Calgary Flames trade Patrick Sieloff for Alex Chiasson, sign him

Today is the deadline for qualifying restricted free agents, or letting them go to unrestricted free agency. To that end, there’s news across the league as NHL teams decide who they want to keep, and who they may let go to free agency.

Or, there’s a third option: trade your restricted free agents. If you aren’t going to qualify them, might as well get something back rather than lose them for nothing, right?

The Flames have traded prospect Patrick Sieloff for the rights to Alex Chiasson. The Flames have also signed Chiasson, who was a restricted free agent – oh, and a 25-year-old, 6’3, 208 lb. right winger, to boot.

Who is Alex Chiasson?

Chiasson instantly fits in with the Flames’ age group – albeit, a little on the older side – and fills a positional need. He actually might be the second best right winger in the organization right now, which kind of says something on its own. (Michael Frolik is better – but he’s a left shot. Chiasson is a pure righty.) 

He has played for both the Dallas Stars and Ottawa Senators. He has 239 NHL games to his name, and 82 points to go along with them (.34 points per game career). This past season, he played 77 games for the Sens, scoring just eight goals and six assists for 14 points. He was only 11th in Senators scoring, though he has put up more points in the past, at least.

Chiasson is coming off of a one-year, $1.2 million contract from the 2015-16 season. He has been signed to a one-year deal, $800k deal with Calgary: an extremely cheap deal that the Flames need right now, as they face this season’s impending cap crunch.

How should he be used?

Via Corsica, we can take a glimpse at Ottawa’s player usage throughout the 2015-16 season. Circled in black is Chiasson (click for full-sized image):

alex chiasson usage

The Senators placed Chiasson in a primarily defensive role, with just 23.32% offensive zone starts, which may help explain some of his low points totals (he was far more sheltered in the 2014-15 season, in which he received more offensive zone starts and put up 25 points). 

However, playing with some of the worst starts on the Senators didn’t exactly help Chiasson. His 5v5 CF last season was 43.66%, which was the second worst out of all Senators who played at least half the season; only Curtis Lazar and his 42.84% were worse, as well as four other players who didn’t even hit the 40 game mark.

So how should the Flames use him? If they want to get more out of him, he may need to play more often starting from the offensive zone. In 2014-15, when he had an offensive zone start of 33.75% – more than 10% than he had this season – he had a 5v5 CF of 50.86%, which is an absolutely insane jump extremely reflective of his changing roles.

Farewell, Patrick Sieloff

Going into the 2012 NHL Draft, the Flames rated Sieloff rather high – to the point where, if Mark Jankowski hadn’t been available when it came time to make their first round pick, they may have taken Sieloff there instead.

Instead, they traded down to recuperate a second round pick used to take him. A big bodied, hard-hitting defenceman with giant ears, he kind of embodied Robyn Regehr.

Unfortunately, a staph infection kept Sieloff on the sidelines for pretty much his entire first professional season. He worked to rebound in 2013-14 onwards, and found himself as a steady part of the Flames’ AHL bluelines over the past two seasons; however, his complete lack of scoring ability was something of a concern – particularly as the Flames’ defence prospects started shifting to those who played a more mobile game.

Between guys like Rasmus Andersson, Oliver Kylington, Tyler Wotherspoon, Brett Kulak, Ryan Culkin, and even Kenney Morrison and new additions such as Adam Fox (although he’s going to college), spots have become a premium – and Keegan Kanzig is a similar type of player to Sieloff already, as well. There simply wasn’t much space for him.

But this is what you do: you trade from areas of strength (defence) to fill areas of need (right wing).

Sieloff did get his first NHL game (and goal) in with the Flames at the end of the 2015-16 season, so that’s at least a very high note for him to depart on as he continues his professional career with a different organization.

  • RickT

    General Fanager says he’s signed for 800,000, and the HEROES chart has him as much better than Bollig.

    I’m okay with it. So long as he is deployed properly (so, we have hope now that we do not have Hartley…).

  • FireScorpion

    The fact we got something for Sieloff is outstanding. Kids numbers are actually quite good in Dallas and Texas. Including games under Gully. Like this a lot for 800,000.
    Sieloff legacy scoring miraculously to win the team the game in the last of the season. Taking us out of a lottery win

  • flamesburn89

    Even if this guy only scores at a 4th line clip, it still seems like a win for Calgary. Selloff was unlikely to ever carve out a roster spot on the Flames, and the fact that they got a still fairly young NHLer for him is shrewd asset management by Treliving.

  • FireScorpion

    I see a rw shoots the way we need and also one with size and good age. In addition He will drop the gloves as well from time to time. I see a couple where he’s sticking up for a teammate or sticking up for himself after dishing a big hit . Decent numbers in his past as well.

    I see you Brad

  • everton fc

    If used more appropriately, he may get 15 goals. But to get him for Seiloff… Great deal. Can’t hurt. And he won’t pull a Setoguchi or Raymond on us.

  • Colin.S

    I didn’t see Sieloff making the NHL at all based on his numbers and what he showed. So getting an NHL asset for an AHL asset is a great deal. Offseason going great so far for BT.

  • Johnny Goooooooaldreau

    Since Chiasson’s first 2 pro seasons were in Dallas with Gulutzan as the Head Coach, you have to figure that this is a cheap body that the coach asked the GM to obtain as someone he liked.

  • SmellOfVictory

    Given the limited number of minutes played and the extreme dzone/ozone split, it looks like Chaisson was essentially thrown out in a fourth line punching bag role. I doubt he even had the time to get into and set up an offensive opportunity in the opposing end in many cases. Could end up being a solid pickup.

  • beloch

    Chiasson’s WOWY is pretty damned awful. On average, he made his team-mates worse. However, he was deployed by Ottawa as a shut-down guy, getting some of the toughest minutes on the team. He’s clearly not a shut-down guy.

    Chiasson looks like the Flames’ new fourth line RW to me. He should not be playing in the top six, nor should be be playing with Backlund. That leaves a slot on the fourth line for him. This signing is going to reduce the NHL minutes available to prospects from the AHL who have earned a cup of coffee, but it should also ensure that Bollig is never again asked to play on his off-wing.

    Chiasson’s salary is about right for a fourth liner and the Flames only gave up a defensive prospect who was free-falling down the depth charts. I like this trade and signing, but it’s a depth move. Don’t expect Chiasson to rise up and be the RW’er that Bennett or Monahan needs. This guy is a fourth liner and should be used as a fourth liner.

    • everton fc

      And he can be parked in Stockton at that price, “need be”. But we can all hope he somehow finds his game and puts in as many goals as he did in Dallas.

    • FlamesFanOtherCity

      Fair assessment. He may be a placeholder for Pribyl until he can make the big squad, or they have visions of playing him on Bennett’s RW, in a slightly more sheltered situation, in which case Pribyl plays the 4th line. Either way, he should not be paired with Backlund.

    • Trevy

      Why don’t you let training camp, with a new team and familiar coach dictate how he’s used and where on the team. He has a lot of upside and may surprise people if set up to succeed. Too many people judge way too quickly!

  • freethe flames

    I finally got one right.(if you throw out enough ideas you sometimes get lucky) I had suggested long ago that the Flames might acquire Chiasson and even included Sieloff as part of the deal. My deal as mine most often are was more complicated than this and included Bouma from the Flames and Wiercoich coming back. Chiasson is an upgrade over Bollig, he can kill penalties and is now very affordable and if he has a bounce back year could score 10 goals.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    Could this be one of those seldom seen these days actual hockey trades where both players are moved for reasons other than the salary cap? Chiasson was not going to be qualified by Ottawa, and Seiloff had fallen hard of the Flames’ depth chart. Perfect candidates for new starts.

  • everton fc

    25-25 points from Chiasson and he’s worth the cost. He’s had one bad year. The other three were probably his ceiling. The fact the #’s are pretty consistent, with two different teams is encouraging.

  • KiLLKiND

    I like this trade, we didn’t have room for Sieloff, and Chiason is a decent bottom 6 option. We still need a top 6 option for RW though. We traded Hudler and Jones and replaced them with Pribyl and Chiason. While those were all solid moves, our RW is at an all time low behind Frolik. Right now our best RW options is Frolik , Jooris, Chiason, Pribyl, Poirier, and Hathaway… Frolik is fine in the top 6, Jooris is a decent middle 6 option but if an injury happens we are in trouble.

  • The Beej

    I understand Ottawa is under pressure to get something but this is a straight rip off.. and I thought the Granlund Shinkaruk trade was a good one.. Treliving must really have a good sense as to when he has someone over a barrel.

    • DestroDertell

      Copy-pasta from hfboards


      (In the past three years, zone&score adjusted)

      Penalty Differential
      Bollig: -30
      Chiasson: -23

      Corsi%Rel
      Bollig: -1.95
      Chiasson: -2.41

      Fenwick%Rel
      Bollig: 0.05
      Chiasson: -3.19

      Goal%Rel
      Bollig: -11.52
      Chiasson: -10.63

      xGoal%Rel
      Bollig: -3.98
      Chiasson: -3.39

      Basically, Chiasson has an obvious offensive edge but Bollig beats defensively and that nearly even it out.

  • The GREAT Walter White

    BT just refuses to make fair hockey trades, he only makes trades where he completely destroys the other GM…

    I’m sure Ottawa called asking for Wotherspoon…BT said; “can’t do that, but I do have someone else you may like…..”

    Robbery!

    WW

  • RKD

    Low risk move for the Flames and they address a position of weakness. Chiasson gives us size on the RW, I would like to see him used in an offensive role and shoot more. There’s some inconsistency in his game. At 25 he’s not going to change his game too much but I don’t think he is as bad as last season. Seems pretty durable, would love to see a Dallas like season again from him or a Joe Colborne breakout season. Sieloff was passed by a few other guys and just didn’t pan out.

  • Flames Fan in Edmonchuck

    I know Chiasson is not Andrew Shaw, but if he can bring 12-15 goals, 30 points and some sandpaper, for 3.1 million a year less than Shaw… I am in. The guy kills penalties too, at worst it gives the coach some options. I am LOVING what BT is doing…..

  • Franko J

    Another smart trade by Treliving. Not only trading from an organizational strength to fill a depth issue on the team, but creating some more competition at training camp. With Calgary not qualifying Jooris, he has the chance to take over some penalty killing duties.

    The good thing about this trade is hopefully Chiasson will be provided with a clean slate and fresh start. Sometimes players need that in order to fill their potential. Ex. Bonino in PITT.

    • piscera.infada

      They should resign Jooris–and I’m happy to hear they’re still negotiating with him. Jooris is player who can be resigned on the cheap, drives play, and his production likely increases without strange usage by Hartley.