It’s draft weekend, so rumours are running rampant around the hockey world regarding….well, everyone and everything. Particularly prominent in most rumours are your beloved Calgary Flames.
The Flames are trying to acquire a goalie, and seemingly they’re trying to do it by any means necessary.
McKenzie just talked about a scenario where CGY moves Hamilton for 4OV, opening up cap space for Ben Bishop & drafting Tkachuk AND Juolevi.
— Tyler (@akaRCN) June 24, 2016
The Flames have traded with Edmonton twice, ever, and the results of both trades (Steve Staios, Ladislav Smid) were, uh, mixed. So why would the Flames bother with such a transaction? Would it be worth it?
DRAFT PICK VALUE
Let’s ignore players for a second – we’ll get to that – and look at draft pick value. Renowned hockey mind Michael Schuckers has done some work regarding draft pick values in regards to trades – typically trades within the draft for other picks.
Trading Dougie Hamilton to Edmonton for fourth overall would basically be a lateral move: the fourth overall pick is worth slightly less than the combined value of 15th, 45th and 52nd overall – presuming no drop-off in pick value between years, which would probably be negligible. Since you’d have to likely overpay to get somebody to move out of the top five, particularly a divisional rival, a slight overpay in pick value seems decent.
This is where the strongest case can probably be made.
The Flames have $21.3 million in cap space for 2016-17 right now. Dougie Hamilton makes $5.75 million through 2020-21. Ben Bishop makes $5.95 million and is a Vezina-caliber goalie whose deal expires at the end of 2016-17. If the Flames acquired Bishop, they’d likely try to get him signed long-term right away to avoid finding themselves in the same spot next summer – and he’d probably get a salary north of $7 million. Oh, and Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau are getting new deals imminently, and their combined cap hit will probably be around $14 million. That leaves little space for anything else.
The ideal situation would be trading away or buying out Dennis Wideman (and/or Mason Raymond). But if you’re Brad Treliving and you want to get these deals done today, moving out salary immediately is the only way to do it (since you’re only allowed to go 10% over the cap during the off-season).
Trading away your best right-shooting defenseman (who’s just 23) to solve your goaltending problem sure seems like robbing Peter to pay Paul. Rather than keep their strength areas strong and go out and acquire James Reimer, for instance, this move would weaken their blueline and allow them to theoretically strengthen their goaltending.
I really like Bishop, but I really don’t like the addition if it means losing Hamilton – who’s 23 and only going to get better.
SUM IT UP
Trading Hamilton for a pick to allow for a Bishop addition makes sense in terms of pick value and cap space, but it would be a sub-optimal hockey trade. They probably shouldn’t do it.