(Christopher Hanewinckel / USA Today Sports)
The National Hockey League trade deadline is almost here. The league’s 30 member clubs have until 1 p.m. MT today to tinker, transact and otherwise tweak their rosters before the season’s end. The Calgary Flames have already made a move, acquiring defender Michael Stone, but they may do more.
Here’s everything you need to know heading into today’s flurry of activity.
Where Things Stand
The Calgary Flames roster sits at 23 active bodies right now:
- Goalies (2): Brian Elliott and Chad Johnson
- Defensemen (8): Mark Giordano, T.J. Brodie, Dougie Hamilton, Michael Stone, Matt Bartkowski, Deryk Engelland, Dennis Wideman and Jyrki Jokipakka
- Forwards (13): Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Micheal Ferland, Matthew Tkachuk, Mikael Backlund, Michael Frolik, Kris Versteeg, Sam Bennett, Troy Brouwer, Matt Stajan, Alex Chiasson, Lance Bouma and Freddie Hamilton
- Long-Term Injured Reserve (1): Ladislav Smid (neck, done for the season)
Fun fact: every player on the Flames roster requires waivers to be assigned to the AHL except for Bennett (who has just nine games left of exemption) and Tkachuk (who can only go back to junior). That said, Jokipakka cleared waivers this morning, he can be sent to the AHL if the Flames add a main roster player in a trade. (Players on an AHL roster by the NHL trade deadline are eligible to play in that league’s post-season.)
If you want to get technical, the Flames are over the $73 million salary cap. However, because Smid is on LTIR they get cap relief. It’s weird and technical, but the gist is the Flames are able to spend up to $76.49 million this season (based on the amount of space they had when they put Smid on LTIR and his cap hit). They have $2.849 million in cap space remaining, meaning they can add contracts with up to that amount in combined remaining cap space. (That’s not total cap value, as NHL contracts see their remaining value decrease as the season winds down; they cost 22.2% of their “total” value at the trade deadline.)
The Flames are currently at 47 contracts. That doesn’t count Nick Schneider, who’s in junior and so his deal slides, but it does count Oliver Kylington and Rasmus Andersson, who are both in the AHL and count towards the 50 contract limit because their deals could potentially kick in this season if they play NHL games. Presumably the Flames will attempt to sign Brandon Hickey as soon as possible, so it’s doubtful they add more than two contracts so they have room for him under the 50 deal limit. In terms of a player’s eligibility to play in the playoffs, the only requirement is they have to be on the Flames’ reserve list prior to the trade deadline.
The Flames have 20 pending free agents of various stripes:
- Pending UFAs (8): Kris Versteeg, Dennis Wideman, Michael Stone, Deryk Engelland, Chad Johnson, Brian Elliott, Brandon Bollig, Ladislav Smid
- Pending RFAs (12): Sam Bennett, Alex Chiasson, Micheal Ferland, Jyrki Jokipakka, David Rittich, Kenney Morrison, Jon Gillies, Linden Vey, Garnet Hathaway, Ryan Culkin, Brett Kulak, Tyler Wotherspoon
The Flames are off today, as the Harlem Globetrotters have games at the Saddledome today and tomorrow. (Good tickets still available!)
The trade deadline
is at 1 p.m. MT (3 p.m. ET), which means that trades have to be filed with the
league by then. The next hour after the deadline – depending how busy
it is at the league office – usually has trade calls, so it’s likely
we’ll be hearing about trades after the deadline itself. Last year the Flames announced the David Jones trade just after 4 p.m. MT, so things can take awhile.
Flames management team is holding court in Calgary and it’s likely we’ll
have a media availability for Brad Treliving sometime in the afternoon.
The Rumour Mill
Something to consider, I suppose, for teams thinking of trading for Vrbata… I’m told Calgary is among teams with interest
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) February 28, 2017
8 teams legitimately in on Radim Vrbata. Considering his production this season, not surprising. Arizona should fetch good return tomorrow.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) March 1, 2017
Canucks are studying the possibility of trading Ryan Miller. Flames and Sharks are among teams looking for a goaltender. #tvasports
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) February 28, 2017
These things are fluid but Flames are not on Ryan Miller’s 5-team list in which he’d accept a trade.
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) February 28, 2017