It’s the most wonderful time of the year for National Hockey League transaction junkies, as the league’s trade deadline is almost upon us! The demarcation between the buyers and sellers is just starting to become evident and we’ve already seen a flurry of activity from a few teams.
What will the Calgary Flames do? What should they do? What should they avoid? We’ve assembled the best team of analysts in the hockey blogging world to share their feelings on the 2017 trade deadline!
What’s your dream scenario for this year’s deadline day moves?
Kent: My dream scenario is to add at least one more top nine forward while also selling off some of the deadweight (Dennis Wideman and Jyrki Jokipakka). I’d hope the new forward is good enough to push Troy Brouwer down to the fourth line, or move Bennett from center to wing.
Mike: I’d love it if the Flames somehow managed to unload Jyrki Jokipakka, Dennis Wideman, Lance Bouma, or Troy Brouwer. One or two or three or all of them. I don’t even care what the return is on them in this hypothetical scenario.
Christian T: I would like them to somehow swipe Nino Niederreiter from the Wild. The more likely dream scenario is moving Wideman or Jokipakka for a pick.
Ryan: If the Flames could clear out some cap space via a Dennis Wideman deal and potentially add a middle six forward to bump Bennett to the wing.
Christian R: Dream scenario is acquiring Duchene without giving up Bennett or any of the big three defenceman. It’s a dream, right? I don’t know what the package would look like, but the Flames with Monahan/Duchene/Backlund down the middle and moving Bennett to the wing would be lethal.
Ari: The Flames somehow acquiring a forward who fits in with their age group – say a Nino Niederreiter or, if you want to dream really big, Gabriel Landeskog or Matt Duchene – without getting fleeced. They get someone who immediately becomes a part of both the present and future of this team and really strengthens the top nine. Also, Jarome Iginla for Troy Brouwer. (You said dream, right?)
What’s your nightmare scenario?
Kent: Something similar to what Minnesota just did: spend a ton of future assets to get a marginal upgrade. Nobody should be committing first round picks to middle rotation rental players, let alone the Flames who aren’t really in a position to challenge for the cup this year.
Mike: The Flames overpaying for a rental and not making the playoffs/making the playoffs but bowing out in the first round. This team has no shot at the Cup or even the Conference Final this year so don’t be dumb and mortgage the future incorrectly.
Christian T: My fears that they will overpay for something has gone down due to Minny doing that for Hanzal. I think a trade for Marc-Andre Fleury is the bigger fear right now, but I doubt it will happen.
Ryan: I am terrified that they’ll send future assets out the door to marginally improve their goaltending. Considering where they are in the progression of their rebuild, they need to hold onto the young assets that they have.
Christian R: Nightmare scenario is taking on a bad contract or spending quality assets on a sub-quality player. A second round pick for a bottom six grinder type deal. I trust Treliving won’t do anything like that, judging from his history.
Ari: Flames go out and spend assets on either a pure rental or a player who is not all that good. (Thank goodness the Wild already went nuts with Martin Hanzal for some reason.) They are not in a position to sell their future by any means, however small.
What do you actually think is likely to happen, and how do you feel about those moves?
Kent: I think Treliving will add another depth forward and get rid of at least one of his extra defenders.
Mike: Add a forward if the cost is right and trade either Engelland, Wideman, or Jokipakka. The latter seems more likely than the two former names here.
Christian T: Probably nothing. There’s not a lot that Treliving can do with the cap space he has and the assets he can sell, so I’m quite neutral on whatever will happen.
Ryan: I figure they add a forward of some manner for a mid-to-late round pick, but I’m not convinced that they’ll be able to move out Wideman. As long as the cost isn’t too bad, adding options to their bottom six isn’t a terrible idea.
Christian R: I think the Flames make a quiet move for a forward and move out Wideman with 50% retained for some sort of asset. Don’t think this is the year for the Flames to go all in.
Ari: Nothing. Maybe they recoup the third rounder they used to get Michael Stone by trading away someone already unwanted. I’d be fine with either.