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FlamesNation Mailbag: Testing the trade waters

After a May Long hiatus, the mailbag is back. This week, we tackle the big potential offseason moves.

Yes it does make sense, from the outset. The Flames have a lot of defencemen, no wingers. The Leafs have a lot of wingers, no defencemen. Let’s make a trade.

TJ Brodie sounds like a good starting point. Nikita Zaitsev and Ron Hainsey have underperformed expectations, and with Roman Polak likely out the door (it would be hilarious if they signed him again, but they’re probably not going to) they need some RD depth badly. Brodie is an LD, but seemingly has had success on the right side, so there’s a match.

Trading Dougie Hamilton would be selling the car to buy gas, so let’s immediately forget about that.

I would aim much higher than picks though. It would be nice if the Leafs sent a few this way, but they aren’t going to give up a first and given the relative strength of this draft class, a second or third isn’t that enticing. Selling players purely for picks isn’t going to do it.

I would also aim much higher than Kasperi Kapanen as a winger the Leafs could send this way. Kapenen is interesting and a popular target, but his career history thus far is spotty and the selling point is potential, which is also spotty. Kapanen is the same age as Flames prospect Andrew Mangiapane, but one scored above a point per game in the AHL this year and the other didn’t. It’s absolute speculation, but I imagine Mangiapane could do more than nine points in 38 games had he been given the opportunity. Trading a big piece like Brodie for a maybe piece like Kapenen isn’t going to solve any problems.

Aiming higher would be a player like William Nylander or Mitch Marner, a RW that the Leafs may have to sacrifice due to a potential cap crunch given that they need to extend all of Nylander, Marner, and Auston Matthews to big time contracts while filling out the rest of their roster. It’s a heavy price to pay for a top four defenceman, but they don’t come cheap.

Will they trade one of those players though? Unlikely. The Leafs and Flames are perfect trade partners based on what they need and what they have, but I think both sides won’t pay what the other wants, so no go. I’d be surprised if anything happens on that front.

If the rumours are true and Phil Kessel is available, the Flames should be all over that. Kessel puts up much greater production than his reasonable $6.8M cap hit (another point to consider is that it would be hilarious if Toronto is paying for Calgary’s top line RW). He may be 30 with three years left on the deal, but he’s still putting up top 10 numbers that make him a quality candidate.

Pittsburgh could also use Brodie, though who knows if that’s enough to get Kessel out. I think the Penguins are also looking for cost controlled forwards, which may make players like Sam Bennett or Mark Jankowski expendable. They might have to throw in another prospect to get the Penguins to sell, which might be a deal too rich for Calgary.

I think the Flames would also be looking for a longer term piece than Kessel though. Their most recent 30+ RW acquisition didn’t really work out for them, so perhaps they stay away from older guys.

No.

Arizona would be trading away a potential star in Dylan Strome and whoever they select fifth overall and the other piece would have to be pretty good. Is Hamilton going to swing the fortune of that club? Probably not. They aren’t that close to competing, so adding Hamilton while giving away some of their young competitive pieces isn’t a smart move. Two steps forward, one step back. Beside, they’ll (likely) get the second best defenceman in the draft in Quinton Hughes. It makes more sense to get the young potential stud defender as a young rebuilding team than to grab the established stud defenceman to fill out your non-competitive roster.

From Calgary’s side, I already said it: trading Hamilton is selling the car to buy gas. He’s the best offensive defenceman the team has and moving on from him now at 24 is foolish. Juuso Valimaki filling in a first pairing defensive spot is also a stretch. The kid is good, but let’s see what he’s made of on the third pairing first before giving him 25 minutes a night.

Not full refund price, but if they would want to move Travis Hamonic, I imagine they could get a pair of second round picks. The Hamonic trade was arguably one of the biggest last year and given how it played out for Calgary I don’t think anyone would be paying the same price again. Trading him not even a year later is also going to drive down the price a bit. Don’t think they would sell him for that though.

Trading two defencemen? Yes, that’s likely. Michael Stone is pretty bad and should be moved immediately to make way for Rasmus Andersson. As already discussed, Brodie could be a pretty strong chip that could net you something good in return, so it makes sense to move him.

Signing a UFA? Nope. The Flames have pretty strong defensive depth in the pipeline, so it kind of makes sense to just promote one of Oliver Kylington or Valimaki to replace the empty spot on the left side. The UFA market isn’t convincing, with a lot of over 30s or lateral move players available. The big name is John Carlson, but he’s more than likely a ticking time bomb rather than a long-term solution.

I think they’ll make trades to shake things up, but I don’t think they’ll bring an unfamiliar face in.

Kulak-Hamonic was a pretty solid pairing down the stretch of the season in a small sample size, which is probably the way to go for next year. Brodie-Stone was not that great of a pairing, this year or last year, so I would try avoiding that. If you move Stone (which they really should!), Brodie-Andersson could be strong. If they move Brodie as well, Kylington-Andersson could be a very dynamic pairing.

I can see Carolina being wary of picking up another goalie surrounded by question marks. Scott Darling was one of the better bets to be a diamond-in-the-rough backup turned full time starter in last year’s market, and that crashed spectacularly for the Canes. Jon Gillies appears to be very close to the NHL, but he is far from a sure thing at this point. They are probably not interested.

Gillies has pretty good AHL numbers, but only 12 NHL games played and only half of them were good. That’s not a goalie teams will pay good assets for. I can’t see Gillies being a trade piece in anything major, so I think the Flames will keep him. If the conventional thinking is that goalies take until they’re 25-27 to break out, Gillies is still a year away. That’s not interesting enough for Carolina, who need goalie help now, and not for any other team.

Specific to Elias Lindholm, I’m not sure what package the Flames could offer for him. The Canes seem to be selling him for cheap to avoid giving him a ~$4.5M contract, but it’s unclear what they would want back. I would suppose they would want a forward around the same age with a similar price point, and the Flames don’t have too many of those worth giving away. They’re loaded with defencemen, so they wouldn’t be interested in Brodie.

I’m sure if it happens, it will be a ball of prospects and picks, but I don’t think the Flames have interesting enough prospects to entice Carolina. Another no go!

You are right to be worried about the goaltending situation. Smith was awful after being injured and he’s going to get older next year. The best to hope for is that he doesn’t continue to fall off a cliff.

Jon Gillies and David Rittich weren’t that impressive in their NHL stints, which makes grabbing an established NHL goalie a practical move. Will Philipp Grubauer be cheap? Unlikely. He certainly outperformed Braden Holtby in the regular season, but lost the net again in the postseason. He’s an RFA who could still be had for cheap, so Washington is unlikely to move him as they don’t have much better options. I think it would take draft picks (oops) to get Grubauer out of the American capital, which is not happening.

I think it’s worth it to look for a goalie this offseason, but perhaps hold off the big spending.

Bennett’s still 21 (turns 22 next month) and has at least been an alright third line contributor. He’s inconsistent, sure, but the flashes of greatness he occasionally shows are enough to keep you interested. It’s been said for two offseasons in a row now, but if he can put it all together, Bennett could finally be at least somewhat close to the expectations that have been set on him. I’ve always seen him developing as a Wayne Simmonds type. Simmonds was a middling scorer until his fourth season in the NHL, when he broke out into a regular 50-point player. For $1.95M, is it really that much of a risk to wait one more year and see what happens?

The flip side is that there’s very few positives that suggest he’s about to break out aside from his age. His underlying numbers don’t suggest that he’s on the right path to eventually becoming that 50-point guy (if you follow the curves of their careers, he is way behind Simmonds) and that he may actually stall out as an occasionally useful third line winger. If the Flames stick with it for another year and Bennett doesn’t really improve, that’s four years and nearly 300 games of evidence that Bennett isn’t entirely worth all that much. This could be the last time to trade him for something valuable.

It’s weighing future value versus current value. What the Flames will do with him depends on what sort of offers they get for him. If he’s a key piece in a big trade for a top line RW? See ya, Sam. If someone wants to swap reclamation project for reclamation project? Probably not.

Sheldon Keefe, Toronto Marlies head coach, is an interesting name but I don’t think it happens.

Primarily, he’s connected to Toronto and is probably either getting paid handsomely to groom the Leafs of tomorrow or has a job lined up for him as an assistant to Mike Babcock. I don’t have a good read on the intentions and thoughts of AHL head coaches, but I feel the only way he leaves the Maple Leafs organization is for an actual NHL head coaching job.

Secondly, as I was writing this mailbag, this slipped across the wire. Eric Francis sneaks by a little news about assistant coaches, claiming the Flames have already hired one, a “veteran coach with a proven track record running power plays.” That’s a little vague, but certainly puts Keefe out of the running. Ryan Huska is heavily implied to be the leader for the defensive side of things, so a double down.

This is a toughie.

It’s hard to get a grip on what John Tavares is thinking or what he values in a free agent destination, but Calgary is a pretty appealing option. Cap room, young team, lots of exciting pieces, good long-term outlook, etc, etc. If you’re Tavares, this could be something right up your alley. The Flames aren’t trying to sign him as a building block, but a finishing piece. Success should come instantly, not in two or three years.

But then there’s other teams that can claim the same. Even the Islanders can say that they have the players and the cap space to support Tavares in the near future. Vegas has a boatload of cap space and could easily convince Tavares that they’re the real deal. Calgary’s not the only appealing party in this scenario.

If I had to put it in numbers, I would say it’s about 10%. Arbitrary and random, but that’s what I’m feeling.



  • withachance

    Lot’s of trade speculation. Throwing one out there, but has anyone considered Boston as a trade partner? They are in need of a LHD (aging Chara, and only one other established LHD) and Brodie could be a good fit for there. They have a boatload of young wingers like Debrusk, Heinen, Donato, and Bjork. Could be a great fit. Thoughts?

    • CalgaryBornandRaised

      I like those options, but I think the Flames should aim higher, we haven’t had a top RW for the 1st line since Jarome left. Imagine what an established scorer could do with Gaudreau feeding passes, Johnny could hit 100+ points and Flames could find some cosistent success

      • withachance

        Hmm agreed. Looking at the top RW point getters from last season, I just don’t know who the Flames could realistically with Brodie as the centrepiece. To other teams he’s probably a decent top 4 D, but not quite there to grab a top winger by himself. Maybe Zuccarello or Zibanejad? Nylander, or Niedereiter? Palmieri is actually very interesting option if he doesn’t resign with the Devils

        • Rudy27

          When you consider our top pairing of Gio and Hamilton are as good as any in the league, and the mix of Brodie’s speed and skill together with how well he performed a couple of years ago as a top pairing, Brodie may still be a top pairing option for several teams out there that have defensive shortcomings.

    • Jessemadnote

      Ya I like the prospects but I think it undervalues Brodie. Do you believe that Kulak can take on an additional 10 minutes of ice time per game seamlessly? Do you believe Kylington is ready for the NHL full time?

      • withachance

        I think Kulak is definitely good for 5 more minutes a night. More ice time to Gio and Hamilton as the defacto top pair (GG ice times last season didn’t really reflect that). I think Wotherspoon and Kylington can split that time with Ras as the 3rd pair. Brodie is in that weird price range where he’s too good to be traded just for prospects and picks, but not quite good enough to get that big fish by himself.

        • Jessemadnote

          I’m not sold on the Left side of Gio Kulak Wotherspoon but it could be workable if Brodie is able to land a young top six RW like Reinhart, or Neiderreiter. I’m not into older players like Hoffman or Paccioretty either.

        • C Watson

          I believe that Valimaki is a more likely partner for Fat Ras than either Kylington or Wotherspoon. I can easily see the pairings being:
          1. Gio and Dougie
          2. Valimaki and Fat Ras
          3. Kulak and Hamonic
          I can see Brodie being packaged with either Stone, Fox or Wotherspoon leaving whoever is left battling with Kylinton for the 7th D spot. This may not be the pairings at the start of the year but I can see it happening sooner than later.

  • Kzak

    Thank you for the big “no” in regards to that ridiculous trade of Hamilton. Strome is a bust and this is not a deep draft to give up the highest goal scoring (and shots) d-man in the NHL. I honestly have no clue why people are suggesting we trade Hamiltion. Now Bennett, on the other hand, I’m all for trading.

  • Jessemadnote

    I think Bennett + Gillies for Lindholme is not an unreasonable scenario.

    I’m also not a fan of throwing Brodies name at any player who becomes available, remember at the start of 16/17 when Brodie was injured and we talked about how it effected our entire lineup? Let’s only trade him if it makes sense not just for the sake of trading him.

    Also forget the Right side, I’d like to see how he performs with 2nd pairing minutes.

    • Korcan

      If Calgary could get Nylander for Brodie i would take that trade any day. I think Kulak will fill in that #4 spot admirably until Valimaki is ready. Worst case scenario — Stone plays #4 until a trade can be made, but i dont see that scenario happening unless there is an injury.

  • MDG1600

    Before being too quick trading away a guy like Bennett I would like to see how he does under a different coach. I don’t see him ever being an offensive force but imho he has all the tools to be great 2nd or 3rd line energy guy who can play physical at a fast pace. He should be scoring his goals from within 5 feet of the crease and I just didn’t see him being utilized that way.

      • Slowmo

        1 Thing I will say we will have a couple of our own Prospects coming into the picture don’t forget about Dube and Gadwin but mostly Dube I think he is going to be that energy guy next yr I foresee him makeing the club and taking the 3rd line spot and Bennett moving up with Jankowski and Foo or Mang. I believe these players can be moved from left to right wing with out missing a beat. Plus I have this feeling that Klim will be pushing if he doesn’t then he will remain a AHLer for ever or go KHL.

    • Korcan

      Bennett may never be the top line player we all hoped for, but he can be an amazing 3rd line winger who can be moved up when needed. He’s not being overpaid for what he provides and he has some great intangibles that will prove very valuable come playoffs, so why get rid of him?

      • The Rocket

        I agree this kid just could be our poor mans version of Doug Gilmour and I will take that going into the playoffs any day. I like his tenacity and he can skate with the best of them. Just the type of player that you can move around your lineup in case of injury and at 1.9 mill what could it hurt to ride out the last year and see if he pans out to be that 50pt guy that can bang and dig.

  • buts

    Trading Hamilton is not selling a car to buy gas…..it would be more like selling a soft, low hockey IQ, over rated, doesn’t give a crap, doesn’t hit, takes bad lazy penalties D, while his stock is high. Christian sorry, but Gillies isn’t close to the nhl yet.

      • buts

        Nope, I was sitting at center ice in the WJC semifinal and watched how bad he played when we lost to the Russians and I haven’t forgot. I think I know why boston gave up on him at his age. If we tried him on right wing like what happened to Burns and Byuglien I would be interested in keeping him. I just see his potential and he goes missing in big games, he takes stupid penalties like putting us 2 men down in the playoff against the ducks, I see him not push back or defend teammates when he’s the biggest player on the ice and it ticks me off. Yes he’s good offensively but I believe you don’t win with him. I’ve played a lot of hockey myself and won a lot, it’s not how much talent you have that wins, it’s grit, determination and drive that go a lot farther. Hamilton hasn’t shown it….maybe one day but in his 3 years here I haven’t seen it.

        • MontanaMan

          I agree with your assessment buts. I also played some pretty good hockey, all of it on defence, and Hamilton does nothing for me. Yes, he has decent offensive skills, but he’s soft, low hockey IQ and takes bad penalties. He’s certainly not the kind of defenceman you build a team around. But some people look at stats and nothing more.

    • deantheraven

      Sorry, Small ‘b’, but you’re only 50% right here. Gillies has shown nothing resembling a regular NHL goalie. However, everyone sees that and so trading him would have to be in a package. I think if the right deal comes up, Tre goes for it, but if not, another year in the’A’ will tell us what we have in Gillies/ He didn’t really cost anything, so whatever happens should benefit the team, if only in the long run.
      But we’re not interested in the long run anymore, am I right?

  • The GREAT WW

    “He may be 30 with three years left on the deal”

    I think Kessel has 4 years left on the deal.

    He has been extremely durable and productive, so I say do it….

    WW

  • Honkydonk

    Here’s the thing with Bennett and what has been screwed up in his development.

    You aren’t going to get a guy like him teaching his full potential unless you give him 17 plus minutes in ice time a year.

    In addition you play him on the power play not the penalty kill.

    The way they have managed his development really boggles my mind. Start with realizing what he is. He’s a blend between a 2 way and a power forward. If you look at how he used to score his points it was his in your face playing style and down low often or close proximity slots.

    He was never used that way during the power play and during 5v5 he has never trusted his line mates for puck possession and play making. That is why he is always coming off the boards carrying the puck himself instead of passing it out to a team mate and then getting clear.

    That is what he needs to change. Instead of doing it all he ought to focus on handing over the puck and getting into an open spot. He starts doing that and his secondary points will definitely go up and so would his goal tally.

    Take all that away I was very confused as to why Gully did not play him on the wing with Backlund and move Frolik to 3rd line energy guy he is.

    That alone would have made Bennett a 40 point plus player year over year thus far. Him Chucky and Backlund always seemed juicy to me

    • Rudy27

      I agree with much of your analysis, and I assume his trying drive play by himself has to do with primarily playing with rookies on his line (that’s a position/role you typically would have a veteran take on). I wish Mony would/could try driving through the opposition now and then like Benny does. Anyway, Bennett and MT together would really be in the oppositions’ face (especially the goalie) and could really be fun to watch.

    • canadian1967

      Is Sam now a candidate to go play in the KHL or SHL for a year ala Giordano to get that ice time and experience in a “minor” league since he can’t go to the AHL?
      Does anyone think that might help?

      • He can’t do that. The Flames would have to terminate his contract and essentially give up all of his rights for him to go overseas. Gio wasn’t asked by the org to go to the KHL, he left there because they wouldn’t give him a one-way contract.

        • canadian1967

          Makes me wish he had signed only a 1 year contract last year and then we could have “qualified” him in June and whispered in his ear to go overseas for a year while we retained his rights.

  • Chucky

    It is very weird to speculate about trading Brodie. His value is down due to misuse by a coach that had no idea how to use his talent. Who knows how much his confidence has been eroded by being a 5 pointed star forced into a round hole but it will take a long look by the new coaching staff to make the determination.
    If Treliving has the patience he should focus on signing the important RFAs, Kulak, Jankowski, Shore and maybe Hathaway. Then try to figure out a way to get rid of Brouwer. Resist the temptation to sign any of the current UFAs. The final piece of the off season puzzle should be getting something for Stone,
    After training camp there will be some decisions to be made and then make some trades. But the coaching staff needs to decide:
    Who is the number 2 RD Brodie or Hamonic
    Who is the number 2 LD Kulak, Kylington or Vlaimaki
    Who is the best fit for Gaudreau and Monahan
    Who is the fit for Backlund and Frolic
    Who is the fit for Bennett and Jankowski
    Those three spots have several available personnel, Tkachuk, Ferland, Lazar, Mangiapanie, Foo, Dube, Phillips and Gawdin to name a few.
    Considering that the Flames have an available RD (Brodie or Hamonic) they could make a “hockey deal” involving a right defenseman and one of the free floating forwards to fill one of the top nine spots not filled internally.
    My only fear is that they will try to make these adjustments before Peters has a chance to see how his approach fits with the existing guys.

    • Rudy27

      Regarding you misuse by the coach comment on Brodie. I would have liked to see Hamilton used on the first PP as the lone d-man and Brodie paired up with Gio for the second pairing. That way you have good shooters from the point on both units, and we get to see if Gio and Brodie still have that great chemistry that had a couple of years back.

      • Slowmo

        Well I hope your all right and it is all GG’s fault our team took a nose dive. If that is the case then perhaps he will do the same with the Oil slicks to the north of you. If it is all coaching which I do believe to a point it was then we should not touch what we have except of course a right shot forward. We have a couple in our ranks Austin Matthew Zach Eetu. out of the few mentioned chances are that only Matthew might have a chance but for sure not this yr I doubt we ever see Eetu back in North Amer Austin will be gone and Zach is a very long shot but maybe down the road. I would hazard a guess that Matthews would be up before Zach. My point after all this is I would hate to trade away our core due to such bad management but to get quality you have to give quality. So what is next? TO seems to be a good option if there willing to do the same trade quality for quality?

        • Slowmo

          Sorry missed Foo I guess he is our best bet for the future as far as prospects go but I still wouldn’t totally rule out Phillips although I do think Foo is much further ahead.

  • Canuck fan here with a trade question for Flames fans. If Brady Tkachuk was available #7 and Benning was willing to trade the pick:

    a) Would you want to acquire Tkachuk? How important is it to Flames fans to have both Matt and Brady? My understanding was Burke really wanted both Tkachuks.

    b) What would be a fair offer? (i.e. no Bartkowski/Browser/7th round pick offers). What if Valimaki, Andersson, and Kylington were demanded (equivalent of a mid-1st plus two 2nds).

    • FL?MES

      Burke is either gone or on his way out so that could change that rumour. Valimaki is a definite no, maybe Ras assuming Brodie could slot back in on the right side and return to form, and Kylington would likely seal the deal (although he has wheels and could turn out to be an offensive gem, especially on the PP.

    • everton fc

      I can`t see Tkachuk falling that far, unless teams think he will stay in school and come out a free agent. Which he might, if he wants to play with his brother… Which is might (hopefully!).

    • wot96

      Hard no. All three of those prospects you mention are A level prospects with variable upside and strengths. Brady hasn’t proven anything even against AHL competition.

    • radiomonkey

      a) It doesn’t matter how important it is to fans. It’s foolish to make decisions based on nepotism, and Burke isn’t with the organization anymore.

      b) All 3 defensemen you mentioned are tracking like 1st rounders. Giving up all 3 for an inferior version of a player we already have is a ridiculous offer.

      NYR gave up a top-6 forward and a backup goalie for 7th overall and a decent prospect last year. That’s your benchmark.

      • Personally, I’d like to keep Virtanen as I’d rather see if he can develop into a unique power forward. Although he doesn’t have good hockey sense, his speed, defensive play, wrist shot and hitting means he could be a game changer in the playoffs. He could be a valuable middle-6 power forward in 2-3 years.

        But if I had to trade him now, as an incomplete project, I would probably ask for another prospect in development that has the same risk/reward. Would you swap Virtanen for Bennett?

          • Baalzamon

            Although this isn’t to say a Bennett/Virtanen swap couldn’t work in theory… they’ve both been pretty disappointing. But there would have to be another piece coming from Vancouver. A third rounder perhaps?

        • BendingCorners

          I like Virtanen, I think he’d be a good addition to the Flames’ lineup even though he could turn out to be another bust like Lazar. If you’re looking to trade project for prospect, we have too many LW so maybe Mangiapane?

    • Rockmorton65

      Even if Tre were obsesssed with getting Brady, there’s no way he gives up Valimaki, Andersson and Kylington. That’s our entire defensive depth. One for sure, but not all three.

    • aye

      History seem to suggest that rarely do all the highly ranked brothers turn out to be impact players, usually only one, and many cases none (Sedin twins are exceptions). A few recent examples: Lindros, Staal (Jordan & Marc are ok, but not great like Eric), Strome, Reinhart, Nylander (so glad we drafted Chucky and not Alex), Schenn. So, elite pedigree seems to only get passed on to one brother. Flames have also had their share of failed brother experiments, Hamilton, Stone, Granlund, Regehr, Reinhart… so, maybe Flames fans shouldn’t be so hot for Brady.

  • BringtheFire 2.0

    “For $1.95M, is it really that much of a risk to wait one more year and see what happens?”

    But it’s not the money, it’s the points. We HAVE to win this year and we need production. At this point, Benny is supposed to be netting us what, 20 goals? Can we risk it? If he doesn’t put up numbers who’s picking up the slack?

    IMO, flip Benny in a package.

  • withachance

    I think no matter what the trade is, the top 9 next season should definitely be:

    Gaudreau – Monny – RW/Tkachuk
    Bennett – Janko – RW/Tkachuk
    Ferland/Mangi – Backlund – Foo/Dube/Frolik

    Bear in mind I’m in the camp of keep Bennett and trade Frolik in a package with Brodie if required for that top 6 RW. That 2nd line should be given everything to flourish offensively (give em 100% OZStarts if you can lol)

    • deantheraven

      If Foo can add some muscle in the summer and keep his speed, he’ll do all right in a 3rd line role, IF the 3rd line is a sheltered scoring line and not Backlund + (your responsible two-way wingers here).

    • canadian1967

      The problem with O-Zone starts is that unless you score, invariably you end your shift in the D-Zone.
      Inversely, if you start your shift in the O-zone, unless you get scored on, you will invariably end your shift in the O-Zone.

  • Derzie

    Vegas shows that most of us know little about how to build a good team through trade. They are basically a whole team built via trade, who on paper look like crap but in reality are in the final 2. My hope is that the moves made lean more to the long term than the short term. Get younger and faster and go from there.

  • Kevin R

    I’ll stand by my desire to trade for a top 6 centre like RoR or Zibby. That is how we create a 3rd forward pairing Peters likes to have & he can schuffle the deck on the missing 3rd pieces on each line as he sees fit based on performance. Gaudreau-Monahan, RoR/Zibby/Tkachuk, Backlund/Frolik

    Fit the remaining pieces with Bennett, Ferland, Foo, Magpie, anyone else in training camp that steps up.

    The price to pay for either one of those guys will be Brodie & one of Kylington or Fox but we may get a 2nd round pick back with either guy. Key will be if Buffalo are able to score Carlson as a UFA or if Rangers can score Erik Karlsson in a monster deal. Ditto for Grubaer for Washington, if they lose Carlson to free agency, they may be open to taking Brodie & possibly Gilles back in return.

    Bottom line, if we can push Backlund & Frolik down to 3rd line, we have just shored up our scoring depth of our top 9. Janko getting 10-12 minutes centring his own 4th line also improves our bottom line by light years.

  • canadian1967

    “Juuso Valimaki filling in a first pairing defensive spot is also a stretch. The kid is good, but let’s see what he’s made of on the third pairing first before giving him 25 minutes a night.”

    Why couldn’t he play with Gio right away?
    Charlie McAvoy played 22 minutes a night with Chara.
    https://www.hockey-reference.com/players/m/mcavoch01.html

    The difference between a Rasmus Andersson and Valimaki is skating after all.

    • Cfan in Van

      “The difference between a Rasmus Andersson and Valimaki is skating after all.”

      The difference is 2 years in the AHL under a watchful eye. Can’t pencil Valimaki into one of the top pairings without a lot of evidence of playing against full grown men. I think he’d need to have a mind-blowing training camp to even be considered for a 1-2 pairing role off the bat.

      • canadian1967

        Sorry, but Phat Ras was NEVER going to play any less than 2 years in the AHL, and watching him skate, he doesn’t look like a top 2 D to me anyway.
        Valimaki is better than him right now.

      • Korcan

        Valimaki is reportedly an excellent skater, is big, fit, with strong leadership traits, and is mature beyond his years. I will not be one bit surprised to see him make the jump to the Flames this next season, especially if Brodie is traded. I think his defensive game is already better than Kylington’ s.

    • Jessemadnote

      McAvoy is an exception. It’s not impossible but it’s highly improbable. Also it seems weird to put him on RD when we have a glaring need on LD, especially if Brodie is traded.

      • canadian1967

        I was more trying to make the point that there is evidence to support the fact that a 14 – 16th overall pick at 20 years old could play top line minutes with a D of the calibre of Gio or Chara. (Just like McAvoy did, or gosh, even D. Hamilton did)
        Why does Valimaki have to learn to play in the NHL with Michael Stone? How is that going to help his development to become a true top pair Stud?

    • Korcan

      If Valimaki makes the team in the fall I would think they partner him with Hamonic as their second pairing. Hamonic will provide him with that steady mentoring presence. If Valimaki turns into the stud everyone is hoping for, he will be a perfect replacement for Gio on the top pairing with Hamilton when Gio’s game starts to decline.

  • BringtheFire 2.0

    “…another point to consider is that it would be hilarious if Toronto is paying for Calgary’s top line RW.”

    Not as funny as Calgary paying Edmonton’s shiny new assistant coach, of course, but still funny.

  • freethe flames

    Hopefully by the end of the week we will know who the assistant coaches are. Lots of possible trade targets and we all have our own opinions. But the truth of the matter is if we don’t get more talented in the top 6 and have more depth in the bottom 6 next season could be like last season. I still think the best fit for a trade of our assets and what we need is found in the Big Apple.