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WWYDW: Is this the season the Flames should go for it?

This season, the Flames are a top team in the NHL. They have some of the league’s top scorers, they have one of the best records, and they have some of the best underlying numbers. This continues to beg the question, though: are the Flames a true Stanley Cup contender? And if they are, is this the year to go all in?

The Flames’ rebuild probably officially kicked off when they drafted Sean Monahan with the sixth overall pick back in 2013. It was their highest draft pick in years, and they got a pretty good player out of it.

Now in his sixth season in the NHL, Monahan has lived up to his promise, particularly as the Flames have added an increasingly talented cast of characters around him: Johnny Gaudreau. Matthew Tkachuk. Elias Lindholm. Travis Hamonic. Noah Hanifin. Players like Mark Giordano, Mikael Backlund, and TJ Brodie were already there, but the Flames have gone from a scrappy team with a handful of good players to a relatively young group loaded with talent. There have been some bumps along the way, but it’s pretty much exactly how a rebuild is supposed to play out.

The next big item for the Flames, then, will be the NHL’s trade deadline on Feb. 25. It could be what makes or breaks their playoff hopes. Because, as good as the Flames are, they could still be better: they need a backup goaltender they can count on; depth defencemen ready to provide more than talented, but green, rookies can; and another top six forward and/or more reliable depth scoring. Adding one or two of those positions would probably give them another leg up on the rest of the Cup hopefuls; adding to all three positions could make them unstoppable.

Unfortunately, in order to get quality, the Flames are going to have to give up quality. It’s probably safe to say those aforementioned nine players, plus David Rittich, are safe and won’t be traded; anyone else could potentially be up for grabs, but they wouldn’t yield as good of a return. That means, in order to upgrade their roster, the Flames will probably have to give up something else of value: be it one of Rasmus Anderson, Oliver Kylington, or Juuso Valimaki; high draft picks; or perhaps both.

The problem with doing that: after trading a number of picks in order to build this team, the Flames’ cupboards are pretty much bare. There’s hope for Dillon Dube and Andrew Mangiapane, and maybe Matthew Phillips is pretty awesome, too. There’s the three rookie defencemen, who all look to have graduated to the NHL (or at least will have officially by next season, in all likelihood). And then there’s, uh… well… nobody, really? Not any time soon, at least.

That’s all well and good for the present, because most of the Flames’ best players are still relatively young, but things could spiral out of control within just a couple of seasons if there are no additional replacements from within. (As good as the Flames have been this season, we’re starting to see it a bit already: there’s a forward spot open in the NHL because nobody has outright grabbed it yet.) It would likely be in the Flames’ best interests to retain at least some of their picks and prospects.

Besides: even if this year continues to shape up to look like a year in which the Flames will contend, that doesn’t mean it’ll be the only one. Next season could be the year, too. Or the season after. Giordano has continued to defy age (and even if he doesn’t, four of the Flames’ top seven defencemen of present are 22 and younger, so defencemen’s ages may not be the biggest concern), and Gaudreau will still be signed to a laughably low $6.75 million cap hit for another three seasons after this one. This is a team that has the potential to be good for a while longer yet, and it isn’t as though the 2018-19 season is Cup or bust.

At the same time, it’s really tough to win a Cup, so if the chance to do just that presents itself, wouldn’t the Flames have to go for it? There’s no guarantee they have four forwards scoring well over a point-per-game in any other season. Combine them with another top six forward, and this team could be lethal.

So what would you do? Is it the right time for the Flames to go all in and spend big, or should they play it a little more conservative, see how this year goes (probably with at least a minor upgrade here or there), and keep regrouping for the next few seasons instead, all without completely selling their longer-term future?

What are the expectations for the Flames this season – and can they match them, with or without going big?

  • 420

    This team has 3 glaring holes.
    2nd line winger
    2nd line center
    Back up goaltender.

    I’d like to see the Flames use Frolik, Brodie, and Stone to fill these, as welk as this years 1st round pick.

    • Porcupine at a balloon party

      Don’t think they can afford to give up Brodie this season, just too important and no one to really replace him. But maybe in offseason as sad as I would be to see him go, he is one of our better assets for clearing cap space and getting something of value in return.

      Stone we aren’t getting anything for, even if his blood clot heals, he’ll be several steps behind. No one will be taking risk on him. Frolik certainly is an asset we could extract some value from, but in all likelihood, you’ll be looking to replace his role as soon as you trade him.

      • Bawcos

        With what? A third line FW who plays PK – That’s at best what their using him as. Many teams at the draft will look at Frolik and see value, but, at 4.6M the Flames should(and likely will) move him.

    • Bawcos

      1st RD pick is off the table (imo) go with the bargain deals. Back up G is almost a must. But beyond that it’s go with what you got (NHL/AHL) unless a guy comes along too good to refuse – aka Dzingle. Otherwise look for bargain deals like Vanek or whatever a 6th (LS)D-man looks like. This team just now opened the window – Please don’t sell off what little is left.

    • slapshot444

      Patience, that only comes with the next NHLPA negotiations, as early as next September, if they get it in the deal and if there is no extended lock out.

    • The Beej

      Folks need to have more patience with Neal. People were saying the same thing about Hamonic last year. It took a while but he has melded his game into our system nicely.

      Neal has a super low shooting% and that is not going to last forever. Also he doesnt get top 6 minutes on this team and part of his role is to give young guys some skill to play with. He is generating chances and we shouldnt get bent out of shape over short term results.

      At this point we would likely have to give up assets to move his contract. We dont have many assets to spend and there is a better way to spend them than on moving Neals contract.

      That said we cant wait forever and Neal does need to start producing.

      But for the time being.. patience patience. Knee jerk reactions can tend to backfire.

      Consider if we made a knee jerk reaction and moved Hamonic for pennies on the dollar last year. That would look real bad now.

  • Skylardog

    Many of you already know where I stand on this issue. It is not just what we have, it is also how the competition fares as well and how we match up against them.

    If we were in the Atlantic Division, with the strength of Tampa, you probably bide your time.

    But they only become a team we have to beat in the Finals, not in the first or second round. We showed we are very close to their calibre in the shootout loss.

    We also have the number on almost all of the Central division. We have the number of Nashville and Winnipeg, who are likely to be a conference final opponent.

    That leaves the Pacific contenders, Vegas and San Jose, and likely first round opponents if you finish first in the Pacific. That means Dallas, Minnesota, and Colorado. Anaheim is looking more and more unlikely.

    We have Colorado’s number, the same cannot be said for Minny and Dallas.
    We are currently in a tossup against Vegas and/or San Jose. We play one or both in the first 2 rounds.

    These are the 4 teams (you can add in Anaheim as the fifth) that have the ability to shut down the first line most nights. They can beat us in a 7 game series because on 4 nights out of 7 they could hold Monahan’s line pointless at 5v5. It becomes a real tossup on whether we can get by any of these in a 7 game series.

    It would be a shame to do all we have done so far, finish first in the Pacific, and go out in round 1 in game 7 against Dallas, when you realize that just a minor tweak to get secondary scoring is what would have got us through to the second round.

    We need one more top 6 forward.
    We need Stone back, or one more veteran defenseman with size.
    We need a backup.

    On the goalie front. There are back ups, but most are struggling. Howard is the only one that is
    1) Having a good season, 0.918 ish Sv%
    2) On a team that is not going to the playoffs.
    3) Has a contract that ends at the end of the season.

    If we don’t take him, guess who will – Winnipeg or Pittsburgh. Everyone else that is headed to the playoffs has fairly solid goaltending. And if he goes to Winnipeg, our advantage over them is lost. Sometime when you can win, you make a move so the opposition can’t.

    JG-Mony-Lind
    Tkachuk-Janko-?
    Lazar-Backs-Fro
    Bennett-Ryan-Neal/Hath
    Dube-Mangi or Quine

    2 scoring lines
    A shutdown line
    And a line that if the opposition doesn’t pay attention to, will either run you over (Benny and or Hath) or pot some goals if they can find their scoring touch (Neal)

    GFG
    This is the year. Can ya feel it?

    • Jessemadnote

      I’m not sure I trust Backs or Janko as a 2C. If we could make a move to wheel Schenn or Hayes that would be the type of move that could put us over the top IMO.

    • cjc

      Re. Top 6 forward
      Not really. The 3M line is one of the best shutdown lines in hockey when they play together. They are well ahead of their competition in GF% at 5v5 this year (and we now how much goal differential means to you 😉

      Re. Stone
      Stone was on the bench in favour of Andersson before injury. If anything, the team is probably hoping they can shut him down for the season so he can be LTIR’d for cap relief.

      Re. Backup
      We need a backup, but Howard is a starter and the acquisition cost will be quite high. Thinking they will want at least a first, which might be fine since ours will probably be in the 24-31 range. Would the pick be enough though? Seems Detroit would want something more. Plus Smith would need to agree to it and Calgary would need to find additional cap space.

      Re. Lazar
      Why on earth would the team bring Lazar back to play in a third line role, higher than he was ever playing last year (and higher than Bennett/Neal)? I understand that people get sentimental about mid-20s guys who can tear up the AHL, but he is not what is missing – last time I checked, the team has been a lot better without Lazar on the roster. Maybe he sees a few games on the 4th line as an injury replacement during the r/s, but he won’t be in the playoff lineup if the Flames are healthy.

      Re. lineup
      Also, I doubt Jankowski gets a mid-season promotion to 2 C when Backlund has been doing everything asked of him there.

      • withachance

        Everything here. Asking prices for Howard and premier players in midseason will be astronomical for their value. Dont understand the fantasy proposals on here for Schenn (a top tier Center) or Kapanen (top 6 winger for a contender).

        The Flames dont have the assets to even get the other teams to the table right now, without hemorrhaging the team’s futures. See what this lineup can do deep in the playoffs and reassess in the offseason.

    • Porcupine at a balloon party

      Gave your post a ‘cheer’ despite being a fair different than my point of view. But there are a few points I like:

      1) take the environment we are in… Winning the West and going through the Pacific with Nashville or Winnipeg on the other end seem to be a pretty good scenario for the flames based on how we’ve played against them. This is one of the most direct routes to Stanley Cup the flames have had in years (or ever??). But it’s still no guarantee. I’m in disagreement about loading up due to our empty cupboards, but I do agree that the situation does call for some tweaking to plug the holes (backup goalie for sure).

      2) Addition by subtraction (trading Smith + middle round pick for a backup) might be our best bet

      3) a top 6 forward would be great, but don’t think we can leverage that right now (however treliving has a way of making magic happen). If we can add without mortgaging future I’m all for it.

      4) I would like to see a solid second scoring line + a shutdown line but it’s a little tougher than I think you’re making it out to be. I’m not convinced Jankowski is ready for second line duties yet, or that he would be a better scoring option than Backlund. And there’s still the question of who’s going to be that second line scoring winger. Moving Lindholm to second line center or rw night work, but how much does that effect 13/23??? Might be a net gain, might not… Probably evens out overall.

    • Quinteco

      I agree with everything except the reasoning behind acquiring a backup. The Flames need one to get through the regular season, not for the playoffs themselves. If your backup is seeing lots of playing time in the playoffs, you’re probably doomed regardless. So, in Winnipeg gets Howard and the Flames don’t, that doesn’t really change the advantage because in an ideal world, he’d never even play in the Conference Finals.

  • Fat Tony

    I know we all roll our eyes when we read these elaborate trade proposals in the comments. But if we don’t get a backup goal tender before the playoffs, we wont make it past the second round. That’s not a knock on Rittich and his abilities, we just don’t quite know what we have in him yet for at least another year and some playoff hockey. Chicago isn’t doing anything this season, I think they would take on Mike Smith’s expiring contract for the remainder of the season and maybe a pick to sweaten the deal to acquire Cam Ward. He’s a a capable, reliable back up with playoff experience and success. Thoughts?

    • Skylardog

      On goalies, go look at stats.

      It is either Howard or Howard.

      No other options are an upgrade to Smith, by the numbers this season, or on a team that is not in a playoff spot.

      Tell me who else is available with at least a 0.909? (10 saves, 1 GA)

      • cjc

        Elliott will likely be available from Philly when he is back from injury. Much cheaper to acquire than Howard, has a .911 this season. In a backup role, he wouldn’t be any worse than Smith has been.

        • Keith Chucky

          Ahhhh maybe he IS worse than Smith….You seem to forget that he only had 9 good games for us. Those were in the 9 game winning streak he had that matched our past winning streak and then all H..E double hockey sticks fell through, just like before those 9 games.

          • cjc

            Maybe so, but there’s not much evidence for that if you look at the larger sample size.

            If you look at Elliott’s game log, he had 26 good games for the team, out of 45 starts (58%) and a .910 overall. He wasn’t good in the playoffs, but his team also couldn’t buy a goal. His bad games were bad, but he had his moments, too. Since leaving Calgary, Elliott has been about the same (0.909 S%). Compare to Smith, who in 77 games with Calgary has a .909 S% and 42 good starts (54%). Overall it’s a wash, but at least Elliott’s game has been stable, whereas Smith’s has been in steep decline. Elliott is a few years younger, and he’s cheaper (maybe allows another piece to be added at the TDL). I’ll add the caveat that I’d want to see how Elliott plays when he returns from injury.

      • withachance

        How do you get Howard?? DET probably wont let him leave for less than at least a 2nd rounder + prospect… way too much for a half season rental thats going to be gone next season.

          • Joeyhere

            Skylar that post didn’t mention Howard – it mentioned lesser goalies
            Detroit is asking for a first plus a prospect for Howard – if indeed as you suggest they would take Smith and a second then …maybe, only bc we will need a second goalie under contract next year not just for this years run

            Ps. They would have to settle for second for 2021 as we don’t have our 2020 2nd round pick )

    • Jessemadnote

      To play devils advocate: In 08-09 a 36 year old Chris Osgood had an .887 save percentage over 46 games in the regular season, then a .926 save percentage over 23 games in the playoffs. It’s not like a turnaround from Smith would be unprecedented.

      • Rudy27

        If we are stuck with Smith, I wouldn’t totally right off the prospect of him bouncing back for playoffs. From my observations, his faults this year revolve mostly around bad positional play (either too deep in his crease, or poor body positioning), and shots sneaking between his arm and body with the new, smaller equipment. Fix that and he can be adequate again. His shaky confidence since his injury is probably why he is hugging the goal line too often. Struggling goalies often do that.

    • Jobu

      How many back up goaltenders have we seen play in the playoffs NOT resulting in injury or poor play of the starter? Not many, jobuthinks.

      Theres no point in having a solid backup for the playoffs if Rittich plays well. Even if he doesn’t then we’re likely already down a couple games and probably out of the series (a backup wont save you).

      We WOULD, however, be wise to get a backup to ensure we finish tops in the West and get that sweeeeeet home ice.

  • Skylardog

    Why you get a scoring top 6 forward now, not later.

    Because you have no one else in the hopper that can give you that.

    Phillips may be capable but is far from ready, unproven, and challenged by size.
    Gawdin may have the talent set, but is far from being ready or proven as even an NHLer at this point.
    Mangi has shown he is not going to be the guy.
    Quine, Lazar, Rychel, Lomberg are not top 6, but could be bottom 6 NHLers.
    Foo is a bust.

    Dube is going to be a top NHL shutdown guy, not a top 6 scoring winger.

    So if we don’t have one, but will need one in the window (next 2 to 5 as many of you say), then go get one now. Because as I say, the window is now.

    • withachance

      How are you going to get yet ANOTHER top 6 forward without giving up a stud D man or a top pick?? The Flames have 4 premier forwards, and arguably 2 more mid tiered forwards.

      For me, Kylington, Ras and Vali are untouchables, Brodie and Gio have too much chemistry to split up via trade, and Hanifin is a staple in the Calgary D for the next 5 years. Hamonic brings the toughness in the D, so no one in the D should be traded. Trading forward for forward makes no sense, and the Flames are already thin in prospects due to all of them up with the big team.

      All in all, I dont think rentals/trades are a viable option this year unless Tre can work some magic with a backup like Howard (but very doubtful). Should just stay the course, let talent develop, and bring them up when ready for the bottom 6 in the next few years

    • cjc

      Why you don’t get another top six forward now:

      Cap space: The team needs to sign Tkachuk and a goalie next year, that will eat up most of the remaining cap space. How will they re-sign said top sixer (or sign Tkachuk/goalie if they bring in a salary)?

      You say there is nobody in the hopper. You give up on Mangiapane, but he has been used very sparingly. You give up on 20 y.o Dube after just 23 games. You’re discounting Phillips because of his size when the league is increasingly starting to realize that small, skilled forwards can excel. If Bennett and Frolik aren’t good enough, then why haven’t Mangiapane and Dube been given a chance there (or on the powerplay?).

      Teams need good young players on ELCs/cheap contracts to maintain success. If they sell the farm and/or picks for a rental now, it only handcuffs them down the road. The TDL is not a good time to buy on this stuff either, prices tend to inflate.

      This was the logic when the team went out and acquired Olli Jokinen, and it really hurt them long term.

    • Greg

      There’s a lot of trashes on the “buy now” comments. I gotta ask the people trashing these, what are you keeping the powder dry for? Do you think we’ll have a better chance of contending later?

  • FlamesFanOtherCity

    Obviously, the biggest issue is a reliable backup. Smith can be counted on for a win for every four games he played, nothing more. He might get you two out of four, not two games in a row. That’s not good enough. Check with our buddies in Carolina to see if Mzarazek or McBackup is available for a 3rd + prospect.

    As far as foirwards, I think it may be time to cut bait with Bennett. I keep hearing how great his fancy stats are, or how great a playoff performer is. I just don’t see it. In fact, I see the impact negatively on Backlund. Trade Bennett for a top 6 C/RW. Check with STL about Schenn or Tarasenko. Would need to add to that, but if Schenn was coming back, you could include Janko. Gift them Smith to help finish out a lotto season.

  • Off the wall

    I’m really enjoying the comments. Interesting observations from all of FN.

    Here’s my take. I will prelude this with, I stepped on my rake yesterday and bashed my head pretty good. So a concussion might be driving my thought process.

    You know possum’s often play dead when threatened? Yup, they can appear dead anywhere from 40 minutes to 4 hours.

    That’s James Neal. He’s our possum. Unfortunately, he’s been playing dead for 3 months.

    I’m going out on a limb and saying he gets back to being the Real Deal. He was great with Vegas, we all know that. As much as we are disappointed in his play, he isn’t Brouwer. He can and WILL be much better in the 2nd half. It’s already coming and I can feel it. We’re impatient, but patience brings rewards. Either that or I’ve severely damaged my brain. Take your pick.

    Smith isn’t going anywhere. Treliving isn’t going to deal him unless Smith agrees to it.

    From my perspective, we’re probably going to pick up a D, that’s about it. I’d be surprised if Treliving does anything else.
    However, remember how pissed he was with our team last season? I’m not going to rule anything out, but I’d still be surprised if he makes any substantial deal.

    Let me say this though. I agree with Skylar, our season merits challenging for the Cup. These opportunities seldom present themselves the way it has this season. It’s magical to watch our Flames. We’re not even playing our best and yet we lead the Conference and the Pacific!
    Piss off Vegas.

    I think we could go all in and win, however Treliving is more patient than you and I.

    Besides, you never know what your players are capable of, until you push them into the fire.
    And a FIRE can bring out the BEST in our team, that’s why we’re Flames! 🔥

  • Greg

    Hard Buy!

    You only get 3-5 year windows where a given roster will be peaking. Even at your best, the odds of winning a cup are maybe 10%. So you should be spending everything you’ve got to run hard at the cup while you are in that window, and then use the off-season to sell in order to manage the cap and reclaim as many futures as you can.

    That’s what the hawks did and it worked pretty well. Sure it falls apart eventually, but it will regardless, at least you have a few good cup runs to remember for it.

    This team is peaking… gio still strong, Gaudreau and several others way under paid, mostly young core that won’t need replenishment from the farm for a few seasons. Eventually gio will get old, Gaudreau will double his salary, etc, etc. Make hay while the sun shines! Buy! Buy! Buy!

  • Sterls

    Kylington plus a piece for Kapanen is the only thing I consider at this point. The reasons I’m keen on Kapanen are thus: He should be capable of a 2nd line scoring winger role in the NHL over the course of his career. He is the exact age we want him to be. He hasn’t had an outstanding year yet, so if Tre gets to negotiate his next deal the chances of getting another Lindholm like situation is high. He might be good enough to play in Lindholm’s slot on the top line, allowing Lindholm to move to a line with Byng and Backlund (or even Janko) spreading out the scoring without losing to much from the first line (and forming a potent scoring line that can also shut down other teams top lines). If not, Byng gets a winger who can score to work with. He should replace one of the plugs on the 2nd PP unit. Kapanen would potentially solidify our top 6 and make both lines 1st line caliber.

    I get that Kylington is just coming into his own, and it would hurt to lose him, but the upside of Kylington for the Flames doesn’t match the upside of Kapanen for the Flames. Kylington will likely be behind both Valimaki and Hanafin long term so he is likely a 3 LD playing limited minutes. In my opinion Kapanen helps the Flames more now and in the future than Kylington does, so in this scenario I would trade one of our rookie D-men. Otherwise leave him be.

    Would Toronto make such a deal… I don’t know, but they need dynamic D-men who can skate, and they have 2 high calibre RW already in Marner and Nylander, so it isn’t outside the realm of possibility. They also have Kadri as a 3rd line center, so Kapanen on the 3rd line still has value against other 3rd lines.

    • withachance

      Why would Toronto trade Kapanen on a year that they are also contending for a cup? We’ve seen that Dubas is willing to wait on contract negotiations. I think the only time he’d even consider trading away Kap is in the off season.

      No chance Dubas trades a valuable piece to a fellow cup contender in midseason.

      • Skylardog

        For a much needed and cap friendly DMan they make a deal now. They can’t sign Kapanen anyways because all the guys ahead of him are going to break the bank. A Dman gives them a shot at a cup run.

  • Orrwasbest

    I have never been a rent a player fan and think the Flames need to stop trading draft picks now as long term success is dependent on a steady flow of low salary players playing on entry level contracts filling out the lineup. I would only make trades that won’t hurt the teams future. Trade Neal or any of the other bottom six forwards if they can net us a backup Goalie. Beyond that live with what we got, its a strong team and can make a run with the talent they already have. Trades don’t always enhance sometimes they screw up existing chemistry.

    • mrroonie

      Ken Dryden, Patrick Roy, Ron Hextall, and Cam Ward were all unproven in the playoffs and won the Conn Smythe with only Hextall not winning the Cup to go with it. Roy’s opponent in the 1986 finals was Mike Vernon who was also unproven in the playoffs.

  • Flamesfan419

    I would be on board with small tweeks. As we get to the 2nd week of Feb, it will become more clear who’s selling. But, that might be too late as the bidding wars will have begun for coveted players. Which means Treliving should be out front of things, which also allows more time for any new acquisitions to settle in before the heat of the playoffs start.
    Names I’d like to see the Flames at least inquire about are Simmonds (PHI), Kronwall (DET), Nyquist (DET) givin his friendship with Backlund he could really boost that line with Tkachuk & Backlund, Hagelin (LAK), long shot might be Maroon (STL) just for his playoff production.

  • JusAFlamer

    go for it = YES, should always be the goal regardless

    make big splash at TDL = NO, while trades have gone well for flames lately, the TDL is bad for asset management. What do we have left for prospects (had some make the jump to NHL depleting our future stock for now) BT does well at offseason trades while TDL is more of a pressure move (similar to FA time) and that where we have not come out so well. Cap space is tight, rentals not worth it (unless cheap : future consideration – 5+rd pick)

    make “some” moves at TDL = YES, Not in terms of buyer/seller mentality BUT in terms of trade to ensure extra distractions removed. Really like Frolik as player and he fills big role for team (was huge part of what got us here), but do we need the distraction while on playoff push? Potentially grab a extra 7th D unless certain our D-depth will be out of injury trouble by then. Think goalies will need to stay as is dont see paying big to trade Smith for an unknown goalie (voodoo)

  • Jobu

    Jobu thinks the only thing we really need this year is a winger for the second line. It puts everyone below in their proper places. Jobu wants Nyquist for this job, but not at a cost higher than futures: 2nd or lower round picks and/or prospects not named Phillips, Dube, or any of our stud D.

    Jobu also knows that we need to make some cap space in a bad way next year (offseason). Smith coming off the books and Rittich being at a reasonable price will help somewhat, but we’ll very likely need to push a Frolik (possible), a Neal (not very possible), or maybe even a Hamonic/Brodie (very possible) to make enough space to sign Tkachuk and our long term guys in Janko and Bennett. Hopefully in that process we can recoup some picks. Then we pick up any ol’ backup in FA that would likely play better than Smith for under a mill.

    • withachance

      Again, how are you going to get Nyquist for less than a first rounder and/or A prospects?? Just not possible. Maybe if Chiarelli is the GM of the Red Wings…

      Holland got THREE picks for Tatar for gods sakes last year… Unless the team is willing to give up valuable futures (which i dont think is the right way to go forward at all), then BT is most likely unable to even get to the negotiation tables with these teams.

        • withachance

          Rentals market is pretty consistent every year I’d say. Teams must overpay, and forwards at the top of the rental markets generally nets a first rounder return. See Tatar, Statsny, etc.

        • Jobu

          To elaborate:
          Everyone said Vegas got fleeced last year for that deal, but Vegas had a PLETHORA of picks at their disposal to make that splash – not many teams have this or will want to give it this year.
          Secondly, the Tatar trade didn’t work out for Vegas, like, AT ALL… GMs will not be eager to make a similar mistake again.
          So unless Vegas does the same thing again (they still have tonnes of picks), then I expect Nyquist to go for much less than Tatar.

          Time will tell.

  • Lazarus

    Goalies are crazy. You just never know what can happen. Younger Flames fans won’t remember 1993 when Kelly Hrudey sucked and got yanked after Game 3 and Robb Stauber came in to win the next 3 and eliminate us 4 – 2. Robb F#$&*@% Stauber!
    Or 1995 when a shell shocked Irbe was yanked and Wade Flaherty came in to finish the Flames off winning game 6 and 7 (in double OT) .
    So never say never regarding Smith.

  • everton fc

    Call the L.A. Kings. Inquire about Petersen and Crawford. They could be decent backups, for the right cap hit.

    I still say Smith played decent vs. the Wings. The back-to-back has us all in a panic. Cal Petersen (Kings) is playing on the AHL team. He’s on an ELC. And Crawford’s sign league-minimum, I think, for another year. They aren’t moving Quick. They may be willing to move one of their two backups.