Report: Flames Trade Sven Baertschi To Canucks For Second Round Pick

The tumultuous relationship between the Calgary Flames and supremely talented (yet inconsistent) prospect Sven Baertschi is now over. The 2011 first round pick has been traded to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for a second round draft pick (likely in the 2015 draft), according to several reports.

Baertschi was one of Jay Feaster’s prize picks, back in the 2011 NHL Draft where he went 13th overall. However, Baertschi just couldn’t even get over the hump and transition from “promising prospect” to “NHL player.” With Emile Poirier, Morgan Klimchuk and a bunch of other wingers in the pipeline, the Flames have now cut bait with him.

Baertschi never quite fit in with Calgary, perhaps due to some inconsistency in his 200-foot play leading to rumoured friction with the coaching staff. He was used primarily as a third liner, which admittedly doesn’t fit his skill-set, through Josh Jooris started in a similar role and was able to work his way out of it. Brian Burke’s public assessments of Baertschi weren’t all that glowing – the highlight was Burke noting there were three zones on the ice and Baertschi only played strongly in one of them – and the hope was likely Baertschi would improve his defensive play.

The judgment was probably made that Baertschi was what he was at this point, and that a draft pick was probably worth giving both parties a fresh start. He put up 28 points in 66 NHL games with the Flames – including three goals in his first brief call-up – and 76 points in 107 AHL contests with Abbotsford and Adirondack. That first expectations-raising call-up likely destined him for failure in the organization, as he never quite lived up that promise as a pro – and by sheer coincidence, the nail in his coffin was probably Johnny Gaudreau stepping in and exceeding his own lofty expectations.

Best of luck to Sven Baertschi in the Canucks organization.

  • Victoria Flames Fan

    I’m ok with getting a 2nd Round pick for a highly touted prospect that just hasn’t seemed to fit into our system, but I wish we traded him out of the division. I have this sick feeling he’s going to explode with the Canucks all over us.

  • MonsterPod

    Everyone fell in love with Sven’s draft position.

    He and Granlund are the same size and age. Granlund is a center, more defensively responsible, and creates more offensively.

    We kept the better player of the two.

    Sure, Sven might figure it out and be a rock star someday, but somehow I doubt it. Three years here and he took baby steps.

    Johnny flew past him and now so has Poirier. Klimchuk is in the system. There was not a place for Sven. I’m happy with another 2nd. Well done.

  • flamesburn89

    One question I have is why the Flames decided to leave Baertschi in the minors, potentially hurting his value, if he had asked for a trade months ago. It would’ve been better asset management to play him in the NHL and give him cherry minutes to help boost his value.

  • ngthagg

    This is a terrible trade. Not because trading Baertschi is a bad thing (it’s been obvious for a while that he just didn’t fit into the org’s future plans) but because he had a lot more value.

    I said at the start of the year that if they were planning to trade him, they needed to get him time in the NHL, with strong linemates to pump up his numbers. Instead, they played him with grinders when they played him at all, casting him as a failed prospect to every other team in the league.

    It’s not hard to come up with better trades. We’re light on defensive prospects, so maybe a swap for a dman who isn’t fitting in. Or use Sven as a sweetener to trade an older player (someone like Wideman). There’s lots of possibilities.

    And if there weren’t a lot of options for Sven right now, does it really hurt us to hold on to him until the season is done? Having moved Glencross, there’s a spot open on LW, giving us a chance to still pump Sven’s value.

    This trade reminds me of last year’s draft. No disaster, but just an aftertaste of getting a low return for our assets.

    • flamesburn89

      “I said at the start of the year that if they were planning to trade him, they needed to get him time in the NHL, with strong linemates to pump up his numbers. Instead, they played him with grinders when they played him at all, casting him as a failed prospect to every other team in the league.

      It’s not hard to come up with better trades. We’re light on defensive prospects, so maybe a swap for a dman who isn’t fitting in. Or use Sven as a sweetener to trade an older player (someone like Wideman). There’s lots of possibilities.”

      This part, I agree with 100%. Give him offensive zone starts, play him with Hudler and Monahan, give him PP time. Anything to boost his value. That’s how I would have dealt with it.

          • flamesburn89

            “There’s this thing called winning hockey games. Flames weren’t going to change their game plan and lineup to get Baertschi points. That’s stupid.”

            But playing Bollig period helps the Flames lose games. If the Flames are so concerned with winning games, why do the dress Brandon Bollig in the first place? It seems counter-intuitive, which is supposed to be their biggest concern. That’s what I was pointing to.

            I personally think playing Baertschi more than guys like Bollig, Setoguchi, Mcgrattan, etc earlier in the season would’ve probably helped the Flames boost his trade value earlier as well as help them win more games.

      • Jeremy

        As with all the Sven apologists it seems that you think with him it should’ve been ” Always Given, Never Earned”

        He never impressed his bosses here, and I include the man I consider the best coach we’ve had here since Badger Bob Johnson. Hartlys adage ‘Always Earned , Never Given ” really rings true as far as Baertschi is concerned.

          • Colin.S

            I don’t get this, over his small career with the Flames using a terrible stat, he was a -5, Markus Granlund is a -2 this year. Even in possession metrics Baertschi was in around the same or better in some categories as Granlund as well. So why is Granlund not a defensive liability and Sven was?

            Where exactly was this terrible defence? Even watching the games, he was never terrible at defence, was there things he could learn, sure. But he was also an NHL rookie expecting him to be Backlund or someone else is just silly.

          • flamesburn89

            Not once have I thought that Baertschi was bad defensively. His scouting report said he was a good two-way player. I have never seen that either. I think he’s basically just an average 2 way guy with above average offence. I think JG’s in the same boat, albeit with a considerable amount more of offence. Michael Ferland? I wouldn’t say he’s appreciably better defensively than Baertschi or Gaudreau, I just think his physicality makes it appear so.

            With guys like Monahan, Jooris, Backlund, I really feel like those guys are above average defensively. Baertschi, Gaureau, Jones, Ferland? I think they’re all fairly average in terms of 2-way ability.

          • MonsterPod

            Because Bob Hartley is not a masochist.

            If Sven had earned it– after three years — then he would be playing second line LW ahead of Raymond right now.

            That’s how we know he didn’t earn it.

          • piscera.infada

            Bob Hartley is Illuminati! He hated Sven from the minute he came here. In fact, with comments like that, you might be Illuminati… Wait, I might be Illuminati!?

        • flamesburn89

          Never said I felt he should be given a permanent spot of the big club or that he was infallible. You obviously take the Flames 100% at value, but I like to question things. If you want to maximize the asset, perhaps the Flames should think about more than just their meagre motto. Canucks did it when they had Cody Hodgson, and that was during the middle of their President Season trophy in 2012. Here’s the link from a Cam Charron article written many moons ago about it

          For all of Mike Gillis’ faults, he found a way to win A LOT of games in 2012, and still make his player look better than he actually was. All I’m saying is the Flames should have tried to do the same with Baertschi. They had the knowledge that he didn’t want to be here, so they had plenty of time to try and find a spot to pump up his value.

      • I get it that many are enthralled with Sven’s potential and their entire thinking focussed around Sven and making him succeed or at least pump his value. The Flames are not in the business of pumping any one player, but the team as a whole. Get over the Sven love, or if not, go be a Canucks fan. When you put any one player before the benefit of the whole team that’s a recipe for failure. Obviously the Flames have done great this year, so I believe they have made the right decisions. Sven had attitude issues, Sven got passed by better prospects. He was a high-risk, high-reward prospect that hasn’t panned out. Time to move on…

        • flamesburn89

          Again, disagree. By pumping up his stats and making him look better than he’s actually perceived to be, the Flames could’ve gotten a better return that would have helped the team as a whole, down the line.

  • smith

    I am pretty convinced Beartchi will end up a better player than Granlund. I think he will be a top 6 forward. To trade that for a second is a complete failure. We will probably use it to draft another hunter smith.

    Found BT very underwhelming as a GM. More bad moves than good so far. To bad we did not give Feaster more time. (even though I thought he was only adequate.)

  • MonsterPod

    Knowing that he wouldn’t resign with the Flames hurts his trade value the longer this goes on. Even if he does sign with the Flames, he’d need to clear waivers next year if the Flames wanted to send him down so they’d lose him for nothing. Cut bait, get a good pick for him and move on.

  • flamesburn89

    One other question from me. Baertschi’s draft year profile said that he was a good two way player. In Calgary, I never saw a good 2 way player, but I also never saw a bad one either. I mean, he seems like he’s on the same level as Gaudreau defensively. Pretty average, but its his offensive skills that entice you.

  • Jeremy

    So one thing being overlooked here is he amount of centres in the pipine. Maybe this opens a spot to convert one of them to the wing. Kinda thinkin that would be a good idea. Also Sven is whiner he would have fit in well on the Oilers and would probably be playing 15 a night with 150 nhl games by now up there. Bet you anything he’d never cross his own blue line. I say cut ties I hate cry babies hope he mans up in Van and we replace him with a centre that’s not going to crack this line up at C but could kill it on the wing.

  • Shooter 5567

    BT said he’s been shopping Baertschi for a month.. and the best offer was a 2nd round pick.

    He also said the most calls he received were for Drew Shore.

  • everton fc

    Granlund has been called a leader by few who know him. He’s a grittier player than he may appear. He’s mature beyond his years. Which is why the organization is giving him chances.

    Sven may simply be another Zach Boychuk bust. We shall see.

  • Derzie

    The fans that think this was a bad trade IMO are either not knowledgeable or simply over emotional over a former 1st round pick that carried high expectations.

    First thing is to acknowledge the organization made a bad selection. Not the first time a team has done this but this one hurts more because it was a 1st rounder at a time where skilled talent was badly required.

    Further development confirmed that Sven was well behind his peers and that a 22 yr old former 1st rounder still trying to find his game is a long shot to ever make it. He was a top 6 player in junior and arguable he was not given that opportunity here in Calgary. The philosophy with the current management/coaching team is such that you need to prove your way into that top 6 and that simply never happened.

    And for his agent too put pressure on someone like a Brian Burke is a recipe for disaster to say the least.

    As a Flames fan I believe he was given the opportunity and he did not deliver…time to move on and best wishes to a fine young man.

  • everton fc

    I don’t think people understand that BAERTSCHI DID NOT WANT TO RE-SIGN HERE. Imagine if we let Erixon AND Baertschi walk. Do people remember how upset they were when they thought we got fleeced by only getting 2 2nd rounders for a 1st round pick?

    I’m sure he’ll do just fine in Vancouver, but he had no intention on earning his way onto this team. It sucks, but it’s the best situation for both players. He now has a chip on his shoulder, and we now have another asset to use in our rebuild in a deep draft. If we can use it with another pick for a 1st rounder, would you be happy with Glencross & Baerstchi for a 1st and a 2nd or 3rd?

      • everton fc

        That’s based on what? That he better stats than some of the Flames other young players while playing 8 minutes per game with nobodies?

        Sure. Just like the Buffalo fans that were so glad to see Myers go. Yup.

    • Derzie

      Burke called Sven out on the day he took the job. Hartley demoted Sven every chance he got. Sven is not dumb. He knew that he was not the player that Burke & Hartley like. Not blue collar enough. Him not wanting to sign here is a foregone conclusion. He would be dumb to want to sign given the writing on the wall.

  • Derzie

    The thing I have trouble with are the “he didn’t earn it” comments. The stats have been posted. Both box scores and advanced analytics show that Sven was as good as any of our prospects. And that was with a lot of poor linemates.

    I’m not ticked at what Treliving did. He got the most he could given the situation, but he was backed into a corner.

    I also agree that this was better than having him go to Europe. His value would’ve plummeted even further.

    I’m instead disappointed with our development system. Any objective observer can see that Hartley was never going to give Sven the opportunity he gave others. Lots of players came up and were given at least 2 games on the top line to ‘show it.’ Not Sven. That’s what bothers me. A ton of talent, a 1st round pick used up, 4 years time, and the guy is never given a fair shake. That’s a waste.

  • ngthagg

    Can’t believe how emotional people are over a guy that has underperformed in a handful of games. The Flames made a decision based on smart hockey people and got a 2nd round pick for a player who was set to walk and didn’t want to be in the dressing room. Get over it folks. He’s gone and we’ll be better for it. And I love reading the Canuck fan comments on how they got ripped off giving up a 2nd rounder for a bust of a first rounder. It’s all perspective.

    • Canrock 78

      Sven will be going to Utica where the head coach is Travis Green who was his assistant coach at Portland. Green called Sven the most talented forward in junior hockey – now that is how to make a player feel wanted….and not Burkies BS.

      This trade will haunt the Flames as early as this year if Sven is a callup, but for sure, in the next year.

  • RKD

    I wish Burkie didn’t call out Sven in public, Nazem Kadri maybe a regular NHL player but I can tell you there’s no way he’s a 200 foot player. Brian Burke did not call out any other prospect in the public. Baertschi did have his chances and he was passed by other young players who played better than him. We have Gaudreau, Monahan, Bennett, Poirier etc. I wish Sven could have made more of an impact. I can’t totally blame him if he wanted to try his luck elsewhere. Why did it have to be Vancouver. They already have Horvat and Shinkaruk now we are giving them Baertschi.

  • Derzie

    Brett Hull – SC Champion – Dallas 1999 & Detroit 2002
    Martin St Louis – SC Champion – Tampa Bay 2004
    Marc Savard – missed being a SC Champion due to concussion – Boston 2011
    Sven Baertchi – ???

    Just saying.

    The Flames have a long history of giving up on young, perceived one dimensional players. Whereas other teams are able to utilize these players to suit their talent.

    I wish Sven the best in Vancouver, but hope he’s not added to this list one day.

    Also, clearly John Weisbrod had a hand in this deal in Vancouver. He wasn’t there to assess and draft Sven, but had a lot of time get to know what his potential. Hope losing both of these guys to the canucks doesn’t come back to bite us one day.

  • Colin.S

    Come on people, we can talk about what Sven might be all day, the fact is this is what he was: a mid first round draft pick who in four years could not crack the Flames line up. You can debate why he couldn’t until the cows come home but the fact is that Jooris, Gadreau, Ferland, Grandlund, Monahan and Poirier were ahead of him on the depth chart… given all of these guys ahead of him, where was Sven going to fit? On the third line? Is he that type of player? I don’t think he is. And as for this “he wasn’t given a chance” that’s ridiculous… Sven had the same opportunity at training camps as everyone else. You honestly think that Hartley and crew were sitting thinking “Man I don’t want Sven to succeed because he’s small?” Hartley would have told Sven what he needed to do to stay withe big club, Sven never could it, he wasn’t fitting in here so we traded him and got a second. Maybe he’s Martin St.Louis (doubtful, Martin was a legit NHL’er when we let him go, Sven isn’t yet) but maybe the second round pick we got back is Shae Webber or P.K Suban, and Sven never makes the NHL. Time will tell, but I’m more worried/excited to see what BT does with Six picks in the top 80 at this Draft.