WWYD Wednesday: Use the Flames’ first rounder at the deadline

We’re three weeks away form the 2017 trade deadline and the Flames are in a dogfight for the final playoff spot. The difference between making the dance and not is likely going to come down to a couple of points between Calgary, Los Angeles and St. Louis. 

Brad Treliving has gone on record as not being interested in a pure rental situation. That means if the Flames add anything by March 1, it will probably be something long term and significant. 

That also means the acquisition cost will be higher. With a lot on the line and their eyes on a bigger prize, is it possible the Flames could move their 2017 first rounder at the deadline?

Who is available?

Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Jacob Trouba, and Ben Bishop are some of the big names that have been tossed around the rumour mill this year. With the exception of Bishop, who is a pending free agent, all of these guys are young, signed through next season and represent real upgrades for the Flames. 

It’s possible other guys will crop up the closer we get to the day (and the further away some teams get from the postseason). 

Is the Flames’ first rounder expendable?

Draft prognosticators consider the 2017 draft to be fairly unremarkable. Currently no one is projected to be a generational talent and draft rankings become relatively undifferentiated even by the middle of the first round. 

The middle of the first round is about where the Flames are likely to pick, unless something drastic happens between now and June (they miss the playoffs but win the draft lottery or they make the playoffs and go on a run). If the Flames do indeed miss the playoffs by a nose, their chances of win the draft lottery will be about 3-4%. So… not nothing, but close to it.

The 15th overall pick in any draft isn’t something to throw away, but in a thin year and with the chance to make a long term upgrade, it has to be considered. 

Conclusion

There are some young, notable players rumoured to be available at the deadline this year. The Flames have clear needs all over their roster, are in a battle for the final playoff spot in the west and have a good but expendable asset in their first round pick to dangle in trade negotiations. Like the Dougie Hamilton trade, it could prove to be a worthwhile gamble. 

So what would you do Flames Nation? Put the first rounder in play? If so, who would you target? 

  • Pond Hockey

    Unfortunately, the Flames will probably be a bubble team and will not know their fate until after the trade deadline.

    The club is still recovering from the Sutter era when picks were traded at the expense of our farm team. Our farm team has improved but needs to get better, much better. Do not trade away a first round pick unless it’s for a slam dunk young prospect that is NHL proven.

    Picks and prospects are valuable currency in a salary capped league.

    Not sure how many deals will be made but it’s shaping up to be an interesting trade deadline.

  • everton fc

    I just took a look at the Sabres roster, both in Buffalo and Rochester.

    First, I wanted Girgensons, but he has proven to have zero offencive ability. Amazing how average Eichel’s #s are – is he really a “generational player”, or simply as good as Monahan? Needless to say, they’d be a team I’d be talking to – they are deep on the farm. Then again, they wouldn’t be interested in any of our guys…

    Everyone says the Habs will be “dealers”. “Deal” Brouwer. “Deal” Bouma. Throw in a pick. Take McCarron. Relieve the Habs of Matteau. We have a “deal”. We may have nothing in McCarron and Matteau, but we dump a heck of a lot of salary.

    That’s our problem. Cap issues….

    If you deal w/the Avs, do you have to take Iginla for the balance of the season? If that meant landing Landeskog, I’d be all over that. (Is Colborne not one of the biggest busts the Avs have ever signed? How do they rebuild by moving their young talent? They are screwed. Sakic is like MacTavish).

  • everton fc

    Here’s who the Avs will move;

    Mikhail Grigorenko. If they can. Another bad first round pick.

    The Blues are another team in trouble – their farm team doesn’t have a lot of young depth. Neither do we, though.

  • deantheraven

    Our 2017 first would only be a starting point for Landeskog or Duchene.They’d want a roster player and/or top prospect plus. Tre would have to weigh that carefully.
    Maybe our first rounder (non- lottery only!) would be worth giving up for Trouba, who would fill a need. If they wanted more I’d offer one of the above contracts (Brouwer, Bouma or with luck Wideman!) but only if they sent a mid- or later rounder.
    Any lottery pick would have to be off the board, ie if we draw into the top 6 they get our 2018 first, or two seconds or something like that.

  • freethe flames

    Let’s remember that despite the many flaws on this team that it remains a playoff bubble team. As a fan am I happy with that? I guess so but I expected more; the goaltending has not been what we hoped for, our top young guys progress has not been what I expected, our big FA signing has been a bust, and our new coach who was supposed to take this team to another level has not lived up to expectations.

    So as we discuss the trade deadline let’s look at the possible choices:
    1. Do nothing and make the playoffs; I guess I would be okay with that as I don’t expect a ton back from our FA rentals.

    2. Do nothing and miss the playoffs; I would be disappointed with that as an option.

    3. Trade our FA’s and fringe prospects for draft picks and either miss or make the playoffs but allow our top prospects some NHL experience I would prefer that to option 2.

    4.Trade our FA’s for rentals and miss the playoffs; again I prefer to #2. Trade them and make the playoffs again that would be fine.

    5. Trade our FA’s, fringe players, and fringe prospects for an upgrade at one of our two glaring weaknesses (#4 RHD, Top 6 RHF), and either make or miss the playoffs; I would prefer that to doing nothing. This cannot be a rental but could be a young guy who has potential.

    6. Ideally trade the FA’s, fringe players, and fringe prospects and fill a RHF spot with a long term player and fill the #4 D with a rental who is an upgrade on what we have. Make the playoffs and be competitive. Then fix the holes in the off season.

  • Eggs Bennett

    The trade talk about Bennett needs to stop. You don’t trade potential franchise players from a position of weakness. The return would be putrid. Similar things have been said of Monahan and Hamilton earlier this season and those impatient people were wrong, as are the Sam haters right now.

  • RedMan

    The Flames want a stud top-four defenseman but in my opinion are very unlikely to make that move before the expansion draft because it just doesn’t make sense. This team is right in The Sweet Spot of their projected rebuild and while some of the fans seem to expect more always, have to believe that the franchise is happy with where they are at and will remain patient and go after that for after the expansion draft or as part of an expansion draft deal that allows them to protect that guy.

  • T&A4Flames

    I’ve said it before and I will again; we should consider our 1st and Brodie +(if needed) to try and get Trouba and Wheeler. Both right shots at their positions which are areas of need for us going fwd. next year Dougoe is our only right shot D with experience and Wheeler is a big, somewhat nasty, good skating legit top line RW. Sign Alzner in the summer and our D is looking solid going fwd.

  • Backburner

    The first should be in play definitely.

    I think Duchene would bring the skill needed to help out Gaudreau and Monahan on the top line.

    Maybe something like: 1st, Andersson, Mangiapane, and Wideman (for cap reasons).

    Hopefully BT will expose Brouwer in the expansion draft, and resign Versteeg, and whoever the cheaper goalie between Elliot/Johnson is, and bring up Gilles.

    Then target Shattenkirk and (Franson/Alzner) on July 1st.

    Next season would look like this:

    Gaudreau – Monahan – Duchene

    Tkachuk – Backlund – Frolik

    Ferland – Bennett – Versteeg

    Bouma – Stajan – Hathaway

    Giordano – Hamilton

    Brodie – Shattenkirk

    Kulak – (Franson/Alzner)

    Johson – Gilles.

  • Derzie

    Success comes to teams that grow from within. Adding parts has more examples of failures than successes. We need to draft and grow players. We need a better system in the AHL to do that. Talk of star free agents is a fool’s game. The prices are ALWAYS too high. Selling is the position to take. That or hold.