2016 NHL Draft: Calgary Flames rumour roundup

It’s here. At long last, the day we’ve long been waiting for since the Flames’ season ended pitifully on April 9: it’s officially the NHL Draft.

Well, not quite yet; the draft itself is still 11 hours away. But as we know, it can be a very, very busy day.

Just last year, while we were all speculating just who, exactly, the Calgary Flames would take at 15th overall, they made a gigantic splash out of nowhere by acquiring Dougie Hamilton. Nobody saw it coming: then bam, all of a sudden the Flames had taken over the day’s chatter.

Will Brad Treliving be able to pull off another such move? Perhaps – and perhaps, like last year, it will be just as quiet.

There are a couple of rumours still floating around the Flames, though. So as we gear up for today, let’s go over them.

The third overall pick

If the Flames hadn’t won their final game of the season – with an outstanding performance from Niklas Backstrom and goals from Brandon Bollig and Patrick Sieloff, no less – they would have been in position to win the lottery for the third overall pick. That would have put them in position to draft Jesse Puljujarvi: a big, talented right winger who would have instantly been perfect for them.

Alas, they did win that final game of the season – but the dream isn’t dead yet, as Treliving has reportedly been trying to move up to third or fourth overall. Dealing with Edmonton feels almost unthinkable – joking about trading Dennis Wideman and the sixth overall pick for number four aside – while Columbus might be more palatable, especially as they seem to be willing to trade down.

Can a deal be found here? Perhaps, though the Flames would likely have to take back salary from the Blue Jackets. While Scott Hartnell’s cap hit will be $4.75 million for the next three seasons – until he’s 37 – he’s big, would help solve the winger depth, and can still actually produce. Sergei Bobrovsky, meanwhile, could potentially solve the Flames’ goaltending woes, but that $7.425 million cap hit from the 27-year-old who only had a .908 SV% last season could be a tough pill to swallow.

Columbus has stated that if they trade the third overall pick, it won’t be until picks one and two have been selected, so be sure to keep an eye out for that at the top of the draft. If Treliving is really going to wield any magic, it will probably be here.

All the goalies

At some point, the Pittsburgh Penguins will need to do something about their two netminders. Matt Murray, having just won a Stanley Cup at the age of 22, seems almost untouchable; his 31-year-old backup with a cap hit of $5.75 million for the next three seasons, Marc-Andre Fleury, a little less so. The Penguins aren’t in any rush to trade him; however, their reported wanting of the sixth overall pick (and then some!) is definitely much too high.

On to Ben Bishop, who has just one year left on his deal worth $5.95 million, and is apparently a primary target for the Flames. He’s one of the top goalies who could be available – potentially the best – and the Flames should be able to re-sign him. The question is, just what does Tampa want in return?

The Flames haven’t expressed an outright interest in James Reimer, who heads this year’s free agent goaltending class. However, they could get a start on the competition – except since Calgary is the only team without a starting goalie, maybe it would make more sense to simply wait.

And Lucic

The Flames are left wanting for both skilled wingers and size; Milan Lucic just so happens to fill both those areas. However, this is more likely a pipe dream than anything. How are they supposed to sign Lucic – a free agent looking to cash in – amidst all their terrible contracts still on the books, Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan’s impending raises, and the addition of a starting-caliber goalie, all of which are bigger needs? It’s probably not going to work out. Not without something big happening first.

Let’s go!

Now, if you want to get REALLY wild:

That just feels like a situation where people start really overthinking everything, so I’ll just leave that there. It’s hard to see something like that happening.

That about covers the three big areas the Flames will be focused on this week: adding important new talent to the franchise, acquiring a goalie, and maybe do something about the lack of both size and depth on the wings.

It’s sure to be an amazing day. May it leave memories as fond as those from 2015.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Not a rumor, just what I’d look to do. Trade Wideman for Fleury. Calgary gets their goalie. Pens get some cap relief this year, lots more over 3 years and mitigate the likely loss of Murray to expansion.

    I maintain that Pittsburgh has to pay for their goalie problems, not Calgary.

        • everton fc

          Agreed. Who WOULD want Wideman? Someone a while back mentioned the rights to Reimer for Wideman. Why would the Sharks want Reimer?

          Lucic to Calgary… Man, I wish we could make that work. I know I’ll get thumbs down on that one – and he’s probably headed home to Vancouver – but he’d do well here, me thinks…

          I can’t imagine what we’d have to give up to get the third pick. But if we do go that route, we may all be as chocked as the markets this morning due to BREXIT (congrats to the UK, by the way). It may be significant pieces going to Columbus, and us taking a contract that may frighten us all (Hartnell is the only same contract to bring over). I hope we simply stay at #6 and grab Nylander. I think he could be closer to NHL-ready than many think.

          If we take Bobvrosky’s contract, I’ll be disappointed (madness to even think we’d take Clarkson’s or Tyutin’s, but some other team might)

        • wot96

          A RHD that is not worse defensively than Shultz and better offensively with a better shot. A veteran presence trying hard to redeem himself and his reputation after an incredibly bad situation and with only one year left on the contract vs. 3 for MAF. So he’ll be trying to perform in a contract year and it gives Pitt cap space in follow on years even if they don’t love the idea.

          But it won’t happen as long as JR is on the MAF for 6 oa crack train. Obviously.

          • wot96

            Flames don’t need him. They have three defencemen as good as him offensively and four (including George) that are better defensively. His cap space is an issue for the Flames but not if it were redeployed to something they actually need, like a goalie (or a RW).

    • MattK

      Wideman for Fluery is the most ridiculous homer dream. Fluery has been a very good goaltender for the past 3 years. He probably was their best player for the first half of the season when their stars couldn’t buy a goal and he probably would have won the cup for them if he didn’t get concussed. I would rather have him than Bishop. I don’t think Murray was that good. He let a lot of soft goals in. The Sharks only had 2 SOG in the 3rd period of the last game. The skaters didn’t trust his playing and put themselves in the way a lot more than they should have had to. Had they gotten 2 or 3 more shots, I wouldn’t be surprised if the game would have went the other way. I think FLuery is better than Murray.

      I would love to have the penguins goalie “problem”.

      • ChinookArchYYC

        I agree with most of what you’re saying except that I believe Murray to be a very good goaltender (sample size notwithstanding). As far as the trade goes, forget Schinder for a 1st and think Horton for Clarkson. Both teams win by subtraction, but the Pens will have to pay. Calgary has all the leverage.

        • MattK

          I do think Murray has a lot of potential and it looks like his team thinks so if they are shopping Fleury. Most of his bad goals can probably be fixed, like his 2 wrap-arounds and making himself too small (6’4 goaltenders shouldn’t let anything in above shoulder).

          I assume their GM is asking a high price now because they still have a year to get rid of Fleury before they risk losing Murray to Vegas. Having them both for at least the first half of the season would let them see more Murray while they pray a good team’s goalie goes down with an injury. They just won a cup after a season that looked like they might not make the playoffs. I don’t see them as a team that is desperate to win.

          If I were their GM, my priorities would be to do no damage. I don’t think they are squeezed by the cap as much as some think. Crosby and Malkin’s salaries keep getting more affordable as time goes on.

  • piscera.infada

    That Dougie trade, is not happening (although, I would find it funny watching Oilers’ fans do a complete 180 from “he’s the biggest bust to ever bust”).

  • Backburner

    One thing for sure is the Flames need to dump Wideman. I’m sure Smid will be on the LTIR, and they will give Raymond another shot.

    I do find it weird that there is no mention of the Flames going after Stamkos? There was a lot of buzz about them kicking tires on him at the beginning of the year… I wonder if they will take a run at him.

  • cunning_linguist

    Trading Dougie for 4OV is a terrible idea. If we did, I imagine we would be ecstatic if in 5 years that pick turned out to be as good a player as DH is now.

    • everton fc

      Agreed. If we can move Wideman for Reimer’s rights, MAKE IT HAPPEN!

      (Wideman, our 6th, one of our young defenders… Bouma… All for Hall! That’s the only deal I’d do w/the Oilers, along with Wideman for Yakupov, straight-up)

  • EhPierre

    Trading away DH is ludicrous especially since it’s him and TJ that’s going to lead our defence in a few years. If anything, trade Gio and his contract away, although I’d much rather keep Gio unless a trade proposal comes that’s too good too be true.

    Now Hall+4OA for DH+35 is a trade scenario I can live with though it won’t ever happen