Calgary Flames Trade Deadline 2016: Rumour roundup

Photo credit: James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports

It’s trade deadline week, and the Calgary Flames have already been kind enough to give us something to talk about. For the second year in a row, they’ve engaged in a prospect-for-prospect (or close to) swap with the Vancouver Canucks, and for the second year in a row, you have to feel pretty good about it if you’re a Flames fan.

Sven Baertschi was a prospect who wanted out; Markus Granlund was a kid seemingly stuck in the mud with the threat of waivers soon to stare him down. In both cases, the Flames got something they could use out of each of them: Rasmus Andersson and Hunter Shinkaruk.

We’ll have more on Shinkaruk later today (today is basically Hunter Shinkaruk Day on FN).

What a day. So excited to be part of the flames organization #throwback

A photo posted by Hunter Shinkaruk (@h_s_9) on

But that’s not all there is to this trade deadline. At least, hopefully there will still be more to come, as the Flames have some pressing matters to take care of. Granlund was under team control, but still, evidently, trade fodder; the Flames are still awash in centres, and have a couple of upcoming UFAs to get something in return for over the course of this week, too.

Let’s see what the hockey world is on about, and what the Flames could be up to.

Elliotte Friedman’s Reddit AMA

Yesterday, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman took to Reddit to answer questions on the trade deadline. We were going to recap it then but, well, the Flames made an actual trade, so.

So you don’t have to go through the entire thread – although it’s pretty interesting – here’s everything he said that pertains to the Flames and their possible deadline plans.

AustinL_NHL: How confident are you that Kris Russell will still be traded by the Calgary Flames despite missing the last few games? And what is his asking price?

Elliotte_Friedman: Last I checked, they were still talking. But I think it’s more likely than not he gets dealt. Reported last week CAL was hoping to get a long-term possibility in goal, but that might be hard for a rental.

(He also mentioned he abbreviates Calgary to “CAL” and not “CGY” because he’s basically just trolling at this point.) 

We know that the Flames have asked the Penguins about Matt Murray. Perhaps there’s a connection here: use Russell to try to get a goalie? They both block shots, but one plays 60 minutes a game and has significantly more protective gear.

A deal centred around Russell and Murray could actually happen yet – Friedman believes the Penguins may be in on Russell.

TL_10: Do you think that the Flames will start looking for a new goaltender or will they try get their prospects like Ortio and MacDonald prepared to play in the NHL full-time?

Elliotte_Friedman: They asked about Matt Murray, a nice PIT prospect. So, they want to make a change. What happens in places like ANA & STL could also impact their plans.

(More was asked – including the idea that Friedman would rather fight Boomer than Rhett, because Rhett was actually a professional athlete once – but for the sake of simplicity, let’s just roll with this for now.)

Anaheim currently has John Gibson and Frederik Andersen as their goalies, with Anton Khudobin buried in the AHL. Gibson, 22, probably isn’t going anywhere. But Andersen – 26, with a .917 save percentage and set to become an RFA after this season – has been discussed on this blog as a potential option for the future before. The Flames need a goalie; do they have assets they’d be willing to give to the Ducks to get him? 

For what it’s worth, Friedman doesn’t see Andersen moving at the deadline.

As for St. Louis, they have Jake Allen, 25, and Brian Elliott, 30. Both are set to become free agents after next season – Allen an RFA, Elliott a UFA. Elliott has played 30+ games for the Blues four of the last five seasons (the other season was during the lockout year). Maybe he could be a stopgap option for the Flames while they hope Jon Gillies gets back on track, or they continue looking for another future answer?

Friedman also mentions in the replies that he believes Los Angeles will go after a forward and a defenceman. The Flames have a forward and a defenceman that should be available! Maybe another team to keep an eye on.

Galaxy91122: Hey there Elliot, with the trades so far, what do you think the flames could possibly get in return for Hudler?

Elliotte_Friedman: Last year, Winnik went for a second and a fourth. Hudler’s a better player, so I’m sure they’d be hoping for better than that.

Yeah, I think I’d prefer a better return than a second and a fourth for Hudler, too.

trent_henderson: What do you think Gaudreau’s extension will look like? Any discussions ongoing regarding a Monahan extension?

Elliotte_Friedman: Gaudreau extension will not be easy. Few comparables for what he does. Long-term, I can see the ask being Tarasenko — at a minimum. As for Monahan, not sure how much both sides are talking now, but I bet they know what all the comparables are. If they want to go long, we’re probably in the $6.5M range, at the minimum.

Personally, I wonder if the best option for the Flames may be to Tarasenko Gaudreau, and give Monahan a bridge deal. Gaudreau doesn’t really have in-roster competition – he’s kind of far and away the team’s best scorer now – but Monahan does have Sam Bennett who may be gunning for his first line centre job. A “show me” deal with him could be beneficial for both the impending cap crunch, as well as the long term, so the Flames aren’t hampered by a big Monahan deal if he does fall down the depth chart some.

Beziro: Other than the Leafs, which Canadian team do you believe is the most aggressive on the trade front?

Elliotte_Friedman: Calgary and Edmonton.

Yay! Let’s get crazy this week! Go nuts! Trade Ladislav Smid for Laurent Brossoit!

Miscellaneous stuff: Tampa may be looking to add a defenceman, and Jonathan Drouin could finally be traded (Kris Russell?); don’t look for too many first round picks to be tradeddon’t expect Travis Hamonic to go anywhere before the deadline, maybe; Arizona, Carolina, and New Jersey may be undecided on whether or not they’re actually going to sell – which could suggest the Flames know they are (that’s my own speculation); Johnny Gaudreau is one of Friedman’s favourite players to watch; and Friedman didn’t touch this top-rated comment asking why the Oilers suck, which, haha.

Montreal is interested in Mikael Backlund?

Every now and then – typically when Markus Granlund was recently recalled, and performing well – you’d see an opinion come up: Granlund could replace Backlund.

That clearly isn’t an option anymore, but it’s not going to stop other names like Mark Jankowski or Bill Arnold from being thrown out there. But they’re likely not ready to take on the highly defensive role Backlund excels at – and should continue to excel at, even as the Flames continue to grow and develop as a whole.

Point blank, Backlund should not be traded. The only in-system replacement for him right now really is Matt Stajan, who is both older and inferior. Backlund should be a part of the Flames’ long-term plans.

According to Sportsnet’s Eric Engels, though, the Flames have had two scouts at Montreal’s games the past couple of months. Also: Montreal is interested in adding Backlund. Remember, they claimed Paul Byron – who’s kind of like a lesser Backlund – off of waivers at the start of the season. But unless the Canadiens are willing to pony up, it’s hard to see Backlund being on the move: not when he should still be a big part of the Flames’ rebuild, especially so after the Granlund trade.


  • brodiegio4life

    don’t see anyone on montreals current roster that I’d take for backs, bealieu maybe but I doubt mtl deals him. They’ve got some solid winger prospects like scherbak though. Still wouldn’t trade backlund if I was treliving.

        • T&A4Flames

          Agreed. BT brought in Frolik last summer to help address our lack of possession. Why wohld he go and potentially weaken it now? Its like the people that think we’ll trade Hamilton now because we still have Brodie and Gio.

          • trox

            I really like Backlund. He’s a good possession player, and we are lacking in that department. But in my mind, we can only improve our possession game so much via forwards. To put it another way, d-men are more impactful in terms of driving corsi by transitioning the puck from the d zone to the o zone. And we won’t truly become a good possession team until we rid ourselves of Russell, Wideman, Smid and Engelland.

            And with no disrespect to Backlund, Galchenyuk is 5 years younger and already scoring at the same rate. He’s a more dynamic player and a former 3rd overall pick who has managed to score even while playing in Therrien’s Brent Sutter-esque risk free system. I’d make that trade in a heart-beat because Galchenyuk has massive upside.

          • Baalzamon

            The thing about Galchenyuk though is he has no defensive value whatsoever. That significantly reduces the impact of his offensive game, wouldn’t you say?

            There are a lot of players who score more than Backlund, but practically none of them are better defensively. And a goal prevented is worth exactly as much as a goal scored.

          • piscera.infada

            For a player in “Therrien’s Brent Sutter-esque risk free system”, Galchenyuk surely bleeds chances (and goals) against. I’m not arguing his offensive skill, but where does he fit as a centre behind Monahan (a player with similar defensive question-marks, who’s younger, and put up better offensive numbers) and Bennett (who’s again younger, with a likely higher ceiling, and already has better possession numbers)? Does he become another left-wing?

            Based on the current iteration of the Flames lineup, Backlund slots in perfectly at the 3-centre spot. He plays that role better than you could probably ask for defensively. He is not the guy you forsake for (perceived) “better offensive upside”–especially if the replacement consistently haemorrhages goals against.

        • everton fc

          My opinion; Backlund is a core piece of the rebuild, just like Monahan, Gaudreau, Brodie Hamilton, Gio, Bennett, Ferland, Frolik… All eight of these guys need to be retained.

          We have three of the best centres in the league , I think. Monahan, Bennett, Backlund. Perhaps Gaudreau gets some shifts w/Bennett as his centre?

  • Baalzamon

    I don’t really see why the Habs would be in on Backlund, actually. They need scoring, not a defensive specialist. Superficially there isn’t a fit there.

    • Bean-counting cowboy

      Ramo is injured and won’t play the rest of the season. He’s also a UFA. Why on earth would TO do this deal?

      Why would Calgary? We can get Reimer for free in free agency.

      • BlueMoonNigel

        Either Jimmy Reimer or Jonathan Bernier will be Calgary’s #1 when next season starts. Uggh! I wonder how much the Flames could pay Kidder to get in shape and strap on the pads. I’d take him ahead of the above two. Nothing ever really good has come to the Flames from the Leafs.

  • Denscafon

    Unless it’s another highway robbery, you can’t trade backlund. He’s very underated, and even have some haters here, though i think it’s because he has a muffin shot and isn’t too flashy. He has been great with frolik and you can’t mess that up. Backlund is still producing even without bennett so that shows it wasn’t bennett that was propping backlund up.

    According to tsn, coyotes will not be resigning Mikkell boadker and he will most likely be traded as he will be UFA in the summer. The estimated return is a late 1st rounder. He has 13 goals and 25 assists in 59 games this season (0.64pts/g). Hudler on the other hand has 9 goals and 24 assists in 51 games (0.65pts/g). If we can get a 1st rounder or even a 2nd rounder with a prospect for hudler, we need to do it now. We can’t have another Cammy situation where we just hold onto a player due to stubborness. There are alot of teams on the cusp of making the playoffs which should bode well for Hudler’s value as more teams seem to be “going for it” this year. Ditto on Russell as teams seem to overpay for D in general.

  • KiLLKiND

    It says the Lightning are interested in a top 6 RW and a middling D man…. Hulder and Russel? Personally I don’t want Drouin, but one of their goalies that isn’t named Bishop. Not that I have anything against Bishop just he costs too much for the Flames. The other two goalies are Vasilesky who is really good and Gudevskis who almost beat the Canadians single handily.