Okay so we can all acknowledge the Flames are finished this season. Not technically, not officially, but the clock is ticking very, very fast. Prior to last night’s game they could, mathematically, only lose eight more games in regulation all season before they were locked out of getting to the fabled 55-point mark that most believe will be the cutoff for the playoffs this season. It seems very likely they’ll do that by the end of the month, at least at this rate.
And so the attention turns to whether the Flames will trade any of the guys on the team they should have traded a year or two ago at least, so let’s have a look at what I think are the five most obvious trade targets for other teams, in no particular order.
1. Mike Cammalleri
The argument for: Trading Cammalleri comes with the obvious and immediate help of offloading a guy who’s slated to earn $6 million against the cap and $7 million in actual money and, in theory, someone is going to want that 17 points in 21 games for a guy who can play a number of forward positions. He’s currently on pace for a 35-goal season, and that’s some not joking around type stuff from a guy most people weren’t exactly thrilled to have coming back, even if he did score 11 in 28 last year.
The argument against: There is the theoretical possibility that the team would want him to stick around next season because, while he’s on the wrong side of 30, he’s just barely so, and again he is obviously a fairly useful player when utilized in the right way. I would argue that Bob Hartley hasn’t really utilized him the right way, and he’s still on a 35-goal pace, so that’s obviously a positive for him. Further, you wonder exactly how many teams would clamor to get him given the finances of the deal, and what the return would be.
Chance he gets traded, in my opinion, and based on nothing: 50 percent.
2. Jay Bouwmeester
The argument for: It seems likely that he would fetch a fairly significant return given the paucity of quality defensemen on the market, and while the numbers still aren’t really there for him, this is also shaping up to be his best offensive season in Calgary. He’s still good in his own end, he’s still an excellent transition defenseman, and it’s likely that his value will never be higher than it now.
The argument against: He’s not exactly affordable, and he’s signed at that famous $6.68 million against the cap for next year as well. Teams might be scared off somewhat by the idea that he could turn into the not wholly accurate "most overpaid defenseman in the league" version of Jay Bouwmeester rather than the one we’re looking at right now. I think there will probably be significant interest, but as with the Cammalleri situation, I don’t know that the return would be significant enough to make Calgary want to ship him out.
Chance he gets traded, in my opinion, and based on nothing: 70 percent.
3. Miikka Kiprusoff
The argument for: He’s been absolutely crap this season in almost every single game he’s played. I can’t remember the exact stats I saw the other day but he, and the rest of the Flames’ goaltenders this year, are all considerably below replacement level, and that doesn’t seem likely to change any time soon. Getting rid of him might be something you end up regretting next season if he rebounds, but at this point that seems like a gigantic "if," and there’s a reason you hear way more about buyer’s remorse than seller’s remorse. Plus, those who do want to acquire him will have him making just $1.5 million next season in real money, even as he continues to pull $5.833 million against the cap. New York Islanders, I’m lookin’ at you.
The argument against: Who’s going to want him with these numbers for anything resembling a quarter-decent return?
Chance he gets traded, in my opinion, and based on nothing: 25 percent.
4. Tim Jackman no just kidding Mark Giordano
The argument for: He’s relatively cheap and though he hasn’t been very good this season the reputation of Mark Giordano in his better days likely still lingers. Again, this is one of those situations where I don’t think the Flames would get much of a return just because they’d be kind of over the barrel if they tried shopping him, but at the same time, if someone gets desperate enough, particularly in the days just before the deadline, I can see him getting shipped out.
The argument against: He’s signed through 2015-16, which is no joke, and it’s not often you see someone with that many years left on their deal traded at or near the deadline unless Scott Howson is involved. Teams might need the help of a 29-year-old defenseman with a goodish reputation in the offensive zone, but this too is a case of my belief that someone would need to blow Feaster’s doors off with an offer, which I doubt will happen.
Chance he gets traded, in my opinion, and based on nothing: 10 percent.
5. Jarome Iginla
The argument for: He’s old, he’s slowing down, he would probably fetch the biggest haul of anyone on the current roster, and you can go on and on like this. The argument for trading Iginla is that it should have happened so long ago it’s difficult to remember a time when they shouldn’t have traded Iginla. PLUS!!!! there’s the speculation Elliotte Friedman put forth earlier this week that Murray Edwards might be able to convince Iginla to accept a trade to help the team, then come back in the summer; ideal for both sides, and the fans who might kill themselves over the prospect of the Flames without Iginla.
The argument against: Someone might literally burn down the Saddledome. Also, the risk of losing Iginla as a gimmick to sell tickets to idiots who think he’s still 29. Also, if you never want him to win a Stanley Cup. Also he’d have to waive his no-movement, clause, but that’s true of literally half the team so there you have it!
Chance he gets traded, in my opinion, and based on nothing: 85 percent.