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.
Allan Walsh, agent for Jonathan Drouin, admits his client had asked for a trade
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 3, 2016
Three thoughts come to mind immediately:
- Hey, this sounds kinda similar to the Sven Baertschi situation!
- Hey, this sounds kind similar to the Dougie Hamilton situation!
- 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!