Flames Trade Deadline – Who is Next?

 

Kiprusoff

pic by Dinur Blum

With Iginla and Bouwmeester gone, the Flames head into the deadline tomorrow with a majority of their big chips already cashed. With how rapidly and earnestly the org has suddenly embraced a tear down, however, there could be a couple more trades on the horizon.

Calgary has more than a few attractive pieces left, depending on demand and just how close to the bone Feaster wants to cut…

Miikka Kiprusoff

Kipper staying will depend entirely on him. He doesn’t have a NTC, but can effectively short circuit any potential deal by refusing to report. Rumors are that Toronto has approached Kipper and his agent about potentially playing there. The Leafs signed Drew MacIntyre to an NHL contract today, but that could either be because they struck out with Kipper and want a third guy available for the playoffs or they convinced Kipper to leave Calgary and are moving one of their other goalies (probably Scrivens) in the deal.

We can only guess which way things will fall for now.

If the Flames are able to get anything besides a toxic asset in return for Kiprusoff, it should be considered a win. Kipper has had a terrible season punctuated by injury, with soon turn 37 years old and is a threat to retire in the summer. The Flames waited too long to leverage Kipper for a quality return, so anything they could get for him now (outside of, say, Mike Komisarek) is good news.

Curtis Glencross

Mark Spector is reporting that a number of teams have interest in Curtis Glencross – and so they should. He’s one of the Flames leaders in scoring this year, plays tough minutes, can drive possession in most circumstances and is signed to a cap friendly deal ($2.55M) until 2015.

These are also all the reasons the Flames shouldn’t move him outside of an incredible offer, of course.

Mark Giordano

Guys like Robyn Regehr and Doug Murray are demanding two second rounders in the current market, so it’s obvious Giordano would command some attention if he was put on the block. Without Bouwmeester, Giordano is one of the few veteran anchors on the back-end and while his contract isn’t a bargain ($4.02M until 2016) it’s isn’t a burden either.

Like Glencross, the Flames shouldn’t be in any rush to move Gio.

Lee Stempniak

Tied with Alex Tanguay for the team lead in points, Stempniak has also been one of the Flames best corsi players for two straight seasons and has taken on the big guns for Hartley almost all year. He’s also cheap ($2.5M) and signed for one more year.

Because Stempniak’s reputation doesn’t carry a lot of weight in the league it’s unlikely the Flames get anywhere near equal value for him given his performance for the club. Don’t move him.

Mike Cammalleri

The most expensive player left on the team, Cammalleri is 30 years old and still a capable enough scorer, although he’s certainly not the difference maker his $6M/yer contract suggests. Cammalleri would likely be of interest to a number of clubs looking for offensive depth heading into the post-season without that cap hit, but with one more year left on his deal it makes it a lot tougher to move him.

It’s doubtful Cammalleri will want to stay on beyond next year as the Flames rebuild. They can probably shop him at the deadline next year and get a decent return as a result.

Alex Tanguay

The oldest forward not named "Steve Begin" left on the team, the 33-year old Tanguay still has silky smooth hands and an ability to distribute the puck, but his underlying numbers continue to deteriorate every single season. He is also signed until 2016 at a price of $3.5M per year, which isn’t a prohibitive cap hit, but the length would probably scare most teams off right now.

Like Cammalleri, I can’t imagine Tanguay will want to stay on with Calgary through an extended rebuild. The Flames don’t have to move Tanguay in the next 24 hours, but he is probably a guy the club should start quietly shopping as early as the summer to get a feel for the demand and potential return.

The rest

Cory Sarich, Anton Babchuk, Blake Comeau, Chris Butler, Greg Nemisz, Leland Irving and perhaps Roman Cervenka are all likely nominal pieces who don’t have much of place in the Flames future. Cervenka is the lone exception who could conceivably stick around and make an impact (assuming he improves and Hartley plays him). If not, Feaster and company should be putting him on the auction block with the rest of the extra pieces to see if they can get anything at all in return.

Conclusion

There’s a good chance that, absent a Kipper approved deal, the Flames are more or less done at this point. I personally hope they do not get rid of useful guys like Stempniak, Giordano and Glencross and are lucky enough to move at least one of the support staff for whatever marginal return is available.

Another factor Feaster has to be aware of is the cap floor of $44M next year. The Flames currently have about $40M committed and if Kipper is traded or retires Calgary will be down to approximately $34M heading into the off-season. A deal for another major piece mentioned here means Calgary would have to start reaching to be cap floor compliant in 2013-14.

That’s not a major issue – it’s easy enough to spend money – but comes with a collection of opportunities and pitfalls. Cap space can be a great asset if used judiciously, but can also be a curse when it causes managers to spend wildly. See Buffalo two summers ago and Florida last year as an example. The last thing the Flames need as they try to put this egg back together is to commit to a bunch of gross overpays in the summer because they had to get to the floor.

  • Goalies, Goalies, Goalies.

    So we’re doing a rebuild? Trade both Kiprusoff (now or in the summer), and MacDonald. Both should have value in the immediate future.

    We’ll have a lot of unproven goalies with upside left: Irving, Taylor, Brust, Ramo, and now Berra. A rebuild year is a great time to determine who can play in the NHL and who’s destined for the farm team.

    And as a bonus, someone’s bound to deliver sloppy play, which should get us another lottery pick next year….