Rumour Round-Up: Hiller, Hudler, Frolik, Okposo, Talbot

With the National Hockey League awards out of the way, the 30 general managers are all down in Sunrise, Florida getting prepared for the 2015 NHL Draft. With the salary cap set for 2015-16, teams are now beginning to talk turkey in terms of trades.

And considering the cap space and flexibility the club has, the Calgary Flames are factoring into trade rumours in a pretty significant way.

As you can see, there are a LOT of moving pieces and they fall into two main categories: the crease and the forward ranks.

DUBNYK, HILLER & TALBOT

FORWARD FRENZY

OK, we’ll say it. Hudler was great all season long, but was invisible for the entire playoff run. He had a four-point night in the clincher versus Vancouver, yes, but had points in just three of 11 games.

He’s a year away from unrestricted free agency, and in his quest to get bigger up front we think Treliving would move Hudler for something younger and bigger in a heartbeat.

  • SmellOfVictory

    I think all the calls and “aggressiveness” form BT are part info gathering as stated in the article and part driving up the price knowing that the Oilers and Canucks are trying to be quite active pre-draft.

    Me rikey.

  • The Last Big Bear

    Beleskey? Blech.

    Talbot? Blech.

    Williams? Meh.

    Frolik is fine, but with two consecutive 80 game, 40 point seasons he won’t come cheap.

    (That isn’t to say that Williams isn’t a good player, just that he’s a poor target at this point).

    Why haven’t the Flames been linked to even ONE defenseman yet? That’s the only thing they SHOULD be looking at.

    • Parallex

      Because the list of free agent d’men that are both not dogshit and an improvement in their top 4 is Cody Franson and… Cody Franson. Hard to be linked to a list of one.

    • T&A4Flames

      “Why haven’t the Flames been linked to even ONE defenseman yet? That’s the only thing they SHOULD be looking at.”

      It’s a smoke screen. A double bluff. Look, you obviously don’t know anything about intelligence, lady. It’s an XK red 27 technique.

  • Franko J

    It’s going to be hilarious when Beleskey is signed for more money than Frolik, for no reason whatsoever. I just really hope it’s not the Flames that do it.

  • Burnward

    I have no problem with Beleskey, the issues come when there is an unjustified bidding war on a player that just isn’t worth it. At the right price Beleskey would be a good pickup. However, you rarely find “the right price” in free agency.

    Frolik is worth exploring but you have to identify when prices go beyond what is a players value added is to the team. Something I hope Treliving learnt from last year.

    The goalie thing is interesting I don’t think this is just about driving up prices but gauging if there is a possibility to upgrade the goaltending now and for the season after when if nothing is done now you might have to do something about it then, when Hiller’s contract is up. You can’t count on unproven rookies in goal and have expectation of winning.

  • The Last Big Bear

    Flames….Must sign UFA’s Dubnyk, Franson & Mcquaid. Retain all your draft picks.

    This is your guaranteed formula for success during the next few days!

    • Burnward

      $15m in free agents plus all the guys we need to resign from within our organization. Yes we are below the floor at this moment but yikes that is a lot of money. Plus resign Gio.

      • Burnward

        We don’t have to resign Gio this year. We trade him for quality prospects while his value is sky high. Let him know the Flames will come calling next June when more pieces are in place and he will have a great chance to win in Calgary

          • piscera.infada

            Resigning Gio a year later may not but investing crazy money in a 32 year old who although is at the top of his game, is breaking down. Right now his contract and level of play are an opportunity for a rebuilding team to accelerate the rebuild.

          • T&A4Flames

            I don’t think at all like an oiler fan. Tying up big money in a soon to be 32 year old who is already injury prone is not wise. If we were a piece away or slready contending, it would be different but we aren’t. Holding on to kipper and iginla was poor management. This will be too

          • MontanaMan

            Don’t necessarily disagree but there’s a fine balance between rewarding veterans and retaining leadership, providing an environment for players who want security in their home and for their families and maximizing the returns on aging veterans. Your view is strictly from a business perspective and it’s not wrong but part of management’s role is to create a “family” and an environment where players want to stay.

          • piscera.infada

            Completely agree with all of what you said, but Gio’s contract is going to be a very tough one to navigate. I have no doubt in my mind they’ll sign him–and it’s probably the “right” (in multiple senses) move at this moment. However, I have a tough time seeing it being the “right” (in multiple senses) contract in, say, 3, 4, or 5 years.

            The question then becomes: “what exactly is the point where you (as a management team) decide it’s simply prohibitive to your long-term success?” Personally, I’d be trying as hard as I can to keep term to around 5 years, with a cap-hit somewhere around 6.5 to 6.75 million. If you can’t get that done somehow, you have to start looking around to see what kind of assets you can get for him–and it will be a huge payment.

            Look, I love Gio as a player, and I want him to be here for the long-haul. As so many have said though, it’s a tough bet to hedge that he won’t decline at some point during the term of the contract. Sure, we can wax poetic about the fact that “he doesn’t have as many miles on his chassis as many other top-pairing defenders in his age bracket”, or “he is in the best shape of anyone on the team”. Yet, age is a very real concern, and I tend to bet on the factor that affects every player at some point.

            In reality though, I think the Flames will get him signed to a deal that I personally think is either 1)too much, or 2)too long. When that happens, I honestly won’t rant and rave that it was the wrong thing to do, because I know how much he means to the room at this particular point, and if we all agree the organization is still rebuilding, continuity goes a very long way.

          • piscera.infada

            Those are good points and I understand that. I’m not in that room so don’t know how important his leadership is. My opinion is strictly based on need and asset management.

          • MontanaMan

            Missing time for a broken leg one year, and then for a torn bicep the next doesn’t make him injury prone. Those are pretty random, non-recurring injuries in fact.

  • Franko J

    No to Frolik, Belesky, or Talbot. Actually the Flames have better prospects in their system who should be given the chance at training camp. Smart thing to do is keepi adding assets inexpensively. Especially if they try to extend Giordano.

  • Burnward

    I might be the only guy, but I thought Beleskey was pretty darn good against the Flames.

    4.5 max over a bit of a short term, say 4 years, and I wouldn’t hate it.

    Anything around 5 with term though is a bit scary.

  • MontanaMan

    Just listened to an interview with Craig Conroy, who was glowing in his assessment of the trade of a third round pick for Brandon Bollig and that “you have to look at that” (kind of thing)

    Uh oh

    • Greg

      I’m not sure whether to prop that because I know what you meant, or trash it because I’m so disgusted by conroy’s comment. You gotta hope that’s just something you say in public because you think you have to, but even if it is then it’s disingenuous and disappointing – there are ways to admit it wasn’t a great trade without throwing BT or Bollig under the bus.

      If it’s what he’s really thinking… Bleh.

      • piscera.infada

        Maybeeeee..they are trying to trade Bollig to someone else for that teams third rounder, and are hoping that some impressionable GMs are listening to the afternoon show on Calgary sports radio?

        That’s the narrative I’m going with; the alternative is anxiety-inducing

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Most people picked the Flames to finish in the bottom 5 this year. The Flames did great and won a round of playoffs.

    I’d love to see the Flames draft like they are still a bottom-5, rebuilding team. If you count all the young players in the mix, there’s more than enough room to trade some veteran players for a top-7 pick, all of whom would be top-3 quality in other years.

    Treliving has been stockpiling draft picks this year. This opens up a real possibility of moving up. For example, he could trade Hiller, Wideman, Raymond, and a mittful of second-round picks for a number 3 or number 4 overall pick.

    Yes, I’d even do it at 6-for-1. Why?

    At this stage of a rebuild, getting Strome, Hanifin, or some other great young talent could make the difference between a conference finals appearance and the Stanley Cup in 5 years. The other 6 (players or 2nd-round picks this year) almost certainly won’t be able to bridge that gap.

    • Greg

      And if another team offered Calgary a bunch 2nds, a bunch of average players whose best days are behind them, and a whole lot of salary for Sam Bennett, your answer would be…?

  • flamesfan98

    Flames should draft ryan pilon a great defencemen from Brandon wheat kings. We should draft him in the second round as he is projected to go second round. I saw him play a lot when he was on the Lethbridge hurricanes. He was a top 2 defencemen in his first year in the whl as a 16 year old. Please take him in the second round flames!!