With the Flames dropping a few games in a row and falling to 11th in the West but still within striking distance of a playoff spot, it’s hard to guess what will happen tomorrow. And judging from the conflicting messages Jay Feaster has sent the last few days, Calgary’s management isn’t too sure either.
Calgary has a few pending UFA’s that might demand some sort of return if they go the sell route.
Olli Jokinen, C – Joker is having his best season in years and has likely reinvigorated interest in his services when it was seriously suggested he might flee to Europe as a free agent to summers ago. He’s simplified his game a bit since Brent started calling the shots and his counting numbers have been helped by some of the best percentages on the team.
Jokinen is the one piece who could attract a real return (think first round pick), but it’s unlikely the Flames will move him. He’s leading the team in scoring and the depth behind him has been decimated by injury. The only way Feaster deals Jokinen is if he decides the playoffs are out of the question.
Scott Hannan, D – It’s clear this yearr that the former top pairing, shut-down defender is slowing down. Hannan has spent most of his time on the second pairing for the Flames and he has some of the worst underlying numbers on the blueline. He’s not terrible mobiel or capable with the puck, but Hannan is still useful on the PK and could still help out in a depth role on a lot of bluelines.
Like Jokinen, Hannan may be considered too useful to the Flames short-term goals to move. Unless the Flames grab another defender to play in the top-4, Hannan is probably not going anywhere.
Cory Sarich, D – After speding a lot of time as a healthy scratch, injuries evenutally got Sarich back into the line-up on the third pairing and he has stuck ever since. Sarich is even more immobile than Hannan and there are times it’s clear the game moves a bit too fast for him these days. He also struggles with chronic pain/injury issues.
All that said, Sarich can still hit like a mack truck when he catches someone and it useful when kept on the third unit and paired with a partner who can skate. The return for Sarich would be modest (3rd rounder), but there might be a market for him.
David Moss, RW – Mosser has spent most of the season on IR, although he’s close to returning. He may be of interest as a depth option to a playoff squad if the Flames decide they aren’t going to re-sign him. An unspectacular player in many regards, Moss is the nevertheless a smart, efficient forward who plays within himself and rarely makes a mistake.
Because he’s been hurt all year, Moss won’t command any kind of notable return if he’s made available. My guess would be a mid-round pick.
Lee Stempniak, RW – The former Coyote was having a pretty decent season before being felled with knee issues. He’s out until late March, so there’s little chance teams will have interest in renting him.
Tom Kostopolous, Tim Jackman, LW/RW – The pluggers are functional 4th liners who can hold their own against many other depth options in the league. It’s possible one or both won’t be re-upped by the team in the summer, but it’s unlikely there will be much interest in their services at the deadline either. The only way I see either Jackman or Kosto traded is if they end up as part of a packakge deal.
Let’s face it – the Flames need just about everything. The club doesn’t have a lot of draft picks or futures to dangle, however, so if they go looking for an addition or an upgrade, they’ll have to find a partner that’s looking for something they’re selling. It’s possible (Chicago may want Sarich or Hannan for example) but it limits the numbers of viable partners significantly.
If Feaster decides to "buy" tomorrow, it should be for more than mere rental players: either a guy signed for seasons beyond this one or some who the team is interested and in confident in re-signing. Another "7th rounder for Modin" type trade isn’t pointless.