Photo Credit: James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports

Rumour Roundup: Flames looking for speed, toughness as deadline approaches

The All-Star Break is in the rear-view mirror and it’s time for the National Hockey League playoff races to heat up. As the playoffs get closer, so does the Feb. 25 trade deadline. Here’s a brief snapshot of what’s being said regarding the Calgary Flames and the upcoming roster deadline.

Mats Zuccarello

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek briefly discuss Calgary’s potential interest in New York Rangers winger Mats Zuccarello on the latest edition of their 31 Thoughts podcast.

I think Calgary might have some interest in Zuccarello, or something like there as a depth guy. I think Calgary is looking for some depth on the wing.

Zuccarello, 31, carries a $4.5 million cap hit for this season and is a pending unrestricted free agent. He has eight goals and 24 points in 2018-19.

Micheal Ferland (and toughness)

In a radio hit on Ottawa’s TSN 1200, TSN and The Athletic columnist Pierre LeBrun shared his thoughts on what the Flames might be looking for prior to the trade deadline. As many have, LeBrun linked the Flames to Carolina Hurricanes forward Micheal Ferland (via Nichols on Hockey):

I think in terms of Calgary, it wouldn’t surprise me at some point in time if they phoned Carolina on Ferland. But some way to get some size up front. They’ve had a great year.

Ferland, 26, makes $1.75 million this season and is another pending UFA. He has 13 goals and 25 points this season with the Hurricanes.

LeBrun said he seems the Flames being aggressive, and noted that they were close to getting Ryan Reaves last summer – potentially an indication that they’d like a bit more size, snarl or toughness as they head into the meat grinder that is the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Ryan Dzingel and Gustav Nyquist

Our friends at TSN have been posting short video updates on many NHL’s clubs in their TradeCentre War Room.

In their latest update, Frank Seravalli and Craig Button link the Flames to Ferland, Ottawa Senators forward Ryan Dzingel and Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist. Dzingel, 26, makes $1.8 million this season and becomes a UFA on July 1. He has 20 goals and 38 points for the Senators this season. Nyquist, 29, makes $4.75 million this season, has a no-trade clause, and also becomes a UFA on July 1. He’s produced consistently (11 goals and 43 points) on a very lean Red Wings squad, and he’d likely be a big help providing the Flames with secondary scoring.

For what it’s worth, Ottawa-area reporter Kevin Vallee reported a couple weeks back that the Flames have chatted with the Senators regarding Dzingel. The asking price was reportedly a bit rich for the Flames – for now – but keep it in mind.

Common themes

The Flames are a potent offensive team, but it’s probably no shock that they’re being linked to several players that could provide them with secondary offensive help on the wings. Their first line seems locked in, but every other line can probably use a bit of offensive oomph once the postseason begins. Zuccarello, in particular, could be a nice fit as he brings a mixture of speed, skill and snarl to the wing.

The locals are definitely kicking tires on some roster additions, but what those upgrades could cost will ultimately determine what they do prior to the 1 p.m. MT deadline on Feb. 25. The likely asking price right now for anything of significance is a first round pick and a prospect.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    Here’s my fantasy deal of the day:

    Flames acquire Dylan Larkin from the Wings for Noah Hanifin, Andersson OR Kylington and a 2nd round pick in 2020. Alternatively, the Flames send Hanifin and Valimaki and no draft pick.

    Flames get a top-end centre while dealing from their position of strength. Chucky and Larkin on the same line. The new Rock and Roll cowboys!

    Detroit gets a pair of young defencemen and cuts salary by about a million bucks.

    Deal or no deal?

      • Off the wall

        Interesting take Nigel.
        Andersson and Hanifin are not going anywhere though. Treliving will keep the main core together, including D.

        Kylington might fetch us a decent return, though most GM’s will be hesitant, given his first pro season in the NHL.

        I initially wanted the BIG deal.
        Still do, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.

        Now, I’m content with a secondary forward who could provide some scoring punch for the team.

        Our prospect pool isn’t deep enough to trade picks. We should probably hang onto them (our 1sts) while we have em’

    • The Beej

      Not realistic. Detroit LOVES Larkin so they likely wouldnt be down.

      Also it absolutely destroys our defensive depth. We would then be pretty thin so you would need to acquire a top 4 defenseman somewhere.

      • Flamesforever

        I think BT is more likely to trade the 1st (even though it’s very unlikely) than Valimaki, management and coaching staff absolutely love Jusso. I think he’s way more valuable because he’s already a known quantity.

    • Getpucksdeep

      We’ve all seen Dylan Larkin. When making fantasy trades treat it like Chess. You MUST take the other teams point of view in to your formula. Larkin is likely their only keeper. They’ll trade Larkin about as soon as we’d trade Gaudreau.

  • Jimmyhaggis

    Why would the Flames want Zuccarello, $4.5, 8 goals? Ferland is not the answer either, to prone to injuries, if the Flames thought he was that valuable they wouldn’t have traded him.
    Again all the chatter about forwards and defensemen when goaltending is the priority, in my humble opinion. Can you imagine if Rittich got injured? Say goodbye to a deep playoff run.

    • withachance

      Can you imagine if Vasilevsky got injured? Or Rinne? Or Hellebuyck? Or Andersen?

      Those teams probably wouldnt make it out of their conference either…

      • Bawcos

        Vasilevskiy did get injured and the Lightning rolled onward. If you remember, it was Domingue who stole the show against the Flames. And it was Saros, not Rinne, who was standing on his head when the Flames couldn’t beat the Preds. So yeah, BU Goalie is an issue.

        • withachance

          We talking playoffs. You’d trust Domingue, Saros, or Brossoit to take a team to the finals??? Doubtful.

          Point in case, if any contender’s starting goalie gets injured, they instantly go from contender to maybes, not just Calgary. What if Rittich doesnt get injured? The team then wouldve wasted an asset for someone the team doesnt need

          • Heeeeeere’s Johnny

            And please recognize that this window will be open several years. While we are in good shape this year and it would be logical to consider going all in I would like to believe keeping our powder dry for the future is useful too. The in between spot is to focus on depth this year and spend some resources on restocking the pool. Depth D first, grit second, goalie third.

          • Hockeysense9393

            Domingue probably not; Brossoit only a maybe; Saros would be ok I’m thinking. The thing is, in the playoffs ya never know. Names are made in the playoffs from relative obscurity. Murray is a pretty good example. Ward is an example… Heck Brodeur and Roy are examples. There are even a lot more playoff heroes that you never really hear about anymore. The stars have to align, whether you have 1 or 2 solid starters. If your starter(s) go down, then maybe someone comes along and makes a name (dare we dream Parsons?) It happens all the time, and more often with a good team. So stop fretting and work on bigger needs. Maybe someone can identify a bigger goaltending market out there, but I don’t see it. BT and clan still looks at this year as a stepping stone to things that can happen. Not as a do or die window… Their plans go way beyond this year…

          • Cfan in Van

            Brossoit is super interesting. I read an article about how he targeted specific strength training over the last year, because that’s the one element he’s always lacked. He was always great at tracking, and naturally ultra flexible, but lacked the strength to re position and react on secondary moves. He came out this season playing the best of his career after building up strength in those key areas. I’d love to have him back on board. Flames traded him in his very early days (still a who-knows prospect), but it was the Oilers that really juuuusst missed out on developing an awesome goalie. I do hate the Calgary let him go (with Horak) for Smid… That guy was pretty useless.

    • Albertabeef

      I know people think I’m crazy but this team can score so well it’s very possible Gillies could win a cup with this team. He could be awesome with a good team in front of him.

  • The GREAT WW

    The Flames don’t want Ferland back.
    Even if they did the Canes wouldn’t trade him back to us.
    Even if they did the price would be…..Lindholm…..


    • Stu Gotz

      ….as well he was one of a group of players that gave up on his team at season’s end. His play is inconsistent, he has concerning concussion issues, and will be demanding huge bucks. No the Flames will not be trading for him.

      • everton fc

        Here’s my logic, WW;

        Dzingel’s putting up similar #s – even better #s than Lindholm – in terms of goals. Our first will be in the lower end of the round, in a draft pool that’s not super-strong. I think the Sens even considering moving Dzingel shows how screwed they truly are. They could use another first, for the rebuild.

        The only downside of my move, which probably kibosh my idea is Dzingel has to be re-signed. And we can’t afford him. The Sens will sign Dzingel, if they lose one (or both) of Stone and/or Duchene. So I can’t see them moving Dzingel, before they move one of the other two, as they really don’t have two.

        Another guy Ottawa may be willing to part with, is Pageau.

  • Pizzaman

    I will be at Sens Wings game in YOW Saturday night and see both Dzingel and Nyquist. They make more sense than Ferly or Zuccarello. Ferly is inconsistent and basically Burke implied he is a head case. Zucca is old small. Nyquist could be unleashed on a good team, and we got Swedes to play with.

  • withachance

    Only player I’d want here is Zuccarello. Dont care that he’s small, he plays like he’s 6’10”. Marchand and Gallagher are small and they all play the same style of in your face hit em style.

    Kind of happy that he’s underperforming this year, means BT can get him for cheap. Guy has hands and can pass and proven that in the league before. Could be a good 3rd line fit with Neal, bumps Benny to 4LW which is a massive upgrade over Mangi

  • Speed Kills

    Now that Carter Hart has seemed to have turn around the Philadelphia Flyers Season, My Hopes or the odds of doing a deal for Sean Couturier is almost nonexistent imo..
    But that would have been to guy to go after and even pay up big time for… A True 2nd line Center, 26 (perfect age group) 6′ 3 / 211 lbs. In 2017-18 ~> 82 , 31, 45, = 76 +34 / 2018-19 ~> 48, 19, 21 = 40, -1.
    Playoffs= 24, 8, 5 = 13… AND on a very friendly cap hit ~> $4,333,333 for this year, + 3 more years… in his prime, The guy drives play like nutz and was singled out as the one guy who completely shut down Malkin in the Playoffs…
    I had aspirations after Fletcher said “Everyone in Philly is available for a price” last week, not so much now I believe.
    I’m sorry/Not sorry that I would have traded a 1st, Dube ++ to get this guy…
    Imagine this playoff line up…
    Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
    Tkachuk – Couturier – Neal
    Jankowski – Backlund – Frolik
    Bennett – Ryan – Hathaway
    Never going to happen… but I was Dreaming.

    • Iyangandy

      There is a lot of talk that Flames need help on the wings, but a true 2nd line center could have the biggest positive on the team. Let Backs anchor the third line and maybe allow Tkachuk and Monahan to play together. I like how they find each other on the powerplay.

    • Albertabeef

      I don’t think Couturier is a second line player. He leads all the forwards on the team in ice time with over 21 minutes per game, a full minute more than Giroux. That is a first line player in my eyes. Would he do as well with 12-17 minutes a game?

  • Off the wall

    Some interesting stories.

    What would your preference be out of those players mentioned in trade rumours? I can’t see us bringing Ferland back.

    Nyquist 29, 5’11 190 lbs RW
    51 games-11G 32 A- 43 points on a less than good Red Wings team
    Cap hit-$4.75 M UFA – NTC

    Zuccarello-31, 5’8 184 lbs RW
    35 games- 8 G 16A- 24 points
    I believe he’s injured right now.
    Has speed, grit and guts
    Cap hit – $4.5M UFA

    Dzingel- 26, 6’0 190 lbs LW also Center
    48 games- 20 G 18A- 38 points
    Most promising of the 3.
    Cap hit- $1.8 M UFA

    Brain trust, what say you?

    • Jessemadnote

      I’m split on Zuccarello and Nyquist. Zucc is more like a Theo Fleury type player who is absolutely fearless and Nyquist is more of a Backlund type two way exceptionally intelligent player. If the price were equal I’d say Nyquist because he’s having such a good year but I doubt the price will be equal.

    • Bawcos

      I’ve heard these names tossed around again and again. Where do these players slot on the Flames line-up. Is Bennett a 4th liner? Is Neal? Jankowski? I have a hard time giving up a 1st rounder for a rental who adds nothing more than bottom 6 depth. Potentially just 4th line depth.

        • Albertabeef

          This season so far Bennett is twice as good as Neal so that puts him as a third liner at worst with upside as a 22 year old. I’ll assume you were intoxicated when you typed that.

      • Heeeeeere’s Johnny

        And please recognize that this window will be open several years. While we are in good shape this year and it would be logical to consider going all in I would like to believe keeping our powder dry for the future is useful too. The in between spot is to focus on depth this year and spend some resources on restocking the pool. Depth D first, grit second, goalie third.

      • Hockeysense9393

        You need to think future implications.. Zucc would be the best fit….and sign at the best AAV that would fit into the Flames scope. There is a “next wave” you need to think about as well. Flames have an international flavour coming, with some being quite visible on the international stage. It truly is a different thing to be considered one of the best in your country, and to be able to translate that to success in the best league.

        • Hockeysense9393

          We tend to forget that some of these young players are star struck too…and want to impress. Can you imagine how it feels for Andersson to play with Backlund everyday? Playing with one of the best players from your country…just coming off of captaining the Gold winning team of the past years World Cup? Backlund’s contributions are huge beyond this team. Huge for this team… Look at the Wings of the past, and their Soviet implications to success. BT is cooking a good recipe of both North American and European flavors…that seems to have a cohesion like no other. That is the exact reason why they should continue this trend….

    • Off the wall

      Personally, I’m torn.
      Nyquist has a NTC, however he would fit well with Backlund.

      Dzingel would be my main target, though I don’t think we have all the assets required to pull it off. The Senator’s are asking high stakes for him. If we can re-sign him, I’m all for it.

      Zuccarello would be a great fit for Neal. At 31, I’m speculating he’s a rental only.

      Lowest cost- Zuccarello

      Biggest payoff – Dzingel

      Most complete player- Nyquist, but with a NTC.

      Glad I’m not the GM!

      • Jessemadnote

        I would actually re-order those:
        Biggest Payoff: Nyquist. This guy is not only lights out but he’s in the middle of a terrific season. He and Backlund won the world championship as linemates last summer too.
        Lowest Cost: Dzingel, had a good year but he’s also spending a lot of time with Duchene and Stone. He won’t get those opportunities in Calgary.
        Most complete Player: Zuccarello. Hits, fights, skates like the wind, shootout specialist, defensively sound, elite passer. He’s not on fire right now like Nyquist but he can be a force if he gets going.

    • JumpJet

      Important to note that all three forwards are left shots, despite the top two usually playing right-wing. I like Dzingel the most since he fits with the Flames’ age group going forward (if he can be re-signed), but Zuccarello would likely have the lowest acquisition cost.

      • Hockeysense9393

        We are almost talking about getting someone, just for the point of getting someone. When realistically I don’t think the Flames need anyone with a top 6 (forward) or top 4 (defense) prospective. With a couple players able to play around the lineup already in forward or defense, the key is shoring up the depth in the bottom 6 and maybe pushing/spelling off the rookies on defense. Thats 2 or 3 low-mid grade signings to bring acumen to the locker room. This is the Flames first hello really to the window that is opening. Not a last hurrah….

    • Heeeeere’s Johnny

      Hey OTW just wondering if this is you or another attempt at an imposter to piggyback on someone else’s game? Sorry if it is your turn to ride it out.

      • Heeeeere’s Johnny

        This is my bad. I had it in my mind that your screen name is OTW. I now realize that’s essentially your screen nickname. Sorry for the confusion!

      • Uncle Iroh

        And please recognize that this window will be open several years. While we are in good shape this year and it would be logical to consider going all in I would like to believe keeping our powder dry for the future is useful too. The in between spot is to focus on depth this year and spend some resources on restocking the pool. Depth D first, grit second, goalie third.

  • MDG1600

    Why are so many people commenting as if the Flames will re-sign one of these guys and talking about who is a good long term fit? They are all UFA’s at July 1 and Calgary can’t afford to re-sign any of them. So Cap hit is pretty much irrelevant as long as they can fit them in for the balance of this year. All these guys are rentals so I wouldn’t overpay. If they can get one of them for a 3rd rounder and maybe add in a Spencer Foo or other fringe prospect then go for it. I wouldn’t want to see them pay more.