(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
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.
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,
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
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
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?
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.
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!