Time for a Deal?


Imagine a party at Ed Snider’s house that includes Brian
Burke, Dale Tallon, Garth Snow, and that is hosted by Paul Holmgren. Pretty good
recipe for some wicked antics, I think. Some crank calls to the Oval Office,
maybe getting $500 worth of pizza delivered to Donald Fehr’s place, and you
know Snow doesn’t go home that night without a wedgie.*

That is more or less what is shaping up to happen this summer in Philadelphia. The unpredictable Ed Snider/Paul Holmgren duo are
hosting the NHL Entry Draft and Tallon, Burke (and recent hire Brad Treliving)
and potentially Snow are all in the mix with picks in the top five.

Brian Burke hates long rebuilds. He also hates traffic jams,
hipster jeans, those unlikely-animal-friendship videos and revisionist undergraduate
theses on the Sykes-Picot treaty.

But he really hates long rebuilds.

His new GM is more of a blank page when it comes to this
sort of thing. Having spent a significant portion of time working for the
Phoenix Coyotes organization while they were a ward of the state, there wasn’t
much room for roster moves by his former boss, Don Maloney. We’ll have to wait
and see in what direction he takes this team. But about his new boss, Burke, we
already know a fair bit.

So here’s some food for thought as the Flames wrap up the
season and prepare for a pivotal summer (although, let’s face it, most summers
are pivotal for NHL teams).

*Meanwhile, Burke stole MacTavish’s invite out of his
mailbox and Garth Snow no longer returns Tim Murray’s phone calls.

The Flames’ Needs

The Flames need elite young talent but have the luxury of
being fairly well-built down the middle. Okay, that didn’t really sound right,
but I you get what I mean. They have some decent centers in Backlund and
Monahan with Stajan providing the sacrificial old-man power down the middle. On
the wings they have some good complementary players in Hudler and Glencross.

After a solid first pairing of Giordano and Brodie, they are
also limited by not having enough depth on their backend…huh, that’s two for
two. (Is it just me or is hockey filled with potentially inappropriate
innuendos? Moving on!)

Essentially, what this means is that the Flames are shopping
for some defensemen in the numbers four through six range and good wingers who
can slot in with Glencross, Bouma, Hudler, Colborne, Jones, Galiardi and

Those assets are relatively easy to grab – darn it, there I
go again!

The Flames’ prospect chart, though, is somewhat lacking in a
few of these areas, most notably in defense and right wing, and those prospects
that are in the system are a long way off from the NHL. So, how does one
acquire top-end talent at a young age without necessarily having to go through the draft-and-develop stage?


The What-If Machine

What if Brian Burke were to trade the 4th overall
pick in this year’s draft to the Colorado Avalanche for Ryan O’Reilly? Would Joe
Sakic make that deal? Perhaps. That is a high pick and the Avs have a
collection of forwards such that they could afford to be patient with whomever
they select. It offers them the chance to re-align their roster if they were to
choose a winger, or even potentially improve if they feel that the prospect
available at that position has a greater upside than the player they are giving
up.  It also means that they can take the
money that O’Reilly is likely to ask for and redeploy it elsewhere in the
roster to shore up other necessities, or re-sign veterans like Stastny, now
that the emergence of Nathan MacKinnon has solidified their center depth.

There is the chance that the Avs would want a little more in
the deal, so including Ladislav Smid to bolster their defence might fit, but if
we go down that road I would then ask for Mason Geertsen in return as a depth
defensive prospect. Geertsen’s junior comparable was often David Musil, and it
is easy to see why: both are big bodies and defensive specialists who play with
an edge. This isn’t meant to get too in-depth into this process, but just to
show that values are relative and that both sides have things the other may
value such that a deal could probably be made.

So, in the end the Flames would get a proven NHL player – a
very good 2-way center as well as a defensive prospect – while the Avalanche
get a high draft pick, a roster player and free up some money.

Is any of Sam Bennett, Sam Reinhart, or Leon Draisaitl
likely to be significantly better than Ryan O’Reilly? Not necessarily. Perhaps,
but O’Reilly is a known commodity and a pretty darned good one at that. Those
prospects could out-produce him over the course of their careers, but in
examining the move one would have to factor in what the addition of O’Reilly
does for the Flames versus the addition of a prospect who may need at least one
more year of junior development before joining the NHL team as a rookie.

What if the Flames made that deal for Sean Couturier? If
Ekblad were to fall to the Flames would you make that deal? I believe Holmgren
would. But in either case, there exists the possibility that the Flames could
have a valuable asset in that 4th overall pick and the time could be
right for a deft move to improve the roster immediately without giving up
anything terribly expensive or costly down the road.

Perhaps in the Couturier case one deals down from 4th
to wherever the Flyers draft and picks up Couturier in exchange for adding
another draft pick. Again, it depends on who is available. If Ekblad is there I
think there is a chance Holmgren takes the swap without hesitation.

I’m not pointing out these two teams to bring specific deals
to the conversation, just that there is a window of opportunity this June and
perhaps more potential suitors than one might otherwise believe.

Now here’s the other shoe…

What if Burke were to trade next year’s 1st round
pick and a prospect like Mark Jankowski to Winnipeg for Evander Kane?

Kane’s issues this season, and even some rumblings of
disaffection earlier, have, if not forced the issue, at least opened a window
of opportunity for a GM willing to offer what the Jets may feel is fair value
and an opportunity to turn the page.

The former 4th overall pick is a young LW, 6’2”
and 190lbs with a set of whitewalls on him that can embarrass many defensemen.
He has averaged .62 ppg over the first 329 NHL games of his career thus far and
one could argue that his point production has been hampered by playing for the
Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets for the last five years.

While he may not be an elite talent, he is signed long-term
at a decent cap hit and is just 22 years old, meaning that the Flames could
have him for what should be the upswing in his development.

Burke could be buying at exactly the right time.

For the Flames there is considerable risk as they would now
have traded away two 1st round picks in back-to-back years, at the
same time they have added significant assets to their top six forwards. And, as
anyone familiar with the last two trade deadlines will tell you, 1st
round picks can be added in surprising ways and from unforeseen assets.

Yeah, I know Flames fans have been sold on that McDavid
draft thing for over a year now. But this past season was expected to be pretty
bad and they still only made it to picking 4th overall with a slim
chance of moving up to 1st. Is there any reason to expect that they
are going to be worse, considerably worse, next year? Trust me on this, to
draft 1st overall you have to be bad. Really. Bad. And when one
factors in that under the new draft lottery scheme finishing with the worst
record only give you a one-in-four chance of drafting 1st overall,
then the value of that pick is largely perceptual rather than real. Are next
year’s Flames likely to be worse than the Buffalo Sabres? The Edmonton Oilers?
The Islanders? Not to mention any number of surprise teams who suffer an
unanticipated collapse.

That’s another thing Brian Burke doesn’t like. Lotteries.

Back to the trades.

It is important to consider that neither of these trades
would be with a divisional rival, the Flames would be addressing their own
needs but also attending to the interests of the other team involved by giving
them valuable assets at a cost that does not set them back on their
own development path.

In the end, the Flames would be heading into training camp
with a forward group built around Evander Kane, Ryan O’Reilly, Sean Monahan, Sven
Baertschi, Jiri Hudler, Curtis Glencross and Mikael Backlund with Bouma,
Galiardi, Colborne, Stajan, Jones and Granlund in support. I’m no expert, but
that starts to look an awful lot like the roster of a professional team in the
National Hockey League.

There would likely remain holes on the wing, notably first
line RW and third/fourth line LW which could be addressed via free agency. Ales
Hemsky and Radim Vrbata as possible RW free agents and Nikolai Kulemin, David
Moss, Jussi Jokinen or Steve Downie as LW free agents could add some valuable
depth to the lineup. With the addition of Treliving as GM, can we just pencil
in Vrbata and Moss now?

Oh, and for the record, I steadfastly resisted putting in any reference to or imagery from the “O’Reilly Factor” in this article. You’re welcome.

Falling Down Blue

The blueline would need to be bolstered but with Giordano,
Brodie and Wideman to start with and Smid and Russell as the bottom end of the
rotation. That would leave very few spots and some very specific talents to
shop for. Here there are some options available as well.

Putting together a collection of pending UFAs and a few
signed players, here is a look at some options available for the Flames:


These are potential blueline acquisitions ranked by CorsiRel and QualComp.


These are the same candidates ranked on CorsiRel and Quality of Teammates.

For my money, I like Fayne, Niskanen, Orpik and Markov as
UFA options to fill out the middle of the Flames defensive roster. Coburn would be ideal, but would probably require a significant payment for Holmgren to let him go. MacTavish burned a hole in the floor at last year’s draft going back and forth trying to get him but the price was just too high. 

This would give the Flames’ defensive depth chart Brodie,
Giordano, Fayne (for example), Orpik (ditto), Wideman, Smid and Russell with
Wotherspoon as a call-up.

Not too shabby and it pushes players like Wideman and Smid
down the lineup.

Sobriety Test

I’m not saying that this will
happen, or even that it ought to
What I am suggesting is that there are opportunities out there for the
Flames to improve their roster and add elite-level players today. The Pacific
division is changing and a window of opportunity has opened.

To illustrate, let me offer you a parable.

Two guys are walking in the woods. They come across a
massive grizzly bear who looks a little ticked off and starts growling and
coming at them. The first guy drops his pack and starts taking off his boots
and lacing up his running shoes. His buddy looks at him and says, “You’re
crazy! You can’t run faster than a Grizzly just because you’ve got running
shoes on!” The first guy says “I don’t need to outrun the bear, I just need to
outrun you!”

Thus is it with the Flames. Do they need to beat the Ducks,
Kings and Sharks? Not necessarily. But they could beat the Canucks, Coyotes and
Oilers and so long as they stay ahead or tied with teams like the Wild they
could qualify as a Wild Card in the playoff race.

The Oilers are undergoing a significant transition under
Craig MacTavish and Dallas Eakins and one suspects that they still have considerable
hurdles to overcome to balance their roster such that any significant
improvements can be made.

Meanwhile, the skies darken in Vancouver (they are sensitive
people on the West Coast, they’re offended by words like “rain”), as they enter
something like a rebuild, but more innovative and without all the negative waves
associated with that outmoded paradigm. This is Vancouver, after all. How do hipsters rebuild? Isn’t shabby-chic their thing, or are they over that too?

The Phoenix Arizona Coyotes appear to be set on the
status quo, and while there is a chance that new ownership will want to make a
splash in this free agent season, they have been more or less running in place
for several years now and I believe could be unseated by a team with a superior
skill set and a more aggressive management style.

The Flames can’t trade or draft their way out of the Pacific
Division. They are stuck here and therefore the choices are to either get up
and try to beat the California teams sooner rather than later, or sit back, get
their heads knocked in and draft high for a few years in the hopes that they
can draft high enough and well enough to collect the elite level and
complementary talent at a rate greater than the rate of renewal amongst the
Ducks, Kings and Sharks.

Weighing It Out

The Pros for these moves are that the roster is immediately
improved with known quantities that are just entering their most productive
years while only relinquishing potential assets (draft picks) and a single
roster player and a single prospect. No one area of the organization’s asset
wealth is exhausted exclusively (ie: solely trading draft picks) and the
significant commitments are all being made to young players as they enter the
peak of their careers.

It also means that when the Flames bring their young players
into the roster like Gaudreau, Poirier, Klimchuk and Granlund they will be
playing behind a strong top six, providing them with developmental shelter. It
not only puts the current Flames roster in a position to succeed, but sets it
up so that the next generation of drafted prospects can better acclimate to the
NHL and hopefully find success.

The Cons of the deal are that the Flames would be putting a
lot of stock into the 2014-2015 season and making substantial investments in a
young core cobbled together with significant additions from other organizations
with no guarantee of how those pieces might work together. It is very likely
that the team could miss the playoffs next season with this roster if only
because of the time it could take for the roster to mesh into a cohesive team.
Also, this addresses neither the Flames’ defensive shortcomings nor their
goaltending situation which remains relatively unsettled.

Still, when one considers the benefit versus the cost, I
believe that the deals would make the Flames a better team almost immediately
and arguably for at least five years onwards. In the modern NHL that would be

In Review

Out: 2014 4th overall pick (Leon Draisaitl, Sam
Bennett, Sam Reinhart, Aaron Ekblad or Michael Dal Colle), Ladislav Smid, 2015 1st
round pick, Mark Jankowski. As well, additional signings of Andrei Markov and/or
Brooks Orpik, Matt Niskanen and/or Mark Fayne.

In: Ryan O’Reilly, Evander Kane, Mason Geertsen, and approximately $21 million in salary on O’Reilly, Kane and two UFA defensemen leaving the team with roughly $5 to $6 million in projected cap space. 

  • Burnward

    The Flames are going to get a very good young player that they control for close to a decade.

    If you trade that pick for O’Reilly…there isn’t even close to that level of security, unless you lock him down to a multi-year ridiculous money deal.

    I like that O’Reilly is established…but the top 4 seem to be pretty solid bets to be as good as, if not better than him, and at a fraction of the price for quite a while.

    Stay the course…

  • T&A4Flames

    Truthfully Rex, this idea of yours seems better suited to the Oilers than the Flames. Trade your 1st this year and next year along with next years’s 2nd.

    ROR fills that 2C (or 1C bumping Nuge to 2C) hole brilliantly. Gagner can now be traded for immediate help on D.

    Kane, Hall, ROR provide a ton of speed, size and skill to complement Nuge, Yakupov and Eberle.

    In fact, you might even trade one of Eberle or Yakupov for another D which added to the D for Gagner, plus Klefbom, plus maybe Nurse, plus Schultz and Petry and whoever else there is somewhat decent means the Oil might actually start to have something that resembles an NHL defense corps.

    IMO, Scrivens is solid so those moves alone in front of him should massively help the Oil.

    Next, go to LA, Boston , Chicago and Detroit and find at least 2 players with size who have been part of those organizations winning philosophies for at least 5 years. Doesn’t matter if they’re 3rd or 4th liners, just as long as they’re not goons. Give up what you need to get them (like that 2nd next year).

    While you’re at it, an Olympic strength training coach should be working with the Nuge daily and shooting for him to have a 25-30% increase in strength over the summer. Which is entirely doable given his age, athletic level and lack of strength now.

    Then, sit down with Hall until you’ve convinced him that not only does he need to play a 200′ game, but that he needs to take it upon himself to become one of the best 2 way players in the game.

    That’s a solid plan.

    • BurningSensation

      Agree the Oilers could benefit more from making a “bold” trade for ROR right now than the Flames…it’s a question of timing.

      The OILER’s are 8 years in to a rebuild and NEED TO WIN NOW! Trading for solid established players is ke, particularly to strengthen the middle Centres and add experience at D as they already have 3-4 solid prospects.

      Meanwhile for the FLAMES I agree with Burnward and many others saying be patient and “stay the course”. The Flames need another year of patience to fully FOCUS ON DEVELOPING THEIR TALENT properly else they run the risk of losing some top prospects.

      Baertschi, Gaudreau, Granlund have miles to go while Monahan, Wotherspoon, Colborne are still in full learning mode too, and Backlund is just coming of age. And then there are a dozen more young guys plus the new 2014 draftees to develop on the farm.

      One more year of focus on development would do the entire organization a world of good. Switching focus to “win now” adds a lot of risk and potential failure in several areas, and could un-do all the positive work this past year.

      A focus on development will likely yield another good draft position and potentially have a shot at Eichel or McDavid, generational players both!

      What would it be like to have a Crosby or Ovechkin or Gretzky or similar on the Flames? Is it worth a shot to set the team up for the next decade by focusing this year on patiently developing prospects?

      The Oilers are likely moving 20+ points up this year, along with FLA and NYI. BUF should make some progress too. Other than the Flames the team most likely to position themselves to get McDavid or Eichel is Vancouver…need I say more?

    • Robear

      While I agree that Rex’ full plan as espoused here might be better suited for the Oilers, I still like the concept I believe he’s going with as the basis of his plan.

      Its shades of the Detroit model where good prospects are allowed to get experience with sheltered minutes under established vets. The contention is that a firmer base of young established NHLers would provide weaning tme for some of our high end prospects and make for a stronger organization for an extended period.

      The trades that Rex has proposed fill an organizational need for established talent in their early 20’s. Help Mickis carry that flag. With this age range and talent level added, no one prospect would need to be used like Sven was and have his development potentially stunted.

      This plan also addresses the problem that potentially arises when ALWAYS drafting and developing your own talent and what we have now. While we have a HUGELY improved prospects cupboard, we are still seriously lacking in RW and high end D prospects. Since not all prospects pan out and others mature at different rates, this is to be expected. The only way to solve this is via trade or free agency.

      having said all this, I’m not sure that I would have the cojones to make those 2 trades, given that the prospects given up are potentially top end.

      I would, without thinking about it, throw some good money and term at a UFA D man like Niskanen to help out our D core. We’d likely have to over pay again, as we did with Wideman, but its a useful way to get us to the cap floor and strengthens the org moving forward.

      Good article Rex!

      So I like the concept, and I know that I like ROR, but I’m not sold that I would make either of those deals

  • Tenbrucelees

    @ Rex

    the Flames need top 6 forwards period. What you propose does address this. Our prospects still are Q?.

    I like this idea better than pursuing older players like Stastny and Michalek in FA.

    • loudogYYC

      He plays C or LW. Heck of a player and better than any of our prospects, but it’s a redundant position at this point.

      In fairness, there really aren’t too many quality RW’s right now that aren’t already franchise players. Glencross is the best trade chip the Flames have if they want to acquire a player like Simmonds or Wheeler.

  • Byron Bader

    I don’t mind the idea of trading our pick next year. Absolutely not this year’s not even for O’Reilly. You have a guaranteed top 4 pick … the team’s first top 5 in their history. Hold on to that and see what you end up with. Either way you’re going to get a really good player that likely should be a decent NHLer at some point. The reasoning makes sense on next year’s draft pick though. The odds of McDavid or even Eickel are very, very slim. Especially when teams like Buffalo are basically ‘hoping’ to be that bad next year to get him. Trading the 1st next year for E. Kane or even another top 5 (ideally top 4) this year makes a lot of sense to me. Give another scrub team another bullet in the chamber to get McDavid and we get 2 top 5s out of the deal. The prospects in the top 5 this year are not projected to be as good as McDavid or Eichel but they still look pretty damn good. Two of Ekblad, S. Reinhart, Bennett and Draisaitl drafted by the Flames would be quite incredible.

  • Tenbrucelees

    Pretty sure ROR can play rw also but regardless he played like 60 games before he got a single penalty while also being a 50+ point guy AND one of the best Defensive forwards in the league. Id move that 4th overall pick for him in a heart beat we already know he’d play in Calgary. And he would be a KEY staple in our core for years to come if Monahan lives up to some of the comparisons he’s had of Toews having him and O’Reilly would give us two game changing two way forwards add in Backlund who many analysts have suggested is a player that will sooner rather than later be in the mix for the Selke gives us some serious depth.

    • Byron Bader

      Yeah can’t argue that. I would really be reluctant to give up our 4th this year but next year’s or if they can find another way to make that deal I’d be all over it. ROR’s PPG has increased dramatically every year and he’s only 23. He’s probably at or near his max offensive potential now but still 0.70 – 0.80 PPG two-way power house. Certainly a good looking three centers there.

  • A little confused. You state our greatest needs our acquiring 2/3rd pairing D & a top RW and then continue by suggesting we trade for Ryan O’Reilly (a 2 way center/decent upgrade of Mikael Backlund) & Evander Kane (a potential elite LW). While they are both great players, I’m not sure we need either.

  • Sorry, commented before I read through the comments, looks like others have already posted exactly what I have.

    Another thought on trading our 2015 1st. I would hate to trade it away before we have at least an idea of where we’ll pick. For all we know the Flames could have a bad year and we end up having a lotto pick. Dumb idea to trading our pick away without knowing the value of it – especially with all of the McDavid hype.

  • Flames fans are a little traumatized about the idea of trading draft pics after years of disaster. Your Oilers on the other hand… this is the kind of stuff they should be plotting up north.

  • Rockmorton65

    Great article, Rex. I would offer a couple of tweaks.

    1. Instead of ROR, I would see if the 4th overall would be enough for Bogosian. I can’t imagine it would take much more, especially if there someone that Winnipeg is high on.

    2. Ask for permission to speak to Stastny’s agent. If you can negotiate a deal, I would offer to return their 2nd for his rights. A 2nd may seem like a lot, but I think it would be funny if we could turn Berra into Stastny.

    3. Getting Bogo and Stastny would make it easier to sign Cammy, methinks. Sign 2 of the D men you mentioned, and you’ve got an accelerated rebuild.

  • Rockmorton65

    This has got to be my favorite post on the site yet. I enjoy the trade talk and seeing this come together would be a stretch knowing that the flames could be a dynasty sooner or later interests me.

  • BurningSensation

    now that Gaudreau is signed we need to cash that chip in with some eastern team. How about Adam Larrson and Adam Henrique for Jonny Hockey and our 4th
    Henrique is a stud! Larsson maybe can be bought low. Could Jersey parlay our fourth and their first round pick into Ekblad?
    So essentially LArrson and Enrique and their first rounder for Gaudreau and Arron Ekblad.

  • BurningSensation

    If we are ‘accellerating’ the rebuild;

    – Make a trade for either Erik Staal or Jason Spezza (both appear to be on the block). They would be bonafide #1Cs who; would push our youngsters down the depth chart to reasonable positions (i.e. Monahan as #3C with cherry zone starts and soft-as-puppies opposition). Both guys are just 30 years old, so they could be part of the team for 3-5 years before they start to fade – but at that point we could replace them with internal candidates (Monahan/Granlund/Knight/this year’s #4 overall).

    – Trade for Bogosian. He’s the exact right profile of the defenseman Calgary needs to build a 2nd unit around (assumes that Gio-Brodie are the top pair moving forward forever more)

    – Re-sign Cammalleri

    As it stands the big holes in Calgary’s roster are;

    #1 C (Spezza)
    #1 RW (Cammalleri)
    #3 D (Bogosian)

    Add those three items and the team is ready to hit the accellerator.

    • BurningSensation

      Not a fan of Spezza. There’s a good reason that Ottawa is shopping a 30 year old captain. Calgary’s makeup is all about “team” and that nobody is bigger than the team so they need to be very careful who they trade for or who they pursue as free agents. Spezza no. Kane no. Bogosian absolutely. Staal no. ROR absolutely. Regardless of who they target, they need to fit into the Flames profile.

    • T&A4Flames

      Both guys are just 30 years old, so they could be part of the team for 3-5 years before they start to fade

      It’s too late. They’re both fading already. Particularly Spezza, who is also made of glass.

      Also, I’m not sure either of them is a bona-fide 1C. Ask any Senators fan who their #1 is; I give it 9 in 10 they tell you it’s Kyle Turris.

      Honestly, I’m not convinced (healthy)Spezza + Bogosian makes the Flames a playoff team, much less a contender.

      • loudogYYC

        I agree Baalzamon.

        BurningSensation…if the goal of the Flames is to build a cup-contender…which I believe it has to be (or why else have a team?)…then Spezza is not the answer, nor is anyone older than 28 years at most.

        The Flames nucleus is 18-23 years of age. This core does not yet have the breadth of players with elite level skill that can contend. Virtually the only way to add to this core is with Top 10 (or better yet Top 5) drafting, plus excellent secondary drafting to fill out the rest of the roster and hopefully develop an elite level player e.g. Doughty, Weber, etc.

        By trading away Top 5 picks this year and next we will likely be able to improve the team with some nice assets to become a playoff-capable team. However by doing so we will give up the opportunity to become a cup contender.

        The timing of becoming a trader should also be considered. Trades involving core players or Top 10 picks usually occur for a team looking to round out the final pieces of their core, not usually a central core (top 2) piece. Seguin and Thornton deals don’t happen often.

        For a Cup contending team so far we have perhaps 2 Fwd core assets (Monahan, Gaudreau maybe?) and 1 D core piece (Brodie) in the right age range and elite skill level (Gio will not be around when they contend and should likely be traded in 1-3 years).

        Adding Bennett/Draisaitl and a Top 10 pick next year will likely yield two more, leaving ~2 more elite-level F and 1 more D, with the rest being filled by supporting cast of above average talent with the needed mix of skill, size, speed, scoring, physicality.

        At this time I would not be in favour of trading away our picks as we would get above average talent at best (or old post-apex talent) rather than elite-level talent to add to the core of a cup contender.

  • BurningSensation

    I’m a big RoR fan but I’m not sure I would trade the #4 for him until I see how the draft day shakes down. I also think Colorado is in conflicted situation and you might not have to pay that price; they have 2 centermen that ideally they would probably prefer to keep, but to keep both of them will cost about $14 million. Stastny had a good playoff but RoR was not quite as good. If they don’t sign Stastny they could loss him for nothing and he would actually be someone I would look at. RoR on the other hand is younger but might be had for something else they need to get over the top.(Roy has to think they are close, RoR was problematic the last time he was RFA and might prove so again) Both are under 30 and would better fit the Flames than Spezza and I suspect the price would be high.

  • @TACOcurt

    horse trading 101 – sell ’em when there yellin’ buying when they’re cryin’
    If there is interest down east for this kid, created by his parents potentially, why would should we be afraid to trade this 5 foot 7 wunderkid. His value quite likely will never be higher to the Flames now that he is signed.
    If we were a deep team, like Chicago, we could then deploy Jonny Hockey like Kane is deployed there. We are several years away. Unless we can lock him away in the minors for two full seasons and risk him turning into Paul Byron, I think the Flames are foolish not to look to cash that chip on the High flyer pick feaster did. Isn,t left wing where we have good depth at? I too dream of him as the next Martin St. Louis, who we traded away too, but this time we can sell with some strength and make our team better. You guys all saw how he got bumped around in his only NHL game when he drew that weak call against Vancouver. It was like he was a pee wee player. He did compete impressively at times but how durable will be?

    • loudogYYC

      So a peewee looking player that got bumped around in his only NHL game should be traded because his value will never be higher?

      I don’t think you understand this whole trade concept.

  • @TACOcurt

    Great post Rex, totally enjoyed this one. But I’m with the majority that this is not the right way to speed up the rebuild. I do think to speed up the rebuild we need to try & acquire that 2014 1st overall Florida are reportedly throwing out there. 2 picks in the top 4 this year, get Ekblad & Bennett, wow in 2 years this team is going to start scaring people. Don’t know what it would take, don’t know if Florida wants players that will be in the lineup & get them playoff bound immediately but I would pay a good price for that pick, Hudler, Russel & one of our better NHL ready prospects. All guys on good contracts that will be in their starting lineup next fall has to have some appeal to the Panthers.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    never said i fully understood the process. But i do understand odds of success and failure pretty good as a life long gambler of sports. He was bought low and we can parlay him while he is currently perceived as a higher value. Should we gameble that he is the next Marty St Louis or anyhing even remotely close to him or do we gamble that whatever he could bring us today will not only more than likely provide us some solid assets where we need, like young defence or right wing prospects. In addition we have players like him in Baertshi and Byron already. What iam i failing to understand loudogYYC?

    • Rockmorton65

      Another thing to consider is the Flames track record on trading smaller prospects because they didn’t start performing right away. Names like Brett Hull, Marc Savard, Marty St Louis. They were all traded away because they weren’t “developing fast enough “. Let’s be patient with this kid.

  • Rockmorton65

    Good point rockmorton65. I think with the recent Glen Falls placement of our farm team, it increases the amount of time we can keep this kid on the farm. Sprinkle in a couple of eastern zone call ups to the big club and we could get two full seasons on the farm hopefully.
    I will use my Pee Wee analogy again; how many talented but small pee wee players become injured or disillusioned from the larger early developed same aged peers. No matter how good the smaller player is, eventually someone tags you a good one. This is why Hockey Calgary and other youth organizations have banned hitting at these levels. The Flames are not able to shelter this player yet. He needs significant time in the minors while his body matures and while the Flames mature a couple of top tier lines who can handle his tougher match ups.
    I confess, im not sure we need to trade him, especially because of Glen Falls, but it sure is fun to discuss this with y’all.

  • JR

    This post makes me laugh. For one isn’t Rex an oiler nation writer? & 2 this is the exact type of moves Sutter was making to put this team in the situation it’s been in the last number of years. This NHL is a young mans games & it’s imperative that teams keep they’re high draft picks & build through the draft. Unless they think to be a cup contender & are only a piece or 2 away (which the Flames are far from). You don’t trade a 4th overall pick & potential lottery pick in 2015 for generational players, so you can fight with the Phoenix’s of the world to scratch into the 8th playoff spot. Does this not sound all to familiar to anyone else??