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).