Calgary Flames Trade Deadline 2016: Deadline Day Primer

We’ve had a busy few days around these parts with the trades of Markus Granlund and Jiri Hudler. It all comes to a head today with one of my favourite days of the hockey calendar, the National Hockey League’s trade deadline.

Welcome to FlamesNation’s continuing coverage of Deadline Day, folks.
Here’s what you need to know as things start to get crazy here.


The Calgary Flames roster sits at 21 active bodies right now:

  • Goalies (2): Jonas Hiller and Joni Ortio
  • Defensemen (6): Mark Giordano, T.J. Brodie, Tyler Wotherspoon, Dougie Hamilton, Deryk Engelland and Jakub Nakladal
  • Forwards (12): Joe Colborne, Mikael Backlund, Johnny Gaudreau, Josh Jooris, Lance Bouma, Matt Stajan, David Jones, Sean Monahan, Brandon Bollig, Michael Frolik, Micheal Ferland and Sam Bennett
  • Injured But Active (1): Kris Russell (lower body)
  • Injured Reserve (2): Karri Ramo (ACL), Ladislav Smid (upper body); both are done for the season
  • Non-Roster (1): Dennis Wideman

We are expecting to have a recall announced at some point today, which will probably be Garnet Hathaway and Brett Kulak joining the team to top-up the roster at 23 active players – pending whatever happens with Russell today.

    Per NHL Numbers, the Flames are presently projected to spend $72,725,000, which includes approximately $5,078,000 allocated to performance bonuses for players on entry-level deals. The cap this season is $71,400,000, so the Flames are over by about $1.325 million. A good deal of that is performance bonuses, but right now they’re likely going to be eating into next year’s cap a little bit unless they significantly divest themselves of some cash money off their cap.

    The Flames have 46 active contracts running right now; Oliver Kylington, Rasmus Andersson, Nick Schneider and Mason McDonald are on entry-level contracts but everyone but Kylington are in juniors and their contracts will not run this season. Kylington’s contract only starts running if he plays 10 NHL games this season; his deal counts as part of the “active contract” tally because his deal could start running. Either way, the Flames can add four contracts between now and July 1.

    The Flames have 12 pending restricted free agents and 7 pending unrestricted free agents, as follows:

    • Group 2 (RFA): Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Joe Colborne, Josh Jooris, Turner Elson, Bill Arnold, Drew Shore, Bryce van Brabant, Tyler Wotherspoon, Kenny Agostino, Freddie Hamilton, Kevin Poulin
    • Group 3 (UFA): Kris Russell, David Jones, Jakub Nakladal, Jonas Hiller, Karri Ramo
    • Group 6 (UFA): Derek Grant, Joni Ortio

    They have three college players graduating this season – Mark Jankowski, John Gilmour and Matt Deblouw – and there have been long-running rumours and conjecture that the team might try to get Brandon Hickey to go pro soon as well.

    The Flames own all of their own draft picks for the 2016 NHL Draft. Per General Fanager, the conditional fourth they got from Nashville in the Max Reinhart trade is one they probably won’t get – the condition is connected to NHL games and Reinhart hasn’t been up this season. And the conditional seventh they sent to Colorado for Freddie Hamilton is also a games-played based condition, so the Flames likely won’t have to give that up.

    AHL Playoff Roster Deadline

    Today at 1pm MT is also the AHL’s playoff roster deadline. Players from NHL clubs can’t be parachuted into the AHL playoffs when the season ends, as players must be on the AHL roster at the trade deadline to be eligible to play. (But in the event junior or college players finish their seasons they would be able to join the Heat.)

    Ortio, Wotherspoon and Nakladal are eligible to go down (as are Hathaway and Kulak, should they join the team before the deadline), but if they’re moved down and brought back up in what’s known as a “paper transaction” (they don’t actually physically go to the AHL), it counts as part of Calgary’s four non-emergency recalls. Flames also can’t fall below 20 players (including two goalies) on the active roster at any point. Ortio definitely won’t go down as he’s up on an emergency recall, but there’s the strong potential for movement involving the blueliners.


    The Flames are scheduled to have their morning skate at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia at 9:30am MT (11:30am ET). They didn’t skate yesterday, as it was their travel day, so you’d expect everybody to be going and for it to not be an optional. It’s perfectly fine to read into players being absent today.

    The trade deadline is at 1pm MT (3pm ET), which means that trades have to be filed with the league by then. The next hour after the deadline – depending how busy it is at the league office – usually has trade calls, so it’s likely we’ll be hearing about trades after the deadline itself.

    The Flames management team is holding court in Calgary and it’s likely we’ll have a media availability for Brad Treliving sometime in the afternoon.

    The Flames play the Flyers at 5pm MT (7pm ET) tonight, after which they’ll immediately fly to Boston for tomorrow’s game.



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