The trade deadline is getting closer and closer by the minute, and with names like Mats Zuccarello, Ryan Dzingel, and Matt Duchene falling off the board, it seems like it could be pretty much Mark Stone or bust for the Calgary Flames.
But given Ottawa’s reported asking price, it’s looking like bust. The Sens are reportedly asking for multiple first round picks, one of Juuso Valimaki, Rasmus Andersson, or Oliver Kylington, and even more to get the prize winger out of the nation’s capital.
At last check #Flames still very interested in Mark Stone, but Ottawa’s price is “ridiculously high”.
Sense is Sens starting point is multiple 1sts + one of Valimaki, Andersson, Kylington + more. Calgary extremely happy with current group. Not willing to sell the farm.
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) February 24, 2019
It’s no surprise that Stone is going to be expensive. Ottawa took a first round pick, a conditional first, and two highly-touted prospects from the Columbus system for Duchene, and are likely looking to get a better deal for their final major trade piece. With Columbus now loading up for a playoff run, Artemi Panarin is off the board, giving Ottawa a monopoly on the premium rental market.
For the Flames, that price is too much. The team certainly understands that they have to pony up to get what they want, but given that they could struggle to sign Stone long-term – he was reportedly asking for $10.5M x 5 from Ottawa – and lose members of the active roster, it is a no-go.
Giving up multiple firsts would sting for a club that has only drafted twice in the first round since 2015. If one of the first rounders comes on the condition that Stone re-signs with Calgary (as it is in the Duchene deal), that means the Flames may not have a first round pick until 2021.
Losing one of Andersson, Kylington, or Valimaki also probably prevents the Flames from pulling the trigger. Pat further elaborates that including Valimaki or Andersson would be “non-starter[s],” and understandably so. Both have first pairing potential – Andersson has been getting spins there recently – and are still on cheap contracts for two more years.
The club seems more at peace with potentially parting with Kylington, but he is also an NHL-level defenceman with two more cheap years remaining. He may be someone they’re willing to deal, but he’s more than just a throw-in.
The final piece of the puzzle involves an unnamed roster player with a year-long cap hit of $1.5M going back to Ottawa to balance the budgets for both teams. That could be Mark Jankowski, Sam Bennett, Derek Ryan, Michael Frolik, or James Neal. If Ottawa is rebuilding, they’re likely looking for younger players, so Jankowski or Bennett. That’s a regular contributor you now also have to lose in the deal.
To recap: The Flames would have to send two firsts, likely Jankowski or Bennett, and Kylington to the Senators for Stone. Remember that the Senators could potentially still ask for more if they want to. I would have to agree with Treliving in this case – don’t sell the farm.
We have 24 hours and change to see what will actually unfold, but given what Ottawa’s asking, maybe don’t expect anything big.