Five Flames That Could Be Traded

Earlier today, Mark Spector mused on the Sportsnet site about the possibility of the Calgary Flames making a trade to shake things up after their tepid 1-5-0 start to the season.

He even posited some players that Brad Treliving could possibly dangle to trigger a trade, naming Dennis Wideman, Kris Russell, Jiri Hudler and Mason Raymond as possible bait. I’m not sure that most of those players could be moved, though.

Here are the five Flames assets that we think could be headed elsewhere.

KRIS RUSSELL

He’s a pending unrestricted free agent. He’s a guy that probably doesn’t fit under the cap for the Flames going forward, given they have Mark Giordano, T.J. Brodie and Dougie Hamilton signed long-term (and several defenders signed to expensive deals that they won’t be able to get rid of). [Aside: Spector notes that they’ve tried to move Wideman for three years in vain, so I doubt they can pull it off now.] But Russell’s probably the most tantalizing asset to other clubs; he’s a hard-working, young-ish defender with leadership capabilities.

JIRI HUDLER

Another soon-to-be free agent, Hudler’s a very good offensive player but is fairly inconsistent. He reportedly wants a big-money, long-term deal to stick around Calgary, something the club probably can’t handle. And given that Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan have arguably already surpassed Hudler in terms of their progression as offensive talents, it seems wise to cash out on Hudler now while they can get something that can be of value going forward.

TYLER WOTHERSPOON

Left-handed defenders who are probably ahead of Tyler Wotherspon, Jay Feaster’s 2011 second round pick, on the depth charts: Brett Kulak, Ryan Culkin, Oliver Kylington and Brandon Hickey (whenever he turns pro). Given that Wotherspoon, for whatever reasons you want to choose, has failed to gain a foot-hold on the NHL roster despite having some opportunities, I think he’s a player that can be thrown into a deal that has value to other organizations. He’s young, he’s good, but I’m just not sure what the fit is with the Flames anymore.

MARKUS GRANLUND

Granlund’s a weird case. He’s a really good player, but he’s a center without a huge physical component to his game, nor is he amazing at face-offs. In the Flames organization, he’s fighting with Mikael Backlund, Sean Monahan and Sam Bennett for NHL duty in the top nine, which is a fight he’ll probably lose given his face-off (lack of) skills. And Calgary’s also pretty stocked up on the wing right now, should they decide to convert him. Like with Wotherspoon, I’m not sure what the fit is within this organization.

MARK JANKOWSKI

He’s off to a tremendous start to his senior year of college. There’s value there. Should the Flames not want to gamble on Jankowski’s development progressing towards the NHL as a pro, right now there’s probably an opportunity for them to cash out and get some value for him rather than risk it any further. That said, I probably wouldn’t trade him until you see if there’s a niche for him within the Flames organization after he signs, but they might be rather risk-averse and looking for a move.

    • Randaman

      Both have big problems coming up

      Granlund’s waiver eligibility is approaching. If he can’t carve out a role for himself soon, his value begins to plummet. Waiver eligible players that haven’t proven themselves in the NHL rarely garner more than a late round pick.

      Jankowski’s deadline is obviously Aug 15. This is the same issue as Granlund. Once it becomes obvious he’s either not going to sign here, or the Flames aren’t keen on signing him, his value as a trade chip plummet.

      It’s bad management, particularly bad asset management, to not manage these hard deadlines appropriately. Even if you like the players, sometimes it’s better to shuttle them as part of a deal when their trade value is highest if their future here is still incredibly uncertain. Neither are blue chippers.

      • Greg

        I thought Jankow didn’t have the option to go elsewhere? Seen to recall that being part of the talk when he jumped to NCAA a year early, it would mean he’d graduate while he was still too young for the flames to lose his rights?

        • ClayBort

          He doesn’t Aug 15th of his Junior year like Justin Schultz did. Had Jankowski played a year in the USHL like he planned to he would have been a UFA effective last summer. All other drafted college players are UFAs on August 15 following their senior season.

    • FlamesRock

      And which team exactly is gonna want those players?!

      I think Ryan was looking at players that actually could get traded cause other teams would see some value in them.

  • everton fc

    Who would want Jankowski at the moment? Ditto Wotherspoon??

    Russell is the most likely to move on this list. We should re-sign Hudler and keep Granlund.

    Colborne should be shopped, but the return would be peanuts unless he was part of a package. There might be interest in Jones, but he’s been one of our best players. Wondering why Wideman’s not on the list, but he’s been providing assists…

    How about Backlund? Not saying I would or wouldn’t move him… But why isn’t he on the list?

    • OKG

      I think Pike is looking more at guys who are either less established players or roster UFAs, as they are easier to move at this point in the season then guys with term still left on their deals.

    • Johnny Goooooooaldreau

      We hardly ever saw you Edmonton trolls on here as you were too ashamed to show your face. Now you are all the way up to a 1 win 9 loss record against us in the last 10 games we have played and you think you can make derogatory comments on our team several days later?

      Last year you losers were throwing Jersey’s on the ice and shouting your team off the ice, and now you’re all cocky because SOMEHOW you lucked out and got McDavid?

      You should be ashamed.

      Go away and come back when your team of #1’s makes the playoffs or at least achieves something other than winning a couple of games in a row.

      • Oil City Roller

        A lot of salt in the Flames Nation these days. I will be the first to admit the Oilers have been an embarrassment and they will likely be terrible again this year. But let’s be honest, the Flames are not world beaters by any stretch of the imagination. It seems like it’s alright to troll ON for years but the butthurt reaches epic proportions if any dares make jest of the Flames. As a fan of an abomination let me give you some advice. Just accept the fact that you cheer for a crappy team and people and going to razz you about it. Just lie back and think of England 🙂

        • Johnny Goooooooaldreau

          I am one of the few here at FN that tries to keep expressing that we are only in the middle of a rebuild, and nowhere near ready to contend for a Cup.
          I don’t go sticking my nose into ON conversations, so While I don’t mind constructive comments, the trolls on both sides need to just stop.

  • CowtownKid13

    Anyone can be traded, however the only ones I wouldn’t even think about trading would be Gaudreau, Monahan, Bennett, Giordano, Brodie and Hamilton. Everyone else is fair game in my opinion.

  • ronipedia

    For some reason I went and read the Spector column. He embedded his own tweet in his column. wtf.

    The list of guys I want off the team are all pretty much guys no one wants on their team. Except one.

    #TradeWideman

  • Randaman

    Nice list Ryan but these would be the same names (I would also include Wideman) that the Flames would be looking to deal if they were sitting 5-1 as opposed to 1-5.

    The possession/regression gods have struck and were not met by anything close to the hard work and effort that kept them at bay last year.

    That said, this will even out. This Flames team is not as bad as it’s current record says any more that it was as good as it’s record last season implied.

    Hamilton will figure it out – he’s simply too good not to – Brodie will return and Gio will return to form (not sure he’s fully recovered).

    Patience, people, patience. No need to go all Austin Mathews Tank Job just yet.

    The goal is to finish top 3 in the Pacific. Arizona is not real and neither is Vancouver. LA, and especially Anaheim, will pick it up. Still think the Ducks are the class of the Pacific.

    The Flames were touch and go to make the playoffs last season with everything breaking their way on the puck-luck front. They will be touch and go this year to hold off LA, Van, SJ and maybe even Edm for the two non-Anaheim spots.

    There will be team in the Central that finishes 6th, and out of the Wildcard, with more points than the 3rd placed team in the Pacific but that’s the system.

      • Oil City Roller

        I would love to see us pick up Oliver Bjorkstrand! A skilled, responsible Right Winger, who can put the puck away. He’s not the biggest guy but his skill is off the charts. Russell for Bjorkstrand (Maybe get a draft pick too?…) would be a beautiful trade!
        Russell is awesome but i don’t think we can afford him going forward and we have plenty of Defense who could step up.

  • Randaman

    I think maybe the plan was to trade for and sign Hamilton so they could possibly trade Gio.

    That plan fell on its face so far.

    You guys should never trade Russell. He moves the puck better than any D you have. PERIOD!!

    Signing Ramo was a stupid move unless they don’t really have confidence in Ortio yet? Makes no sense otherwise.

    Broissoit for Smid looks really good now doesn’t it? Thanks for the gift.

    • Oil City Roller

      Some of what you just said is a bit off. What’s the name of the rock you’ve been under?

      trade gio after signing him to a long term big money deal… really? Brain damage from shaking your head there?

      Ramo signing was short term as a stop gap for ortio and some guy who just got his 2nd shutout in stk to get up here.

      I will agree that russ is ok. Too many goalies to keep bro though IMO. Not nuts about smid, money seems like a impedance going forward. Liked the bro though. No more trades with edm van or tor …. please.

  • Oil City Roller

    KRIS RUSSELL

    Russell is a fan favorite that is tough to say good bye to but an overflowing defensive depth and a constantly rising team Cap means it may be time to trade Russell. If it were up to me I would move his for a skilled winger and mayber a pick too?

    My Trade Recommendations:
    (Russell for Oliver Bjorkstrand & 3rd rounder)

    JIRI HUDLER

    Hudler is another fan favorite in Calgary so even talking about trading him hurts… But He is also probably the Flames top return piece and he will be to pricey for us to resign, so trading him seems to be the logical decision. I would say move him for a 1st round pick and another pick or trade him for a top prospect to a contending team.

    My Trade Recommendations:
    (Hudler for Ho-Sang and a 2nd rounder)
    or
    (Hudler and Wotherspoon for Dal Colle an a 3rd)

    DENNIS WIDEMAN
    Wideman was one of the top producing offensive defensemen in the NHL last season and he is having another great start this season too. He does have a No Movement Clause so the trade would all come down to Wideman approving it. I would also assume that the flames would have to retain a portion of Widemans salary too but if that did happen i think the return could be very nice…

    My Trade Recommendations:
    (Wideman for a 1st and a 3rd round pick)
    or
    (Wideman for Ryan MacInnis & Christian Dvorak and a 3rd round pick)

    TYLER WOTHERSPOON

    Wotherspoon has kind of fallen into the Flames defensive depth, so it may be time to move him if we can get a respectable return. He would be a good add on trade piece.

    My Trade Recommendations:
    (New York Islanders have his brother, Maybe they would be a good trade location?)

    MARKUS GRANLUND

    I really like Granlund but if we insist on playing him at center then we might as well trade him right now… I personally think he would be a great piece to slide into LW but Flames Management seems to disagree.

    My Trade Recommendations:
    (Granlund for Alex Tuch)

    MARK JANKOWSKI

    Janko is constantly overlooked as a prospect but trust me, as long as we can sign this kid, he will be a stud for us as soon as next season. He looked ridiculously skilled when he showed up to development camp this summer.

    My Trade Recommendations:
    (DO NOT TRADE, I firmly believe he is a great prospect.)