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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    • ChinookArchYYC

      I don’t care where Russell goes, I just want to see a return in either or both prospect and picks. Dallas is supposedly advanced stats saavy, so that destination doesn’t seem to make sense. Hoping the Boston rumours are true. Flames have had good success with Boston trades lately.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      I won’t mind seeing some of the Flames RFA’s traded, and any of the bottom 4 defensemen. Calgary’s defense is ridiculously expensive and will be for a year or 2 more.

    • freethe flames

      It will be interesting to see if BT can get anything other than draft picks for Russell, Jones and the rest. In order to get anything of significance he will need to sweeten the pot. Would another team want an NHL ready player like a Bouma, Jooris, Colborne, Bollig or a Stajan or would they prefer a prospect like Shinkarik, Klimchuk, Poirier, Kylington or Anderson. To get something good we will need to sweeten the pot. Other than the top 8 guys on the big club that I would not give up is this years 1st pick.

    • Greg

      I just realized Jiri “top 10 in scoring last year” Hudler fetched less than Curtis “couldn’t even find a job this year” glencross did. Hopefully the market for defencemen today is better then for forwards.

      • Kevin R

        The times have really changed for UFA’s at TDL. Look at Eric Staal, he couldn’t even generate a 1st rounder. Youth & Cap seem to be coveted by teams today.

      • McRib

        Baffled this was so badly down voted, Weircioch is one of the most under utilized young defenders in the league. He has great potential as a legitimate Top. 4 (he literally could replace Russell immediately next year and worse case be a slight improvement if not a major one), Ottawa just doesn’t understand modern analytics or really anything about modern game (see acquiring Dion). I’m on board with you 100% with trying to acquire Weircoich, considering I think he could be had with a third rounder which would be nowhere near what the total haul for Russel is (maybe people thought you were saying parlay all of Russell return). I think people here are hesitant as well because they want the space to see a Wotherspoon play more down the stretch. But just FYI Wotherspoon has never shown at any level of being anything more than a 5-6 shutdown guy his entire career. Weircioch is a much much better puck mover, let’s not misconstrue what Wotherspoon is because he has “looked good for a couple games in NHL” (he has 4 assists this year..), thus sacrificing getting better because of our blind loyalty to a really really low upside defender because he is familiar to us. Brett Kulak on the other hand well can’t wait to see him down the stretch, but let’s trade Engelland, Wideman today so there is enough space for Kulak, Weircoich and Wotherspoon. Honestly part of me thinks those three could even be an upgrade short term, long term they are absolutely a major upgrade. Let the down votes begin!!!

          • McRib

            From what I hear Ottawa was willing to throw in Shane Prince & Weircoich together on the cheap (I think they wanted a 2nd & 3rd and they couldn’t get it from anyone).

            I would do a Jooris or Bouma (preferably) and/or a 3rd Round pick in a heartbeat for a Weircioch or both of those two (who knows). It’s funny with GM Murray being old school, I think Bouma would be more appealing to them and we could keep Jooris.

            I like Weircoich’s upside and think he could really bridge the gap here and obviously is still young and was very under-utilized the last couple of years. We are talking about a 25 year old defender who is 6’5″ and had 23 points two seasons ago with great possession figures. He is exactly who you want to buy cheap on. If we could land him I would eat salary and send Engelland out the door immediately to anyone who would want him (maybe there isn’t anyone I don’t know), but worse case Weircoich is an upgrade over him (likely also one over Russell).

    • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

      I took a holiday day from work today. I hope it was worth it. I told my wife today is like Christmas, and she just rolled her eyes . Can you believe it??

    • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

      Whether it was warranted or not, Russell took a lot of flack this year , but it sure seems he is getting a good look from quite a few teams on deadline day.

    • MattyFranchise is a hot mess. I hate it. Biggest day of the season for fans of like 3/4 of the teams in the league and finding the trade tracker is a damn nightmare. Heaven forbid I be at work and have to sift through this crap on my phone.

    • KiLLKiND

      Berra placed on Waivers can we claim him? He has been a lot more consistent since leaving Calgary, he has one year left on his deal so then we at least have next year’s backup. If he doesn’t make the backup role next year maybe we can trade him for another 2nd. >922 Sv% this year the only reason for him being on waivers is the Avalanche have Pickard and Varly. While we have….. Hiller and Ortio. I think Poulin is currently Calgary;s best healthy goalie which is too bad cause he is in the AHL. Plus we might still trade Hiller, hopefully we trade Hiller.

        • KiLLKiND

          Because our current goalies are awful and Berra has a .922 save % this year. Which is higher than Hiller could manage if he didn’t let in another goal this year. Also Hiller is still on the market so we could use another goalie if gets traded which we all hope he does and having cheap goaltending is the only way we can make cap next year if it goes down by 4 mil.

        • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

          Probably just time to move on. Going back to the well usually doesn’t pan out. I think in the summer Calgary will make a move for a real #1

          • KiLLKiND

            Not this year, I doubt Calgary is able to pull off a big trade for a goalie. So finding one that has done as well as Berra has the last two years would be great. If it was any other goalie with the same stats people would be all over it. He had .918 last year and a .922 this year. Picking up guys on waivers is good asset management no matter how you look at it. Unless Tampa is willing to trade or Gudlevskis I don’t see Calgry trading for a goalie.

            To me next year is the last year of the rebuild and after that we can acquire a goalie if needed. I personally am holding out for Gilles as I think he will be our next franchise goaltender. Given that we don’t really need to trade for a goalie just have cheap goalies until Gilles is ready. Berra is super cheap, and one of the most entertaining goalies to watch. We won’t be able to afford Ramo, Reimer, or anyone really worth acquiring until next summer when all of our bad contracts are finally off the books.

      • Parallex

        I’m down for Wiercoch.

        I wouldn’t mind Prince but I have a sneaking suspicion that in their minds it’s a situation where they’d use either Prince or Jooris and not both so they’d probably rather have Jooris who costs nothing then Prince who costs something. Not saying that’s optimal but just a suspicion.

    • Backburner

      Has anyone else heard that the ask for Russell is two 2nd round picks?

      Keep waiting for this ball to drop..

      For me if the Flames could either dump a bad contract like Wideman, or pick up a high end prospect today (Drouin, Nishuskin, Hamonic), I think I will be thrilled.

    • BigRig91

      In Mexico right now don’t know if my WiFi isn’t working, but starting to get a little worried Russell isn’t going anywhere. Does the trade deadline end at noon eastern?

      • piscera.infada

        I think you’re going to be disappointed in that case. Treliving likes picks, and I’m extremely skeptical as to whether anyone would actually give up a “good young piece” for Russell. I think if they get the two second rounders that they’ve apparently been asking for, it will be a pretty good return.

        Just because Russell is “the best available defenseman” (which I don’t think he is, but whatever), doesn’t mean he’s suddenly worth a lot.

      • KiLLKiND

        Seth Griffith is being shopped by Bruins! I heard they were front runners for Russel and maybe he could be included. He is a smaller high skill right shooting center. I think Calgary should trade for him and convert him to RW! Little update with more info on him that he is 5″9, 192lbs and has 60 points in 46 games in the AHL, his biggest drawback is that he requires waivers next year.

    • Kevin R

      Buffalo have a boat load of picks & are after a LHD. Who knows. Hard to believe Dallas doesn’t want to add after what Chicago did. Maybe more pieces can be added to Russell to make a deal work to get Nichushkin. I’m sure Flames have some pretty significant offers on the table & are hoping to pull off a home run. That seems to be BT’s style.

      • KiLLKiND

        I’m guessing Calgary just wants too much for Russel. He is over valued already and the trades may have shifted the market. Look what Hudler went for, and what the Flames are asking for Russel, you would be crazy to pay two 2nd rounders for him. Also if I was the Stars I would be thinking more about loading up next year. Look at what Chicago, L.A., Washington, and Florida did. Those teams are going to be tough to beat. Dallas still doesn’t have a strong enough top 4 defense, or have an elite goalie like the other top teams. You need an entire team of great players to win the cup Dallas would have to do way to much to compete this year.

        • MattyFranchise

          Think about the market though, you’re talking about wingers.

          Russell and Hamhuis are the top two defensemen on the market and in terms of cap hit Russell is by far the cheaper of the two.

    • MattyFranchise

      Boedker to Colorado. Not sure what’s coming back.

      Side note: now that the Flames are out of the playoffs I’m gonna have to cheer Colorado in the West and Florida in the East.

      Edit: Boedker for Tanguay, 2 prospects.

      • MattyFranchise

        Well, he did say it was an offseason thing.

        However, a) getting a good goalie now is not going to help the Flames’ draft position, and B) getting a goalie now means that Ortio has to be returned to the AHL before he can be called up again since he is classified as an emergency call up.

        Waiting until the offseason is a good idea either way.