Cammalleri on the open market? I'm inclined to say yes.
We might make fun of Chris Butler a lot around these parts, but apparently some teams are considering making a play for him. There's much talk of Andrew MacDonald out of Long Island and how the asking price is a 1st round pick (The Flyers acquired him today), so Chris Butler, who adds similar elements to the game in my opinion, could also fetch a decent return.
Best case scenario for Butler would be a 3rd rounder, although I think Burke should try and package him with someone else (Cammalleri, maybe?) and get a better return with the combo.
Ladislav Smid has been very serviceable in his time with the Flames in my humble opinion and he's exactly the type of depth defenseman teams win with. He'd put his soul in front of a shot if it meant winning the hockey game, especially a playoff one. Poor guy has been living the rebuild life for about his entire pro career.
The Washington Capitals were noted as allegedly having interest in the 28 year old. Smid has another 3 years left on his deal after this one so a player for picks/prospect genre of deal may not work out in this case. Burke mentioned he wanted to do some "hockey deals" as well, so this might be one. Maybe he can copy some of David Poile's Erat magic and snag a top prospect from Washington? Probably not.
If someone offers you an asset for Shane O'Brien, you totally take it and funny enough there was talk that some teams were inquiring about the defenseman listed as "buried" on Cap Geek. Don't hold your breath on that one though.
Dennis Wideman is another guy who the Flames might shop around to gauge interest but the money ($5.25 million), term (3 more years) and play (poor) may scare teams away. It probably doesn't make sense to give Wideman away at this point when you'll need to reach the cap floor next summer. Plus, as the team improves slowly, they may acquire some more offensive talent that could pad Wideman's stats on the power-play and the Flames could flip him for some real value.
Finally, there are kids like Sven Baertschi, Johnny Gaudreau, Max Reinhart and Mark Jankowski who may garner some interest from other teams. Jankowski and Baertschi don't seem to have Burke's support, so there's an off-chance they could be included in a "hockey deal". That said, the Flames are more interested in retaining their youth than dealing it, so there's not a high probability of any of these guys moving.
Sum It Up
With lot's of moving parts and not a lot of trades - like past years - heading into the day, this Deadline promises to be an exciting, eventful one. The Flames could be a oft mentioned name on broadcasts for the moves they make - or the ones they don't. Burke has let it be known he's not a patient man and I doubt he waits until the Draft in June to do something significant if he has the opportunity to do it tomorrow. So buckle up, friends, we're in for a fun one!