Flames trade David Jones to Wild for Niklas Backstrom, pick

The Flames’ final tradable upcoming unrestricted free agent has finally fallen. David Jones, who played his final game with the Flames on the top line alongside Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau, will be bringing back the Flames a 2016 sixth round pick.

Oh, and 38-year-old soon-to-be UFA Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom – who carries a roughly $3.417 million contract, and hasn’t played a game since Jan. 13, 2015.

No, not Nicklas Backstrom. Niklas.

So basically, the Flames take on Backstrom’s contract, which is a little more than $500k cheaper than Jones’, sent them a decent depth forward, and got a sixth round pick in return. The Jones-for-Backstrom swap happened to make the cap work – Minnesota doesn’t have much space – and the Flames got a late round pick for their troubles.

The deal was held up for so long because Backstrom had to waive his NMC, and finally, he did – but this doesn’t mean we’re going to see him in a Flames jersey any time soon. It’s been over a year since he last played, his deal will be done after this season, and he’s 38 years old; at this point, the move is essentially a paper transaction, and frees up a bit of cap space for the rest of this season.

[UPDATE: It’s still a possibility Backstrom does play for the Flames, according to Treliving, but I maintain serious doubts. Either way, now that the trade deadline has passed, the 23-man roster limit is no longer a factor, so this isn’t the return of the three-goalie problem.]

[UPDATE UPDATE: Okay, so apparently we will get to see Backstrom in red after all, as that’s reportedly why he waived his NTC to begin with. The season’s already lost though; giving a guy one last kick at the can doesn’t really make a difference either way.]

And the Flames at least get to add another bullet to the chamber for the draft. Here’s the breakdown of their picks 2016 picks as they currently stand:

  • First round: 1
  • Second round: 3 (potentially 2, with Dallas’ conditional perhaps giving Calgary another first rounder)
  • Third round: 1
  • Fourth round: 1 (potentially 2, but it’s unlikely conditions are met for Nashville’s fourth rounder)
  • Fifth round: 1
  • Sixth round: 2
  • Seventh round: 0 (potentially 1, as it’s unlikely conditions are met to give it up to Colorado)

Last season, the Flames had multiple second and third rounders which allowed them to get all three of Dougie Hamilton, Rasmus Andersson, and Oliver Kylington – so seeing that many picks in the top two rounds is definitely exciting.

In the meantime, it looks like Jonas Hiller and Joni Ortio will remain Calgary’s goalies. And as for tonight’s game, the Flames have just six defencemen and 11 forwards available to them, barring a Heat player already being in Philadelphia.

Okay, nevermind – Garnet Hathaway has been recalled by the Flames, and he’ll make his NHL debut tonight, so the Flames won’t be shorthanded after all.

Hathaway, a 24-year-old undrafted right winger, has six goals and 17 points through 35 AHL games this season, placing him ninth in Heat scoring. As of late, he’s been playing alongside Kenny Agostino and Freddie Hamilton in Stockton, tearing it up with them. In their last game together, they combined for five points – Hathaway had one goal – and eight shots.

Hathaway’s recall uses up one of four the Flames have available to them post-deadline. The Flames will be able to recall just three more players, barring an emergency (i.e. not enough players available to dress).

  • It Was In!

    I wonder if the slightly cheaper contract helps the Flames just squeeze under the cap when bonuses are considered so that they don’t have to pay a recapture penalty next season

  • beloch

    Jones was honestly worth more than a sixth round pick, and taking on Backstrom’s contract makes this a bad trade (unless the $0.6M saved really does wind up helping the Flames avoid going over the cap and being penalized).

    However, anything is technically better than nothing for a pending UFA, plus losing the occasional inconsequential trade is probably wise if Treliving wants the league’s other GM’s to continue talking to him.

    • piscera.infada

      Jones was honestly worth more than a sixth round pick, and taking on Backstrom’s contract makes this a bad trade.

      If we infer that the late-ness of the deal signals that this was likely the only option for David Jones, and you needed to take Backstrom for the trade to work financially for the Wild, it doesn’t seem like a “bad trade”. It seems like what it is: Jones for a sixth.

      It’s not like Backstrom has term left, and I doubt he even dresses for the Flames (he hasn’t played a single minute this season).

      This trade is the very definition of taking whatever you can get for an asset.

        • McRib

          One interesting thing that people don’t realize is 4-7 Rounders literally have almost the exact same value as they pan out about 8-10% of the time. In fact some years the 7th Round has much more talent come out of it than the 4th Round. So literally if you were hoping for a 4th Rounder or even late 3rd Rounder for Jones a 6th Rounder is just as good.

    • BitGeek

      “…. plus losing the occasional inconsequential trade is probably wise if Treliving wants the league’s other GM’s to continue talking to him.”

      Winning or Losing a trade sometimes boils down to perception. There isn’t a GM out there that makes a trade and thinks to himself “Gee I know I’m on the losing side of this trade but I’m going to make it anyway”

      Each GM believes they are getting something of value from the trade or they wouldn’t agree to it.

    • Christian Roatis

      Jones’ market was set by the Brandon Pirri trade (a superior player, no less) and Backstrom’s contract is up at the end of the season so this was simply to balance dollars and gain a pick.

      Literally NO downside to this. None.

  • Brent G.

    Poor guy. I didn’t think he’d get much but this is underwhelming.l

    To move the guy they essentially got a 6th and had to retain almost 100% of his salary seeing as how Backstrom won’t play.

    BTW, I don’t pay enough attention. When did Backstrom fall so far from grace? He used to be awesome.

  • kittensandcookies

    Why are people upset with this trade? Backstrom is a UFA at the end of the season, is paid less than Jones was, and the Flames got a draft pick.

  • JKG

    Backstrom waived his NMC on the condition that he’ll get a chance to play this year. Giving dude a chance to redeem himself isn’t that much of a gamble, if he looks decent maybe we sign him on the cheap, and if he stinks it up well… Matthews!

    A 6th rounder and 500k cap space for nothing basically. Nice work BT.

  • freethe flames

    Really the only thing that BT did not do was move ode of the bad contracts. For Jones I had hoped for a 4 or 5 but a 6 and cap relief is just fine. For Russell I had hoped for First or second and a prospect, we got a 1st or 2nd, an NHL 5-7 defenceman and a prospect, For Hudler we got a 2nd which what I expected and a 4th next year.

    I would try the Jako with Hamilton for the rest of the year, what do you have to lose. He’s a big stay at home defender who can make a safe outlet pass, maybe he can be a good partner for Hamilton. Now they have to give the forwards a spot and not play Bollig the next 21 games. Hathaway should play tonight but probably won’t,

    I would love to see guys from the AHL be rotated through the big club playing Jones and Hudler’s old minutes but the rules for who can and cannot come up as well as who is eligable to play for the Heat always confuses me. I hope the writers do a story on that.

  • Bath Salts Bouma

    Really like this trade. Can see Backstrom carrying the load for a couple years until we get Gillies into the fold. Ive heard the guy takes incredible care of his body and it should be no surprise to see him play into his 40’s.

    This is a classic case of a guy needing a fresh start in a new environment. I think Calgary will be a perfect fit and we will see Backstrom play some of his best hockey!

    Great job BT.

  • Flash

    In addition to all the draft picks coming this way, I’m most excited about the roster spots these open up for the farm hands. Hope Bob gives them the ice time, and they take advantage!

    Also kudos to BT for his forward thinking. Garnet Hathaway already called up and ready for tonight’s game.

  • Franko J

    Any trades which didn’t materialize today with the Flames I bet there were some dialogue between Treliving and other GM’s and seeds were planted for the draft.
    It seems that the bigger deals are now trending towards the draft.

    As for the trade with Jones, Treliving probably made the best deal possible in regard to how the market was set up.

  • RKD

    Jones is a good guy who will give the Wild a bit of offence, he can play up and down their lineup and he will fit on their bottom six on RW. Backstrom, a possibility of playing? I guess that would depend on what they decide, Hiller is as good as gone. Ramo is injured and there’s no guarantee they will sign up. Ortio has been up and down, so that leaves Poulin to show his stuff unless they get something externally. I would be shocked if a 38 year old Backstrom suited up for the Flames, we just did the Wild a favour.

  • RedMan

    the language we use to describe or explain something determines our perception of it.

    For instance, we like to say “Who won this trade?” which is a leading question that automatically implies a win or lose outcome.

    In trades, however, there can be two winners, two losers, and a neutral outcome.

    the Jones trade, to me, has two winners, as both teams were able to address their own situation successfully.

    Flames moved Jones for a long shot pick, but a pick nonetheless, and moved an expiring, expensive contract while saving some cap space in the process (and giving Jones a chance to play with a team still in the hunt) not to mention opening a spot for a prospect to get some experience and have an audition.

    Wild move a problem in the room with a guy that, given his situation, is frustrated and uncooperative with management, and probably leaves a sour feeling in the room (like we had in Calgary early on with the three headed goalie crap).

    Both teams won.