FlamesNation Mailbag: Deadline sneak peek

The Flames are probably headed to the playoffs, barring a late season disaster, but they’re still not quite a perfect team yet. There’s still some issues that they need to address if they want to parlay their regular season hype into meaningful postseason success.

The NHL’s biggest holiday, trade deadline, is fast approaching, and this year’s sees the Flames in the unfamiliar territory of being buyers. Who are they looking for, and what do they have to pay?

When the news broke, I was not surprised that the Flames wanted a veteran depth LHD for a playoff push, but I’m still a bit confused as to who. The Flames probably want a defenceman that is both cheap but disposable, as they can pick between Juuso Valimaki or Oliver Kylington for 2019-20. The issue being that they might pay an inflated price for someone who isn’t much of an upgrade on the rookies.

A cursory glance, even one that gives the Flames an extended budget (presuming they find a way to dump some salary in any potential trade), at potential rental UFA defencemen reveals a pretty uninspiring list. The big gets are Alex Edler and Jake Gardiner, two players that are probably not Calgary bound anytime soon, and certainly not Calgary bound for third pairing minutes. Braydon Coburn might be an intriguing option, but there’s no way Tampa trades him to another top NHL team.

If you come back to reality and factor in the Flames’ cap space, you find yourself picking between a grab bag of ineffective old guys nearing the end of their career. If they’re going for an RHD, you run into a lot of similar options. The good ones are expensive, the cheap ones aren’t that good.

I really have no clue who the Flames could be looking at. Maybe they get creative and go for an RFA defenceman who they can then flip in the offseason, but I doubt there’s any sellers who want to move an RFA.

Undoubtedly, yes. Even if you’re Mike Smith’s #1 fan, you have to admit that he’s done. He hasn’t been the same since his injury last February and his 36-year-old body isn’t going to get any younger. He might have a great game every once in a while, but they pale in comparison to the five bad ones he had prior. Case in point, if he made one more save against Toronto, Arizona, and Los Angeles, he would have five shutouts in 23 games with an 0.891 SV%. That’s the volatility of Mike Smith goaltending.

And obviously the Flames can’t have that. If David Rittich either gets injured, minor or serious, or just falls off the map, you can’t just sub in Smith and pretend there’s no difference. The minor league goaltending mess is approaching radioactive status, so you can’t trust that either. I mentioned that only disaster can boot the Flames out of a playoff spot; here’s that disaster. Even if they hold on, there’s no way they can last long in the playoffs unless Smith reaches another level.

So who do they look at?

[ed. note – There’s a lot of backup goalie talk below, but rest assured, we’ll have even more coming later this week!]

McElhinney is a pretty enticing asset for any team looking for a backup, as he’s cheap and has been providing some good goaltending for a Carolina team that hasn’t seen good goaltending in nearly a decade. For the Flames, he won’t screw up their limited cap space and he could be a fine backup to give Rittich some rest for the last 20 or so games of the season. He also makes the team younger, surprisingly (McElhinney is 35, Smith 36). It would also be fun to bring back a player who saw playoff action with the Flames in 2007-08, so let’s do it.

But this question will be resolved closer to deadline time, as Carolina still holds all the cards. Although currently out of a playoff spot, they’re just seven points back and are winners of their last four games. Despite rumours of a fire sale happening (including Dougie Hamilton and Micheal Ferland, making that trade that much sweeter), there’s a chance that they might need McElhinney after all. Carolina might still be in the fight at deadline time, which makes trading for their best goalie either impossible or expensive.

I think they look internally to upgrade the bottom six. Again, cap space is going to hinder them from acquiring anything substantial, and they’ve received some surprising performances from AHL call ups so they might just go to them again. The playoffs are a different beast, of course, but the Flames are going to head to the playoffs with at least two AHLers. There is the chance they dip into the Michael Stone LTIR money (important point of clarification: it isn’t free money. There is cap space relief, but the Flames still have to pay Stone the $3.5M) but that might be a desperate last resort move. Given the way the season has gone so far, I can’t see that happening.

For goalies outside of McElhinney, the Flames can get a bit more creative. They could swing an even money deal involving Smith with Detroit to bring aboard Jimmy Howard, who could split starts and provide playoff experience. Maybe they try taking Pheonix Copley from the Capitals. Keith Kinkaid from the Devils has had some success in the past as a backup, as has Petr Mrazek from the Hurricanes. The Flames are definitely looking at their backup goaltending options, but who they’re after is anyone’s guess.

That assumption is correct. The Flames don’t have many high-end prospects, which is fine for now because all of them are currently in the NHL, but they can’t keep operating with what they have. Looking ahead a bit further than the scope of this mailbag, the Flames might have two current AHLers – Andrew Mangiapane and Dillon Dube – who can come into next training camp with good odds of landing a full-time NHL job. The next closest might be Matthew Phillips, who is still a work in progress.

Peeking beyond that and looking at the longer term guys, you might have three or four that could compete for NHL jobs (I would say Dmitry Zavgorodniy, Martin Pospisil, Emilio Pettersen, Tyler Parsons), but they are still way far away from determining whether they’re certainties or just minor league all-stars. The Flames could use a bit more cheap lifeblood in the system. The production versus cap hit of young players on ELCs compared to UFAs (look at how people talk about James Neal and Derek Ryan) is necessary to keep winning teams alive during the cap era.

Obviously, if there’s a deal that requires a Dube or a Phillips to land an affordable superstar that the Flames can lock in for the next few years, they should take it. But the team is currently a bit lean on future talent that it could make them hesitant to move any more futures than they already have in years past.

So who might they trade?

We’ll assume “valuable” means that Sam Bennett can get a big return on his own, and in which case, he really isn’t. You can argue his value to the team, but the rest of the NHL likely sees Bennett as just a grinder or a failed project. Given that he’s very close to 300 games played (where has the time gone?), it’s hard to sell anyone on the undiscovered potential of Bennett, which is key for the rebuilding teams the Flames will likely be negotiating with at deadline time.

That doesn’t mean that you should count out a potential Bennett trade. He could still be a secondary piece that clears just enough salary for the Flames to get what they want without losing a step in the lineup, he just won’t be the main piece. Ironically, the same things that sink his value can also sometimes boost it. Teams who don’t have a lot to lose will take risks on young-ish players perceived as needing a change in scenery, provided they get a little extra in return. Not saying that the Flames are looking to move Bennett, but I don’t think it’s as out of the question as it was a year or two ago.

On its face, trading Michael Frolik would be a pretty bad decision. Without Frolik, the Flames wouldn’t have a winger that can play top six minutes on a consistent basis, and they wouldn’t have any as defensively-minded as he is. There’s contracts and underperformers you should trade first before looking to move Frolik. The coaching staff doesn’t seem to like him, for whatever reason (Frolik has two goals and two assists in his four games back from injury. He received less than 12 minutes in AS ice time in two games where the Flames were trailing) but he’s still been an effective player in limited minutes for the team, on pace for career average scoring totals despite four minutes less ice time per night.

On the other hand, if the Flames can finagle a pretty good return for Frolik at the deadline, it might be worth it. Just spitballing, but if the Flames could pry Gustav Nyquist out of Detroit at the cost of Frolik and some assets, that’s a pretty good return that works for both the now and the future (they would still have to sign Nyquist, however).

Any potential Frolik trade shouldn’t focus on getting rid of the player, but should bring back something substantial to the team. At the end of the day, the team is better with Frolik in the lineup. Unless they can get a better player back, they should stick with Frolik.

    • freethe flames

      The problem is how? It would likely cost us an asset to move Neal; other teams have seen him play this year too. Smith might be moveable but again we are going to need to add something else on top of Smith to get a reasonable back up.

    • Jimmyhaggis

      Who in there right mind would take Neil, he’s a bust and the whole league knows that. And again, who would want Smith, he’s pretty well done even as a backup.
      Sorry, we’re stuck with them.

      • Rudy27

        Neal is having his first bad year in the past 10 and (even though he hasn’t earn it) would probably have better numbers if playing with a good play maker. If I was a GM looking for additional scoring, I would consider this year as an anomaly and take a chance on picking him up expecting a change of scene and line mates to re-ignite his scoring prowess.

    • slapshot444

      First, every team has a “problem contract”, it’s the nature of free agency. I think we will see Neal played until he comes around, or sit him a bit to see if that lights the fire, then continue to play him. He’s currently un tradable. A light at the end of the tunnel is the thought that when the NHL / NHLPA contract gets re negotiated, which will be sooner rather than later, like next September, there will likely be a compliance buy out (get out of jail free card) in which case he will be cut loose if he hasn’t re found his passion by then. A buy out is out of the question with this management. Smith on the other hand is currently a poor back up option and will likely be replaced prior to TDL. He had a nice run but we all get old sometime. The most optimistic feel that he may re-ignite to finish the season (as a good back up). He likely retires this summer.

  • Orrwasbest

    2 guys that are trending up lately are Janko and Kylington. Janko has been playing great on the PK and now seems to be more dangerous 5 on 5 as well. I know I will get lambasted for saying this but I see a lot of a young Gio in Kylington on the offensive side of the puck, if he can improve on the D side of the equation his break out the past while in his offensive ability to handle/pass the puck could result in a star defenseman in my opinion.

    • The Real SlimBrodie

      I actually agree. Kylington seems to be showing a lot of poise. At only 21 years of age he has been playing against grown men for a very long time and will only get better in the years to come. He would deffinately be on my no trade list.

    • Rudy27

      A young mobile defense man with great passing and scoring potential upside. That’s a keeper in the new NHL! If he and Anderson reach their potential, what a steal BT made with his Boston trade (especially taking into the consideration flipping Hamilton for Lindholm and Hanifin).

  • freethe flames

    Let’s list the Flames assets: This year we have 5 draft picks a 1st,3rd,4th,4th and 7th rounder. I would hope that would not trade either the 1st and 3rd for a rental. We have a number of good young defenders but they have contributed to our success and therefore should not be traded unless we get a significant piece back. We have plenty of bottom 3 forwards throughout the organization and if they can be packaged to get one of the 3 wish list ingredients then we should do it. Most of us would agree that the 3 wish list ingredients are an upgrade on Smith as the back up, someone who can play in the top 6 and help improve the 2nd PP unit and a depth defender who is an upgrade over Prout and more experienced than Valimaki and Kylington.

    What may trigger BT to make a move is what the other contenders do? If SJ or Vegas make a move you could see him try and respond.

    • The Real SlimBrodie

      Someone mentioned offering kevin bieska a deal. We could use his p.o.s attitude in a playoff series. Could you imagine trading for ferlkland back aswell.

        • buts

          Did the ducks lend Bieksa to the Spengler cup or is he a free agent? He did play well there, he’s a serviceable 6-7 Dman and could give our team toughness at a low cost.

          • Kevin R

            He would be a perfect 6/7 depth D for no assets & cheap.

            Now there’s a kid by the name of Lindgren in Montreal who is a heck of a good young goalie that just signed an ELC. The kid is also stuck behind that monster contract of Price. Definite target for Tre from a goalie point of view. Bortozo on St Louis would be a great D target, not sure what cost would be for him. We need some tough on the blue line & Bortozo can play.

            Would like to see a tough as nails but can play 10 minutes 4th line forward. Intensity & nastiness levels are about to go up significantly after the all-star breakas many games will be must wins for many teams we play that are on the bubble.

      • freethe flames

        I did not watch the Spenglar cup; how did he look? My last memories of him from the end of the season last year is that he is too slow to play in the NHL.

        • Kevin R

          Everyone on here said the same of Engellend & were thrilled when Vegas took him off of us. Go back & read the FN articles & posts & many called him slow for the NHL. Look what he has done in Vegas & he’s is the type of nasty we need back there, thats what Bieska brings, along wth playoff experience. & the cost is virtually nothing.

    • freethe flames

      I struggle with Smith as well but he did not let in any stinkers in Detroit although he made up for it in Boston. Is he an NHL starter no; but would I over pay just to replace him; no.

      • everton fc

        It’s a difficult situation we are in, with Smith. If we did pick up a backup and send Smith to Stockton, would he perhaps choose not to report, like Garrison?

        Would Bieksa, the “freebie”, be a better option than Prout? Maybe.

        • Skylardog

          No cap room to replace Smith and just send him to Stockton. Only $950,000 or something like that disappears off his salary from the cap if he goes down there.

      • Kevin R

        Smith is what 12-8 or 12-9? Ask any NHL GM & they would tell you that expectations of a backup are basically a .500 record. Smith is functional for maybe 10 more games this year, why spend assets for 10 more games. We need to play Riitch tons because we need to know if we need a #1 come summer or a decent 1b/backup. I think Riitch is our guy. But lets see what he can do in an intense playoff race & then playoffs. Next 40 games + playoffs will tell us volumes of where we are at in net.

  • Garry T

    I would call Phoenix and ask them if they are interested in Smith. He would go back there for the remainder of the season. Get a couple of 3 picks for him and may have to take back a bit of salary.

    Kevin Bieksa is a total Freebee. Was on TV in Lax Saturday night and looks to be in tremendous shape.
    He was a good defenseman and is the stay at home answer we may be looking for in a stop gap situation.

    Having watched Frolik with Tkachuk and Backland these last three games, I see a dynamic line again and I am not trading Frolik.

    Reimer is rumored to be available and he comes in as a good goalie with a reasonable cap.

    There is a lot of talk about moving Bennett. He is playing like a heart and soul guy and I would keep him as he is loved by his team mates and in trading him away, you are giving up a lot of spirit , plus if he ever learns to shoot straight, a lot of goals. I am keeping him for leadership reasons.

    You have disposables in Czarnik who was supposed to be coveted by every team in the league prior to coming to
    Calgary. I would move him to Edmonton for Pullujarvi . Or you could see what you could do for that top six forward we are perceived to need by moving him and Neal.

    Vegas are beating the odds again and are for real. They might be interested in Neal for a good young forward or D and two picks in the 2019 draft. All of this would leave you in a position to trade Anderson to Toronto for Kapinen. Anderson appears to be slow when it comes to turning the jets on , on his own blue line to get back into his own zone to retrieve
    the puck or cut off a rush against.

    These are some of the potential answers that keep us in cap freedom.

    • freethe flames

      A lot of wishful thinking here; I’m not sure how much of it is grounded in reality. Why would Phoenix want Smith? I can’t think of any reason.

      Why would Edmonton trade Pullujarvi for Czarnik? It would be a terrible idea for them.

      Why would Vegas want Neal? They just sent Pirri down and he was on a roll.

  • redwhiteblack

    A healthy Rittich for years to come would be awesome. Been so long since this team had a big save keeper. The risk is clear. Without him they are probably out in round 1 of the playoffs.

  • Skylardog

    If the Flames are thinking about trying to get Howard, then finding a way to take Nyquist might increase the odds of that happening.

    But adding in Frolik will not make it happen. The Wings are trying to rid themselves of older players and medium to large contracts as they try and get their house in order. Frolik is the exact opposite of that.

    On the contrary, Bennett mat be a guy that fits the bill for them. He gives the a seasoned NHLer, with some speed and energy, that gives them a low cap hit if they were to sign him to $2.5 million for 5 or 6 season. That is the cap certainty and roster player they need badly.

    Any trade for Bennett cannot be made with a team in our own division. Can’t have him reigning havoc on our guys.

    • Off the wall

      Nyquist and Howard combined make $10M.

      Smith and Bennett combined $6.5M.

      Cap space is tight. Just over $2M as of today. I’m no mathematician, so how do we get that done. LTIR still counts towards the cap and we’d be playing with fire, trying to remain cap compliant.

      • Skylardog

        You get cap relief on LITR IF you are over the cap and need it. It has no use on a day to day basis as you are always at the max every day, and are making no gains for later in the year.

        • Off the wall

          Sorry, I should have read this first Skylar;

          “If a player has a legitimate long-term injury, his cap hit is still counted; however, the team is permitted to replace him with one or more players whose combined salary is equal to or less than that of the injured player, even if the additional players would put the team over the salary cap (if the team’s cap room is larger than the injured player’s cap hit, they may take on as much as their cap room); however, the injured player may not return to play until the team is again compliant with the original cap.”

          So basically, we CAN do as you proposed, it’s that Stone, Valamaki would not be able to play, until we are cap compliant.

  • MDG1600

    I am puzzled by the comment that the Flames will likely look internally to improve their bottom 6. IMHO the substantially improved performance of the top line this year and better coaching has been the driver of the teams improved results. I don’t feel our bottom 6 is much better than last year (James Neal #1 culprit). I still see it as a weak spot and don’t know how anyone internally is going to really improve the bottom 6 unless Janko takes a big step forward in the second half.

  • The Fall

    This season should be a see what we got type playoff push. Then, trade the softies in the off season, move on from Smith, and shore up some weak spots. …make the run next year with better depth and more playoff experience.

    • freethe flames

      In many ways this is a growing year for the Flames. The problem is that the window is only about 3 more years after this.B/C of this I do understand why some people suggest going all in. I may not agree with them but I do understand it.

    • Skylardog

      Life is short and can change in a blink of an eye. Same can be said for hockey careers.

      Who is to say that JG doesn’t go into a corner in a game in October and has an injury that ends the effectiveness of his play for the rest of his career. These days, one concussion can end it all. Nagging wrist injuries can become long lasting and put an end to goal scoring touch. Blood clots can end careers, as we may well learn here in Calgary with Stone, without anything happening at all.

      We are healthy, we are deep, and we are running on a lot of cylinders in a year where Nashville and Anaheim are struggling. We have Winnipeg’s number so far this season. We can beat Vegas and SJ. All of the stars (Gaudreau in particular) are aligned and pointing at us as the favorite to win the West. We are even getting Stanley Cup quality goaltending from a guy we barely even knew 12 months ago.

      The time is now. This is the window. It could close in the fall for all we know.

      • Soupy19

        Well said. I can’t believe some are suggesting that a team who is first in the conference just go and get some playoff experience for next year so they can be good for next year. Like, how many chances do you think you get to win the cup? I’m not suggesting you sell the farm for this year but I’m not against trading something of substantial value to plug holes.

  • everton fc

    We are one of the best teams in the NHL, as I type. Why trade our youth? Why move Kylington – he’s played fine here, and even if he’s never more than a 5/6, he will come cheap.

    Our #1 need is a backup for Rittich. But we’d have to move Smith. How does that happen? I see no way to punt Smith, unless we take on another teams similar scenario. I see no way the Canes part w/McElhinney, unless we overpay. I do see them retaining half Darling’s cap, if any team were to come w/a serious interest. We should not be one of those teams…

    Cam Ward might have been a good, default solution, but w/Crawford out for who-knows-how-long, Ward is now the Hawks #1 go

    Tristan Jarry in Pittsburgh might be a good one to look at. I’d also call the Kings – one of Jack Campbell or Cal Petersen could be ideal here. Send Gillies or Parsons the other way. Or put together some sort of deal. Just thinking off the top of my head, here. But we are good “as is”, so I’d move no young players like Kylington, Bennett, or Jankowski. I’d keep and eye on the waiver-wire for cheap “filler”. Hold onto our picks. Unless a guy like Kapanen can be “had” (Brodie would be the cost, but w/Valimaki out, and no idea when he returns, or if he returns as a 5/6, at best), I’d be cautious messing w/the current “chemistry”.

    I’d also take all calls for James Neal, but assume none will come. I’d consider Reimer, whose personality would fit, here.

    • freethe flames

      Yesterday I read a report out of Fl that they might be willing to trade Reimer; he has not had a great season but has been relatively consistent prior to this year. The reasoning for moving on from Reimer as the back up is they are going to push hard for a FA starter and sweet Lou would remain as the back up. (Talks they may even buy Reimer out) My thoughts on this were Smith and say a Foo(there are other names that could be put here) for Reimer. But the big question is which teams will be on Smiths no go list. I don’t pretend to know Smith’s mind on this but based upon his competitive nature I just don’t see him wanting to go to a nonplayoff team. The other issue you mention is chemistry and I think that is a huge issue with this team; how does he fit in the team chemistry? I don’t know but if I’m management I sure as heck would want to know before I ask him for his 8 team no go list.

  • Skylardog

    One of the things that I, and almost every one else are missing in this discussion is the coming Expansion Draft. I am sure they didn’t toss over $650 million without first locking in the same deal Vegas got.

    Looking at who we have now and who will have a contract for certain at the draft, these are the guys that must be protected.

    Plus 3 more forwards
    Backlund is a big question mark and will likely be left unprotected when the day comes if still here.

    On D
    plus one other

    Gio would be left unprotected

    We have no goalies, but Parsons, if he lives up to the hype would need protecting. Rittich will need more time to see if he is a must by then.

    • freethe flames

      At this point I am not worried about the expansion draft. I think teams over thought it and therefore overpaid in it and thus Vegas got some real deals. Each team sans Vegas will lose either a solid prospect or a vet with some term left but unlike the Vegas draft I don’t see teams losing multiple players to Seattle. I am interested if the new CBA will include any non compliance buy outs.

      • Skylardog

        I actually agree with you, in particular when you are in a window to win a cup. But it can’t be overlooked in the grand scheme of things.

        Where it plays out is on defense, and another reason why Ky is expendable.

        You can protect 3 defensemen. (or 4 if you only protect 4 forwards, not going down that road)

        Andersson or Ky? maybe neither.

        But that also means no Brodie, no Hamonic, no Gio on the list. Not sure they will be here, but still, If you protect Hani, Vali, and Ky, you have nothing on the right side. That would be tough sledding.

  • Heeeeere’s Johnny

    I think the reality of this team is starting to hit home for me:
    1. It is a Jekyll/Hyde team. The top line, 1-4D and Rittich form the core of an elite team worth being excited about. The young D are also exciting but aren’t yet an asset come playoff time. The bottom 6 are extremely disappointing and incapable at present of supporting a drop off or injury in the top of the line up. Check out Kent Wilson’s article this morning on The Athletic for a sobering view.
    2. The cap situation and lack of prospect capital means upgrading at the TDL will be very limited. The last thing I want to see is more draft picks getting moved as then the future will be very bleak. The reality is if we don’t want the bottom of our roster then no rebuilding team will either.
    3. The bottom line to me is we need to make the most of what we have and make some 2nd level changes. Key points for me:
    – put the 3M line back together and leave them be. Frolik is way more valuable than BP is currently demonstrating.
    – find a way to get a backup goaltender without breaking the prospect bank
    – set a 3rd line with MJ at center and run with it. I think it has to include Neal, but perhaps using a cattle prod (healthy scratch) to get him going will be necessary. I think Bennett is the LW on that line. Overall BP needs to reduce the use of the blender to allow for some chemistry.
    – if none of this works then it is time to break up the top line and give Lindy his own line. I’d start with Chucky and Neal and it make our checking line Backlund, Frolik and Ryan. That leaves Bennett, Janko and Hath as the other line.

    • Heeeeere’s Johnny

      I missed out on 1st line RW if Lindy has his own line. That’s a tough one and likely needs auditions. Bennett, Neal and Czarnik would have to be the candidates.

    • BendingCorners

      You’re right about Frolik but I keep thinking that Frolik and Ryan would be good linemates for Neal – defensively responsible, decent passers. That would mean leaving 2RW open for Bennett/Czarnik/Dube on a rotating basis. Statistically Czarnik seems like a fit there, but he’s a bit soft.

  • Vernon30

    Any potential team thinking of tanking for Hughes? That could be a fit for Smith. Would we want their backup in return? Only 3 guys I’d not take over Smith right now. Elliot, Niemi, Allen.

  • Skylardog

    A little thought on handling Matty’s new contract.

    I would sit down with his agent and put this out and get a deal done as I propose, within the next 30 days. Security for all!

    Sign him today to a 1 year deal worth $5.0 million for next season. That gives Matty a guaranteed contract for next year and $5.0 if he gets a serious injury between now and the end of the season. If that injury happens between now and the end of the season, and the injury is career ending, Matty gets nothing. Kind of an insurance policy.

    What that gives the Flames is a great cap situation next year, regardless of what else happens. A bunch comes off the books in 2 years when money will be more available.

    With the deal, guarantee the following for Matty, with some injury clause that helps both the player and the team if he gets injured before the end of the season.

    On July 2, this year, you sign him to an 8 year, deal worth the same assumed cap % ad the JG deal was in 2016, 9.25%. If you take $83 mill in 2019-2020, and assume $87 mill in 2020-21, that means an 8 year at $8.0 roughly.

    All parties should be thrilled by that deal and having Matty locked down for the next 9 years.

    • Heeeeere’s Johnny

      I’d do this. The biggest risk is that Matty absolutely shreds it next year and costs us more. I can live with that!! One technicality. I think they would have to wait until Jan 1 next year to sign the 8 year deal. One year deals have that limitation.

    • Jobu

      Not sure this makes sense from the Matty camp standpoint. Your statement…
      “If that injury happens between now and the end of the season, and the injury is career ending, Matty gets nothing.”
      … is exactly why he (nor any player in his position) would NOT sign for a short term contract… as mentioned previously, anything can happen to a player!

      As such, Chucky will sign for no less than 8 years at top dollar. That being said, Jobu really likes your idea about applying JG’s cap percentage. That makes simple sense to both player and team, and allows the team to still stay competitive during our window (before our young studs turn 30).

    • Jumping Jack Flash

      One element of Tkachuk’s contract that needs to be factored into the discussion is ,what does the contract say to Johnny who is our undisputeable franchise player. The percentage of the cap may be the same but in real dollars it could be a slap in the face to the face of the franchise.

      There is no player on the Flames that brings more value than Johnny. It could be argued, that there is no player in the league that is more valuable to his team. He makes players around him better. If he had a better shot he would be in the same conversation as McDavid for best in the game. If he was a little better on break always he would be leading the league in points.

      I am a little reluctant to pencil us in for the playoffs when the health of one player impacts the future success our team so much.

    • Skylardog

      I think many of you are misunderstanding what I have said. Matty is getting all of the protection from an 8 year deal signed this summer. He can sign one year before his current contract ends, and if he signed TODAY for $5.0, and then in 5 months on July 1, 2019, an 8 year that is in place but doesn’t take effect until July 1, 2020, he has the locked in 8 year at $8 deal before he even touches the ice to begin his 1 year, $5 million deal. He is getting $69 million over the next 9 years, instead of signing on June 30th this year for $64 million.

      If I am Matty, I would sign it tomorrow.

  • Flint

    A player I would hope Treliving is taking a look at as a deadline deal playoff rental is Carl Hagelin. He’s on an expiring contract. He’s only 30. He’s got super wheels and forechecks well, and he’s responsible. He’s just been traded to LA this year and it looks like he had an injury but is good to go. LA is done, they’d likely move him for next to nothing and he could bring depth and injury protection for the playoffs.

    His cap hit is 4 million, but if I’m correct his remaining cap hit from the deadline (40 days) would be ~860k, which is the same as a Garnett Hathaway, but also much cheaper than Czarnik (who’ll be useless in the playoffs.)

    Hagelin has won two cups, he’ll know what it takes to win.

    • Flint

      Sorry, need to clarify Hagelin wouldn’t be CHEAPER in absolute terms than Czarnik but the investment for 40 days of Hagelin would be less than a year of Czarnik. We should have the space to do it even without trading someone.

        • Flint

          If you put Czarnik on Waivers and send him down (or he gets claimed) that saves 6,720/day…. x 40 = 269k
          Hagelin’s daily cap hit is 21,505 (I think that includes PIT retention) x 40 = 860k

          The difference is $591,400, no? And we’re projected to have 1,142,828. So, Hagelin would work, no?

          He could play 3rd/4th line minutes and PK. From what I remember he’s fast as hell. And he’s won two cups… so veteran leadership Czarnik/Mangiapane/Lazar/etc don’t have.

  • Chucky

    They are at the top of the conference and league solidly in first for the division and somehow major surgery is required. This is a formula for disaster and what is required is a little patience. Hopefully Treliving has that maturity.
    Some things that can be said
    Peters is happy with what he is getting from his first line.

    He does not yet feel that the second line right wing position has been filled.
    Jankowski is the third line centre but because one of his three possible wingers is slotted into the second line right wing position then the third line chemistry is not jelling.
    He is happy to use Ryan as a fourth line centre with right side critical face-off responsibility.
    Any failing that could be attributed to the young defense is more than addressed by good team defense and better face-off percentage so there is no need to make changes on the back end.
    There is a goaltending problem that has kept them from first place overall.

    To boil down the program for the rest of the year.
    A second line right wing has to be found in or in exchange for Bennett, Frolik or Neal. If the second line is not set by the all-star break one of these bargaining chips will be exchanged for someone to take that role, Czarnik could quite possible be added to the deal to sweeten the pot.
    The goaltending problem is bigger and needs to be addressed by moving Smith in time for the team to develop confidence in another backup.12 points before the all-star break will buy some time at the end of the season so this could be put off until the TDL but if they have not dominated in January expect something to come near the end of the month. It is hard to imagine that anyone would take Smith in a trade so look for a retirement.
    Stone’s time with the team is limited so if he is ready to play he may be the key in the deal for a backup. They should look for someone that can provide at least two years to give Parsons time to develop.

  • Jobu

    It’ll never happen… Jobu knows this, but…
    How about this epic trade

    1st Round Pick + Neal + Smith + Czarnik + Phillips
    Nyquist, Kronwall, Howard

    You’d end up with

    Hathaway-Ryan-Mangiapane (or Dube)

    Kylington (or Stone or Valimaki)

    Rittich or Howard

    – says thanks to Kronwall by giving him one more playoff run.
    – Say goodbye to Howard temporarily for a run (and likely resign him in the offseason).
    – Gives Bernier an extended look to ramp him up for next year.
    – Gets some buildable assets and players suited for a rebuild (medium cap – minimal pressure/expectation).

    – Gets depth on D
    – Gets top 6 winger for second line
    – Gets 1B (1A?) goaltender for their run.

  • oilcanboyd

    FN posters want to dump Smith in a trade – for who? Other teams like Ottawa are looking for a reliable backup and haven’t found one.

    Smith 12-9-1 .886
    Ottawa 4 backups 1-10-2 .878

  • Mickey O'Reaves

    The gallery of peanuts: “Hey Brad…you need a cheap, heart and soul, skilled, bulldog-type that brings his all in the playoffs. Sam Bennett went 4th overall, he’s a bust! Maybe you should move on from him. Who you trading him for?”
    Brad ‘Shot-Caller’ Treliving: “Sam Bennett. We’re trading Sam Bennett for Sam Bennett. Thanks for your input, and you have a wonderful day now.”

    • Jumping Jack Flash

      You don’t dare trade Bennett before this playoff run and after the playoffs you likely will forget why you ever wanted to trade him. I found it strange that the article states that Bennett has little value. He has a unique skill set and at 22 has so much more to offer.