The four types of deadlines had by playoff contenders

The Calgary Flames are a team that’s in the hunt for a playoff spot as they approach the National Hockey League’s trade deadline. Their proximity to the playoffs has led to the obvious bunch of questions regarding what they could do prior to the trade deadline to upgrade their team. Since history is a great teacher, we’ve put together a walk down memory lane to examine what the Flames have done in the past when they’ve been close to a playoff spot.

Here’s a look at the types of trade deadlines the Flames have had in the seasons when they made the playoffs, and the seasons when they were close.

Stand pat

Maybe prices are too high. Maybe it doesn’t make sense to tinker with a team that’s gotten within striking distance of a playoff spot (or has already sewn one up). On a few occasions in Flames history, they’ve made literally zero trades during the run-up to the trade deadline.

Examples: 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987 and 2012

Notable: The Flames signed college prospect Perry Berezan in 1985 and signed pending free agent Tim Jackman to an extension in 2012.

Minor tinkers

Maybe bigger moves are too expensive. Maybe they’re unnecessary given the team’s makeup. Regardless, the trade deadline is a good time to get other general managers on the phone and make minor moves to improve around the periphery of the NHL roster. Fans probably don’t notice these trades, or particularly care about them.


  • 1990: Flames acquire Greg Paslawski from Philadelphia.
  • 2006: Flames acquire Jamie Lundmark from Phoenix, Cale Hulse from Columbus.
  • 2007: Flames acquire David Hale from New Jersey, plus Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau from Boston the month prior to the deadline.
  • 2008: Flames acquire Jim Vandermeer from Philadelphia.
  • 2010: Flames acquire Freddie Modin from Atlanta.

Moderate moves

In some years, general managers have opted for more moderate changes to their rosters. These are trades that fans will notice, but won’t cause particular emotional or psychological strain. These are the “Oh, I heard they traded Curtis Glencross, neat” variety of trades.


  • 1981: The Flames acquired Jamie Hislop from Quebec for Dan Bouchard.
  • 1991: The Flames acquired Ron Stern and Kevan Guy from Vancouver for Dana Murzyn, Carey Wilson from Hartford for Mark Hunter.
  • 1995: It happened a month before the deadline, but the Flames acquired Tommy Albelin, Cale Hulse and Jocelyn Lemieux from New Jersey for Dan Keczmer and Phil Housley.
  • 2004: The Flames made a trio of strong depth moves, acquiring Ville Nieminen from Chicago, Chris Simon from the NY Rangers and Marcus Nilson from Florida.
  • 2015: In a bit of a rarity, the Flames swapped Curtis Glencross to Washington for picks in the midst of a playoff push.
  • 2017: The Flames added Michael Stone from Arizona and Curtis Lazar from Ottawa. (That Stone was acquired to play top four minutes with T.J. Brodie is what makes this more than a minor move.)

Big swings

Finally, there are the big swings that GMs make to push their teams over the top. These are big trades involving big names to make big improvements.


  • 1986: The Flames acquired Joey Mullen, Terry Johnson and Rik Wilson from St. Louis the month before the deadline in exchange for Eddy Beers, Gino Cavallini and Charlie Bourgeois. The day of the deadline they landed John Tonelli from the Islanders for Rich Kromm and Steve Konroyd.
  • 1988: The Flames grabbed Rob Ramage and Rick Wamsley from St. Louis for Brett Hull and Steve Bozek.
  • 1989: The Flames got Brian MacLellan and a fourth round pick from Minnesota for Perry Berezan and Shane Churla.
  • 1994: In a pretty big swap, the Flames received Michael Nylander, James Patrick and Zarley Zalapski from Hartford for Gary Suter, Paul Ranheim and Ted Drury.
  • 2009: The Flames went big this year, getting Olli Jokinen and a third round pick from Phoenix for Matthew Lombardi, Brandon Prust and a first round pick. They also grabbed Jordan Leopold from Colorado for Lawrence Nycholat, Ryan Wilson and a second round pick.

Notable: Both key assets landed at the 2009 trade deadline would subsequently be traded away within the next 12 months: Leopold to Florida in the deal that brought Jay Bouwmeester to town and Jokinen to the Rangers (along with Prust, who was traded away twice within a year) for Ales Kotalik.