It’s an off-day today and the hockey world is a bit quiet. Since the trade deadline is coming up fast after the Olympic Break, I thought it might be prudent to take a look at what the Flames have in their cupboards that other teams may want.
As you may expect, what the Flames move and what they get back may depend on how desperate other teams are for positional depth.
- Karri Ramo is the only goalie in the organization signed for next year. I doubt he’d be moved, but he’s a perfectly acceptable back-up on just about every NHL club. That’s worth maybe a third rounder.
- Reto Berra is a back-up right now on a bottom-five NHL team. He’s still adjusting to the NHL game, and will probably get gradually better. He’s a UFA this summer. I also doubt he’s moved, but you get a mid-to-late round pick for him.
- Joni Ortio is a pending RFA. He’s an unknown quantity at the NHL level but really good at the AHL level. No clue where his value shakes out.
- Joey MacDonald went through waivers and nobody took him, but at least he has some NHL experience. His trade value is maybe a sixth or seventh rounder, if that. He’s a UFA in July.
- Olivier Roy is an AHL back-up. He has very little trade value. He’s an RFA.
- Jon Gillies is unsigned. He’s a pretty tantalizing asset, though, and there’s a chance you can get a team to overpay based on potential. His stock may have taken a bit of a hit after Team USA’s sub-par World Juniors and his minor struggles in the NCAA afterwards.
- Dennis Wideman is signed long-term, but his cap hit pretty big for what he is. He’s a solid 3/4 defender and useful on the power-play, but he’s not amazing five-on-five. To move him you probably need to keep some salary.
- Mark Giordano is relatively inexpensive and is a perfectly solid 3/4 defender. There’s no damn way they trade him, as he’s the heart and soul of their team, and signed long-term.
- Ladislav Smid is a fine 5/6 defender but he’s paid like a second-pairing guy. He’s a solid penalty-kill option but isn’t fantastic at even-strength. He’s a depth option for a team that wants a defender but balks at Wideman’s cost.
- T.J. Brodie is a rapidly improving young blueliner. He’s a pretty good first pairing guy who is currently paid like a bottom-pairing guy. You can probably get a good asset for Brodie, but then you’d have to be sure they’ll turn out better than he will. No chance he’s moved.
- Chris Butler is an inexpensive 5/6 defenseman who can fill in anywhere and not be horrible. He’s underrated in the sense that he eats up penalty-kill time so that the team’s skill defensemen can play more at crunch time. For a team with depth, he could be a decent 5/6/7 option. Pending UFA.
- I’m of two minds about Kris Russell. He’s small. He’s inexpensive. He’s gotten great situational minutes in Calgary, including a lot of PP time. But he can get knocked off the puck easily. He’s a 3/4 guy in Calgary, but probably a 5/6 guy who’s a power-play specialist elsewhere. If Calgary can’t get a deal worked out with him – and word is they’re close – they can easily recoup their fourth round pick investment.
- Chris Breen is a pending RFA. He’s big. He’s a good AHL defender. He hasn’t shown much of anything at the NHL level, though.
- Chad Billins is a pending RFA. He’s small. He’s moble. He’s a good AHL defender who was fine when he was up in Calgary. He’s a replacement-level NHLer at this point.
- Derek Smith is a pending UFA. He’s got decent size and is a fine filler body, but he’s probably an AHLer in most organizations. He’s Chad Billins, except slightly bigger and with NHL experience. He’s dirt-cheap but cleared waivers, which is probably an indication of his trade value.
- Tyler Wotherspoon has a couple years left on his entry-level deal. He’s a 3/4 guy in Abbotsford who’s projecting as a perfectly fine shut-down defender.
- John Ramage has little offensive upside, but he’s been fine in the AHL. He’s still a bit of a project, in terms of his mobility and his transition game.
- Pat Sieloff has played two games. He’s basically an unknown quantity in the AHL, but given his physicality, I doubt he’s moved.
- Mark Cundari was sent to the Chicago Wolves and James Martin has spent most of his entry-level deal in the ECHL. Both are RFAs. Both have very little trade value.
- Keegan Kanzig, Eric Roy, Ryan Culkin and Brett Kulak are the junior defenders. John Gilmour is the lone college blueliner. They probably all have some trade value, but it’s all based on perceived pro potential. If a team’s scouts fall in love with one of them, you can probably get an asset back.
- The rights to Russian junior Rushan Rafikov are probably worth very, very little in the grand scheme of things.
- Mike Cammalleri is a top-six player in Calgary, but his position on other teams is probably second or third line. He’s got speed to burn, but he’s been criticized at times for his defensive play. He’s incredibly useful on the power-play, as his one-timers from the right side are deadly. His health may be a concern – he missed time with a broken hand and a concussion this year – but he can definitely be a weapon for a team on the hunt. His cap hit is a bit high, though, and he’s a pending UFA. Both will possibly drive the asking price down a bit.
- Jiri Hudler is a top-six guy here who is probably a second/third liner elsewhere. Hudler’s almost criminally underrated, in that he operates with a quiet two-way game, but occasionally springs his line-mates for offensive opportunities. I don’t think he has the speed to be a deadly top-six player, but he’s an excellent complementary guy. He’s signed long-term. He’s valuable here, but may also be a guy teams call about.
- David Jones is a third liner on most teams. His cap hit may be a tad high for what he brings to the table, but he’s got size and can play in most situations.
- Matt Stajan just got signed long-term for a pretty decent cap hit. He’s likely not moving now, but he’s a decent tough-minutes center who’s a good veteran mentor for Calgary’s many, many young pivots.
- Curtis Glencross has a no-movement deal and a really good cap hit. He’s been injured quite a bit this year, but he’s a good complementary winger who can slot in basically anywhere on your top nine. He won’t be moving this year, but he probably wasn’t going to be moved anyway.
- Lee Stempniak is basically a right-wing version of Glencross. He’s got less offensive upside, but he can eat the tough minutes, he can slot in more or less anywhere and he plays in every situation. He’s also a pending UFA. He’s been injured this season and took awhile to get back into the swing of things when he jumped back into the line-up. You probably get a bottom-six guy or a draft pick of some sort if you have a motivated buyer.
- Mikael Backlund has another year left with a low cap hit. Right now, he’s a second-line center with some upside. His recent offensive outbursts may not have driven his value up, as it’s unclear if this is Mikael’s "new normal" or merely a hot streak. But Backlund has played on all four lines, can play in every situation and can distribute the puck or finish, depending on his linemates. If the Flames decide that with the Stajan signing, they’re set for "tough minutes" guys for awhile, Backlund could fetch a decent return, although his injury history (and his offensive upside) may drive the return down.
- T.J. Galiardi is a third liner right now, maybe a fourth liner on some teams. He’s a pending RFA, but is also pretty inexpensive and has shown the ability to be thrown in most areas of the line-up in a pinch.
- Sean Monahan will not be moved. He’s a solid second/third-line pivot right now with some upside. His defensive game needs a bit of rounding out, but he’s been extremely solid offensively, especially for playing on the third line.
- Brian McGrattan and Kevin Westgarth are basically the same player. They have low offensive upside but are considered good intangibles guys – they’re good in the room and are big guys that can fight. Their trade value isn’t high. McGrattan is signed for next year, Westgarth is a pending UFA.
- Lance Bouma is the lowest paid Calgary Flames player. He’s a pending RFA. I’d be shocked if they haven’t called his agent by now to talk turkey. He’s a great PK guy and shot-blocker and he’s likely a career third/fourth line guy. I can’t see them trading him, although I bet they’re getting calls.
- Joe Colborne is still a work in progress. He’s a pending RFA. He’s big and he’s now being used as a center and occasional winger. The trouble for him is he’s not physical enough yet to be an effective bottom-six center, nor is he offensively skilled enough to play top six minutes. Not sure what his value is.
- Paul Byron is a pending RFA. He’s small, but he’s played with a physical edge this season, which is probably why he’s still up on the NHL roster. That said, with so many bigger guys coming up in the system, I’m not sure where Byron fits in. Not sure what is trade value is, either.
- Corban Knight is a big-bodied center with some upside. He’s signed for another year. He’s been one of the Heat’s better players. I can’t see the Flames moving him, although I can see teams being interested. Troy Ward is trying him out as a winger to round out his game, and give him more opportunities to make the NHL.
- Sven Baertschi is an interesting case. He’s got one more year left on his entry-level deal. He hasn’t been amazing with the Flames or the Heat this season. He’s small and not amazing in all three zones, but he’s got great offensive talent, at least in the minors. I can see the Flames cutting bait and moving him for another team’s "problem child" prospect, or they could be more patient – which seems to be Brian Burke’s way – and let him work things out over time. My gut says he sticks in this organization.
- Ben Street and Blair Jones are both similar. They’re both pending UFAs and replacement-level NHLers. You could trade them, but every team probably has one or two tweener forwards bouncing between the AHL and NHL. Neither got claimed on waivers despite being inexpensive.
- Lane MacDermid is a pending RFA. He’s got size and physicality, but I’m not sure if he brings much else to the table. He may get signed, he may walk and he may get flipped for a sixth rounder again. No clue.
- Josh Jooris has another year left and has been a complementary guy in the AHL. He’s a two-way guy without a lot of offense in his game.
- Ben Hanowski is a pending RFA. He’s got decent size but not great skating. He’s been decent in his first year of pro and his offensive numbers aren’t terrible. He likely gets re-upped. I’m not sure what trade value he has right now.
- Max Reinhart doesn’t have a huge frame, but his offensive game has really improved with the Heat this year. He plays a solid two-way game and can play in every situation. He won’t get much bigger, but he’s a very smart player on both sides of the puck. He’s probably got more trade value than Roman Horak had, but not a heck of a lot more.
- Markus Granlund has progressed from an untried rookie into a solid offensive contributor in Abbotsford. He’s got a decent frame and can muck around in the dirty areas. I’m not sure what he is at the NHL level, but he’s probably also not finished developing at the AHL level yet, either.
- Michael Ferland is my pick to be the next Lance Bouma. He’s got size and drives the net, but he may lack the offensive vision to become a high-end scorer as a pro. But he’s adept at creating space for his teammates. His knee injury this season may drive his future trade value down, but I seriously doubt he gets traded. He’s got another year left on his entry-level deal.
- Turner Elson is a bottom-six guy in Abbotsford and just got sent to the ECHL for playing time. He’s got another year left on his deal. He has low asset value right now.
- David Eddy has spent his entry-level deal primarily in the ECHL. He has very low asset value.
- Johnny Gaudreau is unsigned and the Flames probably get many calls asking about him. I really doubt they do anything but sign him in March or April. The Flames probably get calls about Bill Arnold, too, but I also imagine he gets signed. Not sure how many calls they get about Kenny Agostino, but he also probably gets signed. The Flames probably get zero calls about Matt Deblouw and Tim Harrison. They both have many years of school remaining and Deblouw has been scratched a lot lately. Mark Jankowski remains a project and I don’t know how other teams valuate him.
- Emile Poirier & Morgan Klimchuk are already signed juniors. Coda Gordon is an unsigned junior. I doubt any of the three of them get traded.
SUM IT UP
- Most Likely To Be Traded: Mike Cammalleri, Lee Stempniak,
- Dark Horses: Chris Butler, Jiri Hudler
- Teams Call About: Kris Russell, Johnny Gaudreau, Mikael Backlund
- They Wished Teams Called About: Dennis Wideman
The NHL’s trade deadline is Wednesday, March 5. We’ll be all over it from start to finish.