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WWYDW: What’s the most you’d give up in a trade?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: in all likelihood, the Flames, a top team in the NHL this season, will be buyers at the trade deadline. Unfortunately for them, they don’t exactly have a lot of capital to spend – both in the immediate, and without risking jeopardizing their future.

That brings up an interesting question: just how much should the team be willing to spend to improve this season?

This is especially keeping in mind that any moves the Flames make in the coming weeks may only hold impact for this season only; with Matthew Tkachuk (more on him later today!) and David Rittich’s impending extensions, the team likely won’t have a lot of cap space remaining for a big addition for next season’s roster. That’s fine – the Flames are still a relatively young team, especially where their top players (other than Mark Giordano) are concerned – but it does draw into question just how much is too much to give up for just a couple of months of a new player.

First round pick

The Flames’ first round pick is reportedly in play, as it should be. At the rate the Flames are going, they’ll likely be picking anywhere from 25-31 overall – a range that can yield some good players, but not likely anybody who will make or break a team. (David Pastrnak was taken 25th overall in 2014, Rickard Rakell 30th overall in 2011, and Evgeny Kuznetsov 26th overall in 2010 – but they’re much more the exception than the rule.)

In other words, even though it’s possible the Flames could be without a first round pick for the second time in two years – their 2018 first rounder was among the picks exchanged for Travis Hamonic’s services – the chances that their 2019 first rounder would turn into an impactful player aren’t particularly high.

And besides, trading away first round picks to bolster their roster is just the kind of thing contending teams tend to do. So far:

  • The Lightning’s first goes to the Rangers if they win the Cup this year (via their trade for Ryan McDonagh and JT Miller).
  • The Sharks’ first goes to the Sabres due to the Evander Kane trade.
  • The Leafs traded their first to the Kings for Jake Muzzin.

On the other hand, the Flames really don’t have much in the way of prospects they can count on entering the NHL any time soon. They have a relatively young team now, but how will things look as players start to hit free agency and there’s nobody internally with which to replace them? The Flames don’t even have anybody right now who can hold down a fourth line spot on the regular; how much worse will it be if they don’t have anybody who can fill in on the top six?

Here’s likely the big question in regards to the Flames potentially trading their first: how much will it hurt them to not pick until the third round of the draft in 2019 (their second round pick also being forfeited in the Hamonic trade)? They have a relatively young forward group. They have an extremely young defensive group. And there’s no guarantee the late first turns into a prospect who helps them at any point down the line.

Is it worth it to bolster the Flames’ present-day lineup by forfeiting their highest pick when they don’t have much in the way of notable prospects (because their most notable ones have already made it to the NHL)?

Forward prospects

The Flames’ forward prospects of note pretty much boil down to Dillon Dube and Andrew Mangiapane – although that’s in part because someone like Tkachuk made the NHL right after being drafted.

So, if you have to give to get, that begs the question: would you be willing to part with Dube or Mangiapane for the right player?

Mangiapane is a third-year pro who, at times, looks like he has the talent to play in the NHL, but not the muscle. He’ll turn 23 years old in April, which is still relatively young, but the clock is starting to tick. Will he be a meaningful contributor for the Flames in the near future, or would it make more sense to sell him on potential to a rebuilding team while getting a more established player back in return? It would suck to part with him if he turns out to be really good, but if he ends up being one of those players who’s too good for the AHL but struggles to hold down an NHL spot, well…

Dube is an even riskier trade. He’s a 20-year-old first-year pro who made the NHL right out of camp. No, he hasn’t been able to stick around for the full season, but that’s because he’s a 20-year-old rookie; being NHL-ready at that age is rare. Dube could really be sold on his potential here – but is it worth giving up on him now for possibly only two months and change of another player (even if said player is really good)? Particularly when that means losing out on being able to have an entry-level contract in the lineup?

After those two, are there any other forward prospects worth all that much on the market? Matthew Phillips is exciting, but could be years away. Glenn Gawdin has potential, but likely more of the bottom six sort. Anyone else of note is still playing in junior, so they haven’t shown much yet, and may not yield that great a return.

The Flames’ lack of forward prospects is offset by the fact that their top line averages out to 24 years in age, and that Tkachuk is only 21 himself, but we also have to consider that Mikael Backlund will be turning 30 in March. (They grow up so fast.) Furthermore, Johnny Gaudreau’s contract is up three seasons after this one.

So, is it worth potentially mortgaging the Flames’ future in forwards – the very little they appear to have, at that – for a couple of months now, and possibly a better shot at the Cup with it?

Young defencemen

Giordano is 35 years old. At some point, he is not going to be able to play high level hockey. Of course, we have no idea when that will be, but at some point, it’ll happen. And then, who will replace him? The Flames don’t really have any prospective defencemen at all.

… Because they all just graduated to the NHL.

Noah Hanifin and Rasmus Andersson are 22. Oliver Kylington is 21. Juuso Valimaki is 20. The Flames could potentially have their entire top four of the future right there, all already in the NHL (injuries be damned). It’s an embarrassment of riches.

Which then begs a new question: when you have an embarrassment of riches, do you trade from a position of strength to bolster another position?

The Flames really don’t have much else in the way of defencemen who can take over, but they really don’t need to worry about that at this stage: three-quarters of them are barely legal drinking age in the U.S. All four of these defenders could be playing for another 15 years, easily. But does it make sense to keep them all on the Flames, or should they spread the wealth some in order to address other positions that don’t have the luxury of scratching a talented player (or even dressing that talented a lineup across all forward spots, or in the backup goalie rank)?

Keep in mind that the expansion draft is looming, as well, and a talented young defenceman is probably going to be a big help for a team starting out.

How much is too much to give up for a chance at the Stanley Cup this season? What would you do?



  • everton fc

    I’d not move;
    Dube/Phillips/Kylington (unless Klyington for Kapanen, straight-up)

    I would move;
    Our 1st/Czarnik/Mangiapane

    Of course, there are others I’d move, but no one will have interest (Gillies, for example).

    We don’t have a lot of assets. I think, on defence, if Hamonic is okay, we are okay. We go 7 deep, with Prout, and we do have Valiev, who should get a game while he’s up here. The more and more I think about it, I’d be okay w/Zuccarello coming this way. Or I’d move our first, for Dzingel. I know Ferland’s probably never coming back here, but he’d be another choice. Nyquist another. Maybe Toffoli. But “no” to Ferland for the 1st. Probably “no” to Nyquist, for the first. Not sure, about Toffoli.

    One d-man I’d consider – cheap – is Adam McQuaid.

    • everton fc

      I’d consider Neal, as well, packaged w/our first, to a team that needs a first, and has cap room. I’d also consider Neal for Ferland, straight-up, but that will never happen.

      I think a guy like Zuccarello, who is a great passer, has pace, and can play both ways, paired w/Neal… Could be the answer. But this would mean either Bennett back on RW w/Backlund and Tkachuk, and Frolik on the 4th line w/Ryan and Hathaway (I could live w/this), or Zuccarello to the 2nd line RW, and Frolik still going to the 4th line.

  • Chucky

    It is hard to believe that they need much more than a backup goaltender, an additional forward and a tougher defenseman might be nice but not really needed.
    For that backup who could give 4 years with a reasonable cap hit until Parsons is ready, Czarnik, Mangiapane and a first. For a rental Czarnik.

      • Stockton's Finest

        With the age and injury history with Quick, I doubt LA would deal Petersen. He and Jack Campbell are LA’s next goalie tandem.

        That is why I talk about Spencer Martin, as he has slipped to 4th in Colorado’s depth chart. Oh, and Martin just put up a 68 save shutout performance a few weeks back.

        Jarry would be nice as Pittsburgh has Murrey and DeSmith locked up. He has one year left at $700K one way. Send Gillies back closer to his home and a defensemen (Kylington?) for Jarry. Rutherford lives to deal.

  • Stu Gotz

    Do not trade draft picks under any circumstances. Flames have a huge gap of level A prospects who are the ones changing the game today! Trading tweeners for tweeners adds no value as other organizations also have them in abundance. Stay the course!

    • Rudy27

      I think trading draft picks for a decent NHL’er that has a couple of years on his contract is okay. Lower end 1st rounders rarely make a big impact. Example, Lazar!

  • 谢谢兄弟,我爱你

    In terms of bolstering the Forward group for a playoff run this year, I would do nothing. We have one of the best offenses in the NHL already, and if we lose a person or 2 to injury, we have plenty of players capable of filling in short term. Hathaway, Czarnik, Lazar, Mangiapane, Dube. Plus, Neal is going to be the Real Deal come post season, right? Right.
    We are in greater need of forward futures, so don’t trade any picks or prospects for rental forwards.

    As for Defense, we have a good, young group now, but not much in the way of backup if injuries happen, barring Stone making a comeback. (I’ll call it a comeback if I want to) I would consider trading for an experienced playoff veteran D on an expiring contract, but wouldn’t give up a 1st round pick for him even if it will be the very end of the 1st round.

    Goalies. If Smith gets injured, that’s no big deal. Bring up whichever goalie you want to replace him. Big Save Dave is going to play all the playoff games anyway, and most of the rest of the games in the regular season. If Big Save Dave gets injured long term, we’re screwed whether we have Smith or any another backup. So trading for a goalie is pointless, and therefore a waste of assets. Don’t do it. We’re not going to win the Cup with Smith, Parsons, Gillies, Howard, Ward, etc…

          • Albertabeef

            Yes but this holds true for all teams not just us. I think I saw MacD is a 12-4-4 this year so far. Would be ironically funny as $hit if it happened lol. If you were down to MacD and Gillies who would you start? Both have won major events in their lives. Well hopefully it doesn’t come to that decision.

    • Chucky

      They are going to find a replacement for Smith before next season and it seems that Parsons will not be ready. It here is a goalie that comes available at the TDL who will fit the bill the Flames would be crazy not to jump ion the chance.

  • Skylardog

    Not JG, Mony, Lind, Tkachuk, Backs, Fro, Janko, Gio, Hamonic, Hanifin, Andersson, Vali, Ritter.
    Not tradeable, Neal
    On the block, everything else.

    For a rental, nothing is available, unless it is for a goalie, and Smith is going the other way, and our first is not involved.

    The first only for a guy we can sign next year.

  • DoubleDIon

    If we want to contend for a decently long window we need to have ELCs coming in. The time to trade for a rental is when Gaudreau is due to expire. If it costs a 5th or something then sure. Let’s not forget though, Brodie, Ferland and Gaudreau were all 4th round or later picks. Sure helps the roster when you hit on a few of those too.

  • Retire#14

    The Flames should be open to trading
    1st round 2019 and 2020
    2nd round 2020
    3rd round 2019 and 2020
    Dillon Dube
    Matthew Phillip’s
    Micheal Frolik
    Austin Czarnik
    TJ Brodie
    Micheal Stone
    Oliver Kylington
    Rasmus Andersson
    Mike Smith
    John Gillies

      • withachance

        And the returns that would “put you over the hump” for the cost of this team’s future is not guranteed to bring the team to a cup win. Trading away the next two firsts and the team’s top young players is incredibly short sighted.

        • Plant Based is Better!

          I didnt say trade all of the above, but a package of some of that would be beneficial. The firsts are not overly important. Remember Klimchuck and Poirer. If Ottawa is willing to trade Duchene for a 1st, dube, and Frolik? Why not?

          • Off the wall

            Too late. You just exposed yourself. Just another member with several accounts.

            FN is quickly turning into OILERS Nation.

            It’s too bad we can’t have a normal discussion anymore, without false pretences..

          • withachance

            Because the Flames wouldnt have the cap to sign Bennett, Tkachuk and a Duchene type player. Then you would basically give away all that for nothing next season. That package would weaken the team’s asset structure substantially.

            For every Klimchuk, Poirier, there is a Pastrnak and Boeser and Thoedore and Rakell.

          • Beer League Coach

            Why give up so much for Duchene? Avs improved immensely after trading Duchene. What has Ottawa done since acquiring Duchene? They gave Avs a great chance to pick in the top 5 of this year’s draft with the Sens first round pick. Duchene is probably the most over rated UFA on the market this summer.

          • Retire#14

            You’re right OTW. Same guy, this account is on my phone and the other on my PC as I forgot mybpassword some time ago and figured easier to make a second account than search for password. Shame on me.

        • Retire#14

          I’m not sure if itll be open, as remember the Lightning went to the eastern finals 2 years in a row and then missed the playoffs. I would be hesitant for 2 major reasons though. 1. Giordano is playing way above his head for his age. This is not sustainable at his age.
          2. Is it realistic for Lindholm, Monny, Jojnny and Tkchuck to sustain this offence?

          • Retire#14

            I’d give up that much for Duchene. With Duchene there is no worries at center for 5 years. Monny, Duchene, Backlund. Those 3 centers would be theb2nd best center line up in the league only behind the Leafs.

          • HOCKEY83

            We don’t know if this new scoring is an anomely or is the new norm. One more season needs to go by to see if it is. This is the first time in over 20 years there’s been this amount of players scoring at this pace. You can’t just pick out Monny Johnny and lindholm. There’s 50 players scoring at a point a game or better this season. you can’t just wonder about Monny Johnny and Lindholm. If that continues into next season then yes it may well be the new norm. As for D men there are a handful of older D men playing better than their norm. It’s not just gio doing it.

  • meat1

    We all have an idea who is untouchable at this point in time, and we also have an idea of players that other teams absolutely would not be interested in. So that leaves a much narrower group for us armchair professionals to dangle. That group to me includes Dube, Mangiapane, Czarnik etc AND what about Curtis Lazar???? I wouldn’t trade Dube and I’m not sure we should let Mangiapane go either, but Czarnik and Lazar should get us a depth upgrade for a playoff run. I truly don’t think we need to do much tinkering and when thinking long term…I don’t think we can afford to deal away more picks or our top prospect in the AHL (Dube)

  • Albertabeef

    Expansion draft is two summers away. This is not the time to worry about it. We only lose one player anyways and deals can be struck to protect our interests. If we give away a third round pick to lose a certain player we don’t want or something like that, then it really doesn’t matter much in the long run. Worry about that stuff and start planning next year not this year. Two years of playoffs to worry about more between now and then.

    • The Beej

      Im sure the Flames are doing the opposite of what you suggest and are considering many possibilities and the future of this club years into the future.

      Not to say that expansion concers are paramount here but I am sure they are least considered in any move.

      As if the Flames are going to be like: “Expansion… thats like 2 years in the future dude… worry about that later. We only need to consider the playoffs.”

      If that is what they are saying then they are not doing a professional job. Then they would be doing the job an an flamesnation blog poster. (Good thing you arent GM)

      Bet on it. They are weighing all risks. They are considering all possibilities they can think of.

      They may decide “heck screw it… all in”…. but not before careful consideration of the future. The job of an NHL GM is now and the future. Th

      • Albertabeef

        You can not operate a team stressing about losing one player two full seasons down the road. There are two full seasons of drafts and trade deadlines and actually three playoffs between now and then. If a GM lets that dictate his every move he makes he probably shouldn’t be the GM of an NHL team. There are such a wide variety of deals our GM could make with the expansion team’s GM. On top of that we have no clue what our roster will look like at that time. Worry about today, plan for tomorrow, think of the future. There is absolutely zero point in worrying about the expansion draft right now. Think about it for sure, but people put way too much emphasis into the ExpDraft.

  • Flaming Glory

    This season? Mangi
    Next season/off season? Mangi Brodie and our first (and Neal but that’d be subtracting value from the trade). It better be something amazing coming back though. Ideally a pretty good prospect and a VERY high draft pick. Need someone on an ELC contributing like chucky has. Use the cap space from Neal to sign a solid (young!!!!) second line forward.

  • T&A4Flames

    I do believe any time you have a chance at a cup, you have to go for it. There’s no guarantees for next year. Will Rittich continue to prove to be a legit #1? Will the young guys keep playing this well? Who knows. Personally, I wouldn’t give up much for a rental. Maybe. 4th or 5th. I still maintain we go after a guy with term; Toffoli always comes to mind. He’s not having a great year so may come a bit cheaper. Perhaps we somehow get them to add Jack Campbell who also has 1 more year on his contract, just like Toffoli.
    I would try to keep this years 1st unless there’s a conditioning it that “if we win the cup” they get the 1st this year. Otherwise, offer a 2020 or 2021 conditional 2nd with the 1st coming on the same conditions (or similar). Czarnik can be in play and some of the guys on the farm.
    I think it’s important we have at least a 1st or 2nd rounder in each of the next 3 drafts to maintain some kind stock in the cupboards.
    Considering Toffoli’s poor #’s this year, maybe Czarnik, the conditional 1st/2nd, a 4th or 5th, Gillies/Schneider/MacDonald, and Foo? Yes I know some of those pieces seem like garbage, but a rebuilding club may still see the potential to develop some of these guys.

  • oilcanboyd

    So, what does the tight race for a playoff spot in the Western Conference mean, bunky? Now we have two hard charging teams St Louis (3 games in hand over Canucks) and Chicago who likely dumped the oilers outta the playoffs last night. Some of the teams in the turtle race may just pick some help from down East. Funny, now even LA is closing the gap! What does that mean for the Flames? Could mean that the price of help will sky rocket with many more teams in the hunt for help?

    • everton fc

      McLeod has no other role than to deal with guys like Reaves.

      Since the Rangers appear ready to sell, see what type of pick would pry McQuaid out of NYC. I’d take McQuaid as a #6, over Prout, even though Prout has done his job well here, and hasn’t really hurt us. McQuaid can deal w/Reaves, and give us 10-15 TOI (or more), need be.

  • MDG1600

    My take on it is that with an expansion draft coming for Seattle draft picks are more valuable than adding a roster player long term because you wont have to protect a 2019 draft pick. For a rental I would only trade a 1st rounder if we if we get a 2nd rounder back so that we don;t fall too far down the draft order.

  • cjc

    It’s not an absolute thing and I think trying to get a second back if the first is shipped out makes sense. That said, I was trying to think about which available players might put Calgary “over the top”. That list is pretty short for me. Stone, Panarin, Skinner (maybe he jumps at the chance to reunite with 3 former teammates for a cup run, though he didn’t get along with Peters IIRC?). I’d spend a first and prospect on any of those guys, even though it’s a pure rental situation.

    After that there is a list of maybe/maybe not guys. Nyquist, Hayes, Dzingel, Zuccarello, Ferland, Williams, Silfverberg. The ask for them will be a first, but their sellers may not get that in the end. There are a fair number of forwards available, so that should bring asking prices down.

    I know that Bennett and Jankowski are fan favourites, but we need to see them for what they are. Third liners. Bennett is going to want a raise this offseason, and it will be tough to justify it. I think that Dube and Mangiapane could do an equally good job if they got the same minutes as those two.

    If Calgary can nab someone that fits, with a bit of term left, then that might be worth sacrificing a first and/or prospect like Mangiapane for. I don’t think there is a goalie or D available worth spending a first on.

    • Chucky

      The problem with your take on Bennett and Jankowski is that they do not look like disposable parts.
      Jankowski is definitely one of the best penalty killers on the team and seems to have far more upside than the statistics indicate. He has spent his career attached to guys that are struggling first with Brouwer and now with Neal. If Neal had 10 more goals by shooting his career average and from converting the great setups he is getting from Jankowski would Jankowski be the third line centre with 30 points?
      Bennet drives play and gives toughness, I would hate to see the result of Mangiapane tussle with Josh Manson.

      • TheDallyLama

        @chucky nice take on matters.. And 100% I remember that tilt with Manson, one of my favourite all time fights, I really thought he was gonna get worked in that fight. He didn’t ✊??

      • Jumping Jack Flash

        @Chucky…it is nice to see another poster that sees Janko’s upside. I have been trying figure out what makes Janko tick. I have come to the realization that he needs to play with skilled players with high hockey IQs. You could say that about most players but not everyone can raise there game significantly in this setting.

        I will go back to the one and only chance that Janko has played in the top 6 and that was at the end of last season playing with Johnny and Ferland where he scored 4 goals. Some have referred to this as a nothing game. Even so, why has he never been moved to a top 6 role even in pre season
        despite games that were missing top players.

        So, if I am Janko I am not seeing much of an opportunity to move up the line up like players like Bennett, Czarnik, Neal etc. I need to find my niche and become the best on the team in that regard. This would assure me that I will never be a healthy scratch and I will increase my ice time and overall value to the team….full credit to Janko for doing just that. When Janko is killing a penalty he looks unbeatable likely because he feels unbeatable…unfortunately this does not translate to his 5v5 play on the third line all the time. It is important for people to see that Janko has found a role but not lose sight of the fact that he has far more to offer…given the chance.

    • Eggy

      Hayes but sadly we don’t have what it takes to get him this year and I absolutely hate the ducks but love and also hate silverberg he is point per game playoff performer understandably having bit of down year. Too bad it’s the ducks we would have to trade with

    • FlamesFanOtherCity

      If we are dealing with ANA, we have to include Bennett in talks. For some reason they wanted him for some time. If they want him so bad, we’ll package him and a 1st and some other prospect for Rakell. Having a down season. Signed for a real cheap contract. Plays all three positions. They can have Gillies too if they like.

  • How's She Goin'

    I’d dangle the 2019 1st rounder, Mangiapane, Czarnik and anyone currently on the farm not named Valimaki, Dube or Phillips for the right player(s) in return.

  • The Beej

    This article is predicated on the idea that the first round pick goes for a rental only due to impending raises for Tkachuk and Rittich.

    That kind of limits the discussion. Could the Flames acquire a player with term or resign the player they acquire? Possibly. They could look at trading Frolik or Brodie in the summer.

    There are a lot of possibilities to consider and I dont doubt that Treliv and Co. are discussing a lot of different things. To move or not to move a first for a rental is a very narrow perspective to look at and Im sure the discussions the Flames are having are more complex than this article makes it out to be.

  • Denscafon

    a trade i’d like to see but i doubt will happen is mark stone for 1st/mangipagne/frolik. I believe we can fit stone’s 7.5 cap hit with frolik gone and it gives us cap space for this year. Ottawa is in turmoil and will need nhl vets to fill the void and also to just make the cap floor if indeed both stone and duchene are gone and frolik provides that. Frolik is also owed 3 mill in actual cash so that also would be good for cheap skate melnyk. I can’t fathom a way to sign both stone and tkachuck but at least we could get 1 playoff run of a potential tkachuk/backlund/stone.