Could Jonathan Drouin Land In Calgary?

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Brad Treliving since he’s arrived in Calgary, it’s that he’s not afraid of bold moves. The acquisition and signing of Dougie Hamilton at the 2015 NHL Draft was basically the microphone-drop moment of the proceedings, and allowed the Calgary Flames to add a 22-year-old blueliner to their club without giving up much more than magic beans (draft picks).

Well gang, strap in, because a super-talented 20-year-old player just hit the open market.

Three thoughts come to mind immediately:

  1. Hey, this sounds kinda similar to the Sven Baertschi situation!
  2. Hey, this sounds kind similar to the Dougie Hamilton situation!
  3. Hey, I wonder if Treliving can use his trade wizard powers to land Drouin!

IS IT SIMILAR TO BAERTSCHI?

Yeah, somewhat, except that Baertschi was a couple years older than Drouin is now and was a pending restricted free agent. Baertschi’s agent had given indications that he wasn’t going to re-sign in Calgary and was considering heading to Europe – if he had done so, Calgary would’ve retained his rights but his trade value would’ve taken a big hit. Baertschi was also a more established AHL player at that point. At the time of the trade to Vancouver for a second round pick, Baertschi had 28 points in 66 NHL games and 80 points in 109 AHL games.

Compratively, Drouin’s NHL ceiling hasn’t really been established yet given he’s still just 20 years old.

IS IT SIMILAR TO HAMILTON?

When Hamilton was acquired he, like Baertschi, had used up his entry-level seasons and was 22. Unlike Baertschi, he had spent the entirety of his time in the NHL and had established himself as a very good young defenseman. He had 95 points in 178 NHL games, which is very solid for a young blueliner. Because of what Hamilton would potentially fetch on an offer sheet, that roughly dictated his trade value.

So it’s somewhat similar, but Hamilton was much more established as an NHL commodity than Drouin is right now.

CAN TRELIVING LAND DROUIN?

What does Calgary have that Tampa Bay might want, in either the long or short term?

If I’m Steve Yzerman, I start the conversation at a high draft pick, a prospect and a roster player. So for the Flames, that’s some combination of their first or second rounder this year, one of Morgan Klimchuk, Emile Poirier, Brandon Hickey, Rasmus Andersson, Oliver Kylington or Markus Granlund, and probably one of Jiri Hudler or Kris Russell. The pick and the prospect hedge your bets a bit in case you don’t re-sign Hudler or Russell for any reason, and allow for a bit of flexibility for the Lightning.

I don’t think the Flames can keep the price low – like Hamilton’s was relative to what the market probably would’ve landed Boston – because Drouin’s trade demands are out there now and the other 29 NHL clubs are probably prepping bids. Personally, I think Treliving can do it and I think there’s a fit for Drouin here going forward, but I think Treliving balks if the trade involves either the first round pick this year or any of the young defensemen that he drafted since becoming general manager.

SHOULD CALGARY PAY THE PRICE?

Drouin won’t come cheap. The Flames will probably have to give up something substantial to land him, and admittedly it’ll probably become a complex deal as Tampa Bay’s cap situation this summer is going to get crazy. But is it worth it to grab another super-talented, albeit small-ish, left winger? Dare we dream of a top six that involves Gaudreau, Monahan, Frolik, Bennett and Drouin?

Sound off in the comments!

  • MontanaMan

    Off topic: Just watched the interview with Ron Wilson leading into the semi finals at the WJC. Is there a bigger POS in the coaching fraternity than Wilson? He says in an interview he “talked to the Canadian coach” (doesn’t even have the class to call him by his name) before the Finnish game. He goes on to say “Canada got what it deserved.” Karma will take care of you Wilson – you will never coach another game in the NHL.

  • T&A4Flames

    Drouin coming to Calgary might not suddenly turn him into a complete player, if he isn’t able to deal with his maturity and be willing to learn. Looking at Baertschi, going to Vancouver hasn’t suddenly turned him into a top six beast. 11 points in 30 some games this season was right about or even less than his production in Calgary. He’s also been scratched a few times this season which seems like he’s gotten into another coach’s dog house. This goes to show that new team and new systems don’t matter if the player is still the same stubborn mess that they were on their old team. Not sure paying for Drouin A.K.A. the next Alex Semin (at the end of his career) is worth more than what Vancouver gave us for Baertschi.

  • EhPierre

    A few comments have me confused–is it possible for the Flames to make the playoffs and also have a high draft pick? My understanding that 1-14 or so of the picks all go to non-playoff teams, regardless of total regular season points (including all lottery positions).

    Weird times, though. I wonder if Stevie Y waits until the offseason to further feel out the market, while trying to repair burned bridges.

    • cberg

      Good point, I have the same question. Look at today’s standings. Vancouver is 3rd in the Pacific but 20th overall. With more overall losses for the 3rd in the Pacific you maybe could get in at the end and be 25th overall at best, likely 23rd if all the Central is better and only 1 team worse from each of the Eastern Divisions. That would be an 8th overall pick, which could potentially net you none of the top 2 Finns, Tkachuk or Nylander. Still many good players like Gauthier and several D though…

      • piscera.infada

        No. As Kurt says above, the “lottery draft positions” are awarded to the bottom 14 teams who do not make the playoffs. If the Flames were to squeak into the playoffs as the last team in the Pacific, with the least points of all the playoff teams, they would draft 15th overall, regardless of if by total points they ranked 15th overall in the league or 25th.

        This is actually exactly what happened last year. The Flames were the worst of all the playoff teams.

        • T&A4Flames

          Unless they make it past the 2nd round. Then it’s based on elimination coupled with final regular season standing. Ex. First elimination from round 3 and last in re. season points to make the PO’s = 27th pick.

        • cberg

          OK, thanks for the clarification. As such, the team that makes 3rd in the Pacific, if things continue as they are today, better make hay with the opportunity because they’re really killing their draft position, not only for the first round but throughout.

  • EhPierre

    Guys, over his NHL career, Drouin has a 0.49 P/G. That’s pretty good considering he spent quite a bit of time on the fourth line. I’ve read a lot of comments on here saying Drouin hasn’t proved himself or he hasn’t translated his skill from junior to the NHL level.

    Idk about that. In his rookie year, he had the same number of points as Monahan. Obviously Monahan had way more goals (18) than Drouin but both finished with the same number of points. Money if I remember correctly played top 6 minutes later in the year but Drouin remained playing in the bottom 2 lines and still racked up the same number of points.

    So stop saying he’s too small, or we don’t need another LW or he hasn’t translated his skill to the NHL. He’s worth the hype.

      • EhPierre

        Well, Tampa does have quite a few of good top 6 players. It could also be because of his strained relationship with Cooper. There’s plenty of reasons why he can’t crack the TB line up but it’s not because he doesn’t have skill.

        We can ask the same question as to why Bennet gets dropped to third line the past few games and little to none PP time. But we as fans know that it’s not because Bennet doesn’t have skill but rather because of other factors (Hartley and his infatuation with Big Joe)

      • mk

        Why does Colbourne get the minutes he does? Why does Granlund play center over Bennett? Why does Billing play over Jooris? Why not more minutes for Hamilton?

        All good questions that come down to coaches decisions: they don’t always make perfect sense. Not saying that Drouin has no issues, but bad coaching decisions shouldn’t be ignored.

  • EhPierre

    Also, the Boston media kept saying Hamilton had attitude problems, etc. So far, I don’t see or read any issues the Flames have with Hamilton in terms of his attitude.

    Idk if the reports about Drouin having an attitude problem is true or not, but if it is, I don’t blame him. He’s skilled, he’s got hype behind him, and he truly deserves playing on the top 6 as he’s best suited for that role, not the bottom 6. I’d complain too asking for more minutes

  • Flames Fan in Edmonchuck

    No no no no no….. we don’t need to give up draft picks for this guy. We need our picks this year to replenish the shelves, the AHL affiliate looks a little lost these days and Poirier and Klimchuk don’t seem to be the answer. Kyle Okposo, in the off season…. that should be the plan, along with moving out any and all dead weight contracts at any cost.

  • RKD

    I think the Flames should definitely try to see if they can land Drouin. Erixon was head case and Baertschi wasn’t really a problem. Baertschi was called out by Burke for not playing a 200 foot game. Barts seems to be doing well in his new environment. I don’t think the Flames should pay an arm or a leg for Drouin, but if they could unload contracts like a Hudler, Russell, Hiller, Wideman, etc. along with a prospect they don’t think will be a regular NHLer then it is worth looking at. He was selected in the same draft class as Monahan and Domi but those guys are in much bigger roles. Drouin basically had to take a back seat to more established NHL players. In his first season he put up 32 points in 70 games, this season he’s put up 8 points in 19 games. He went on an absolute tear during Halifax’s playoff run. Drouin is still very young and seeing him on the top 2 lines instead of Joe Colborne would be exciting.

  • KACaribou

    Off topic, but Joni Ortio stopped 29 of 30 tonight in a 3-1 win over the baby Oilers. He has a .939 save percentage in the past four games. Getting it together.

  • cberg

    If anyone thinks Tampa lets Drouin go for anything less than a first is dreaming. He was a third overall pick. Despite getting fourth-line minutes, he gets primary assists like a top-sixer and is a solid possession player. Yzerman knows what Drouin is worth – a high first rounder plus a prospect, that is, if he even decides to honour Drouin’s request. Drouin still has another season on his contract, so Yzerman doesn’t need to rush. There’s no shortage of teams who want a young, talented winger with pedigree, so I don’t see Drouin’s value declining.

    There are other things to consider though – how would Calgary fit Drouin into their salary framework long-term? He’s close in age to Monahan/Bennett/Gaudreau, so maybe it makes more sense to keep our first and try to draft a future top-six winger who will be at least three years off a payday instead of one year off like Drouin (unless Drouin is only given a bridge contract).

    • piscera.infada

      While I agree with you regarding Drouin’s ceiling and Yzerman’s ability to be patient and thus his value in trade, he’s not “one year off [a payday]”. Drouin will be signed to a bridge contract in all likelihood no matter where he goes. While his potential is nice, he hasn’t done enough to warrant a long-term, big money contract.

    • T&A4Flames

      For reference, Kyle Turris, also a 3rd overall pick, was traded for David Rundblad and a 2nd after his trade request. Nino Neidereitter brought back Cal Frickin’ Clutterbuck and a 3rd.

      So, Brandon Bollig and a 2nd for Drouin? Who’s in ?

      • piscera.infada

        Difference with Turris, if I recall, was he was holding out after his ELC had finished–he refused to sign. Drouin has one year left after this year. If Yzerman wants to play hard-ball, he can just sit on Drouin until the end of 2017.

        Yzerman has said (per Freidman) that he’s not going to rush this deal, and he doesn’t need to. It doesn’t artificially lower his value.

        • Kevin R

          Also, what a disaster for Arizona. You don’t think they wouldn’t want a chance to renegotiate that deal. These 3rd overalls don’t become available too often. These kids are usually big parts of the team going forward. You can low ball all you want with Bollig & a 2nd but why bother, the answer will be a click on the phone. Decide if you want this player, if the answer is yes, don’t be foolish & try to make the deal attractive versus your competing offers, because there will be.

        • ville de champignons

          Technically he can sit and wait but the media isn’t going away on this……this is going to be a constant distraction not only in TB but in Syracuse and the longer it goes the worse it will get. Drouin’s agent will make sure of that.

          In addition to that Tampa, I’m pretty certain, is in WIN NOW mode and may want a piece to help them before their window closes.

          Lastly if there are picks involved I would think Yzerman would want to use them this year and not wait until 2018 when he may not even be the GM anymore…

          I’m not saying he rushes into anything but there are lots of reasons to not wait too long on this. Maybe Drouin stinks in the AHL? Maybe he gets hurt? Maybe he decides to list the teams that he would prefer to go to screwing TB further… who knows. I know he doesn’t have any kind of NTC but I wouldn’t put it past his agent.

  • slapshot444

    Likely in order to get Drouin you would need to trade your top draft pick and absorb some salary from Tampa by including another player, as well as a prospect going to Tampa.
    While Drouin might be worth that, the Flames have their own cap crunch next year. In 2017 /18 we shed some salary but we have a 2016 /17 hump to get over unless we trade a couple of big salaries.

  • cberg

    Given the Hamilton trade I personally wouldn’t give up our first rounder for Druin. However, if someone would give me a late first rounder for a combo of Hudler,Russell,…or whoever. I may consider shipping that first rounder to TB. The only way you get Druin out of TB without a first rounder is if the relationship has become toxic….and if it has do we still want the kid? Also…has he reported to the AHL yet? That will tell us plenty about the situation in the dressing room.

  • flames2015

    There’s rumors now that the flames are interested in Kerby Rychel from columbus. LW, 6’1, 213lbs, 21 years old and drafted 19th overall in the same year as Drouin. I think the chances of getting him would be more likely than Drouin. Columbus is in need of defense.

  • ville de champignons

    The Flames probably should kick the tires on Drouin and wouldn’t be surprised to see the oilers offer something from their surplus-draft-bust-pool for him.

    Given the state of the Flames rebuild, its also gratifying to see some formerly resistant posters coming around to the idea that a high draft pick this year is far more valuable than a playoff appearance by default in a weak division. Seem to remember someone saying this since day one of the season…

    • piscera.infada

      Given the state of the Flames rebuild, its also gratifying to see some formerly resistant posters coming around to the idea that a high draft pick this year is far more valuable than a playoff appearance by default in a weak division. Seem to remember someone saying this since day one of the season…

      I never much disliked Lambert, and I did actually agree with much of what he said about the team during his time with FN.

      That said, one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard was his “if you aren’t competing for the cup, might as well tank” tome. If you’re picking up that banner, you will always, always have harsh resistance–and for good reason.

      • ville de champignons

        Agreed re: Lambert.

        His faults were never so much in the content of what he was saying, but moreso in the way he chose to present them.

        Belittling your audience and presenting opinion in a condescending fashion will NEVER advance agreement on your viewpoint.

      • ville de champignons

        Not alluding to Lambert in my comment but agree that much of what he said was accurate even if he went way over the top in the tone of his tomes.

        The high draft pick scenario has the potential to give the Flames more options than making the playoffs does. You get a guy who probably can start, on an ELC (a cap problem mitigator), or even if traded, a high pick could provide some free meat to put on the Flames’ bones.

        • piscera.infada

          The high draft pick scenario has the potential to give the Flames more options than making the playoffs does. You get a guy who probably can start, on an ELC (a cap problem mitigator), or even if traded, a high pick could provide some free meat to put on the Flames’ bones.

          As I’ve said numerous times. How do you ensure that? This is the illogical part of the argument.

          Yes, you can trade your expiring contracts (Russell, Hudler, Jones) which I’m sure they’ll do anyway (assuming they can). You can ride your mediocre goalies without upgrading them (which they’re doing currently). You can put young players in important roles (which they have done all season).

          Short of sitting Gaudreau, Brodie, et al. for the remainder of the season, if the team isn’t bad enough, it isn’t bad enough. The argument doesn’t make any more sense than me saying “the best thing for this team right now, is to win the cup”. Either way, if they do plummet of their own volition and end up with a top-3 pick, yes, you’re right, I agree that pick is the best thing for them and I doubt you’ll get much argument to the contrary. However, if they’re simply not that bad, then what?

          Everything the Flames have done so far this year points towards maintaining the rebuild in a very calculated way. Yet, they can’t necessarily force horribleness, just as they can’t force greatness. Both are ridiculous to advocate at this juncture.

          • ville de champignons

            The Flames are good enough to get stuck in middle of the pack hell for a long time. But actively advocating a tank is not my style either. I just wouldn’t lose any sleep over it if management chose that route which is why I don’t get stressed at Hartley’s lineup choices.

  • piscera.infada

    The Flames have Jones, Hudler, Hiller and Russel coming off the books at a minimum. You are talking 14-16 million. That then gives the Flames 18 mil as a cap for next year. Everyone talking about Monahan and Johnny hockey being due $ 5,6,7 million a season for five six years
    is only complicating matters further. How do you pay everyone else. You give the boys 3.5 a year each for three years. Then you look at more money and longer term. Who’s not to say with the stock market dropping like a stone and the number of bombs floating down around the world that our economoy is starting to suck. Who’s to say the Flames will sell out every game next season. Right now I bet 3000
    corporate tickets come back to them in the 16/17 season and that is a lot of contract money because it extrapulates to even more in terms of jerseys, booze, food, parking etc.

    If Treliving is going to do any deals, get us Reichel and another young big boy winger with scoring ability. Then revert to your previous draft classes. These kids are going to disappear because they want to play too.

    The farm has served us well as a team. Keep using it. They are drafting fairly well.

  • piscera.infada

    The Flames have Jones, Hudler, Hiller and Russel coming off the books at a minimum. You are talking 14-16 million. That then gives the Flames 18 mil as a cap for next year. Everyone talking about Monahan and Johnny hockey being due $ 5,6,7 million a season for five six years
    is only complicating matters further. How do you pay everyone else. You give the boys 3.5 a year each for three years. Then you look at more money and longer term. Who’s not to say with the stock market dropping like a stone and the number of bombs floating down around the world that our economoy is starting to suck. Who’s to say the Flames will sell out every game next season. Right now I bet 3000
    corporate tickets come back to them in the 16/17 season and that is a lot of contract money because it extrapulates to even more in terms of jerseys, booze, food, parking etc.

    If Treliving is going to do any deals, get us Reichel and another young big boy winger with scoring ability. Then revert to your previous draft classes. These kids are going to disappear because they want to play too.

    The farm has served us well as a team. Keep using it. They are drafting fairly well.

  • Kevin R

    I think Drouin is a gamble but one thing Bob Hartley is great at is getting production out of young players.

    Keep in mind with Bennett, Monahan and Gaudreau he doesn’t have to be a top star, the Flames need secondary scoring bad.

    Right now they have one top line and many third lines and a player like Drouin might balance that out. Keeping Johnny and Monny on one line then Bennett and Drouin on the second sure would add some offensive depth.

    If you could give up say Hudler, Wideman or Russell, a second round and maybe a prospect like Poirier or Klimchuk it would make things interesting.

    Maybe you could get him for even less but there will be a lot of teams who make a run at him.

    To some that might be a steep price but this team will have big cap issues soon so moves will need to be made either way.

    I would certainly be kicking tires at very least if I’m Treliving. As long as you don’t lose your first round pick the move may be worth it.