The National Hockey League calendar is dotted with several bench-marks and milestones that are highlights of the year. Alongside the NHL Draft, the trade deadline is one of my favourite days.
Welcome to FlamesNation’s continuing coverage of Deadline Day, gang. Here’s what you need to know as things start to get crazy here.
WHERE THINGS STAND
The Calgary Flames roster sits at 22 healthy bodies right now.
- Goaies (2): Karri Ramo and Jonas Hiller
- Defensemen (7): Kris Russell, Dennis Wideman, T.J. Brodie, Corey Potter, Deryk Engelland, Raphael Diaz and David Schlemko
- Forwards (13): Joe Colborne, Mikael Backlund, Johnny Gaudreau, Lance Bouma, David Jones, Mason Raymond, Sean Monahan, Jiri Hudler, Brandon Bollig, Michael Ferland, Josh Jooris, Emile Poirier and Markus Granlund
- Injured: Mark Giordano (upper body), Ladislav Smid (upper body), Paul Byron (all-over-body)
- Non-Roster: Matt Stajan (personal)
Everyone counts against the salary cap right now (nobody is on long-term IR), so the Flames have a combined current cap hit of $58.018 million, per our pals at NHL Numbers. That means they have $13.277 million in available cap space. By my tally, the Flames have 46 active NHL contracts that are running (along with the deals of Sam Bennett, Keegan Kanzig and Morgan Klimchuk, which are all sliding this season). So they have a lot of flexibility on either front right now.
For the curious in the crowd, the Calgary Flames hold one first round pick, two seconds, two thirds, a fifth rounder, a sixth rounder and a seventh rounder in this coming June’s entry draft. They traded their fourth round pick to San Jose for T.J. Galiardi. They have neither traded or acquired any picks for future drafts beyond 2015.
The AHL playoff roster deadline is also today!
Also of note, players must be on the AHL roster by the trade deadline today if they are to be eligible to play in the Calder Cup playoffs. At present, Michael Ferland, Emile Poirier and Markus Granlund are all able to be sent down to the AHL without going through the waiver wire, and Tyler Wotherspoon was already assigned back to Adirondack yesterday. Corey Potter requires waivers, so he’s sticking around.
However, there’s also the wrinkle of Calgary only having 22 men on their active roster and not being allowed by league rules to dip below 20 at any time during the playing season. Also, any players sent down to maintain AHL eligibility would count as regular recalls when they come back up, and you only get four of those after the trade deadline. So some tough decisions will need to be made today on that front, as well.
(Joni Ortio and Ryan Culkin will both likely be out until after the end of the AHL’s regular season.)
THE RUMOUR MILL
Lots of chatter throughout the day today, even after Calgary’s moves.
BTW, there were rumblings yesterday CAL was going to sign G Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers from the KHL, but that appears off.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 1, 2015
Should be an interesting day for the Flames. Will Glencross expand list? Will a team on the list step up? Calgary hoping to land a D-man.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) March 1, 2015
— Roger Millions (@RogMillions) March 1, 2015
Flames have 5 picks now in top 80 in June. Can use one of those picks on a D beore deadline but won’t overpay. If it’s not there, so be it
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) March 1, 2015
A lot of scuttlebutt revolved around Braydon Coburn and Calgary, but he went to Tampa overnight for an ungodly sum – a first rounder, a third rounder and Radko Gudas. Is Calgary still looking for defensive help, though, or are they content with David Schlemko and waiting for Giordano’s return?
I’m also thinking that the Jeff Deslauriers deadline was both related to the AHL roster deadline and/or another deal involving a goaltender. Karri Ramo has the hot hand right now, but he’s also a pending free agent. So maybe keep an eye on that throughout the day, too.
As the big day gets going, bear in mind that Flames hockey kicks back up tomorrow, and here’s how the standings look: