Well we have nothing else to do besides plug holes we’ve made out of boredom. Trade value, some off-season moves, and depth players, up ahead.
Any thoughts on bringing back brossoit? To split with rittich.
— Mauricio Cardoza (@Msea91) April 28, 2019
It’s an option, but not one I would go all-in on. Laurent Brossoit is intriguing based on his 21 game backup stint with Winnipeg, where he put up a 0.925 SV%, but that’s the only highlight of his entire pro career. He’s bounced around from NHL to AHL to ECHL and has only had consistent success in the lowest of those leagues. It’s likely this season is a random good one instead of him rounding into form as a great backup goalie, but the caveat is that he’ll be cheap and easy to wash your hands of. Brossoit is one of those low-risk, high-reward UFAs that is good enough to get teams interested, but not proven enough to get them committed.
I’ll concede that he’s young enough at age 26 where he could be turning it around, but I would remain wary because of the large bets you’re taking. Not only are you betting on Brossoit to be just as good as last year, you’re also betting on Rittich to bounce back from injury and his rough second half to also return to form. That’s two large question marks that aren’t being entirely addressed. If it all works out, the Flames might be set in net for a long time, but it’s more than likely that Rittich is fine while Brossoit struggles and then the Flames are back to where they started. If Rittich or Brossoit fall back to below average goaltenders, then it’s a disaster.
I think the best option is to try and find someone a bit more proven in the NHL. It sucked to see this season get flushed, it would be disastrous to see another.
Is Fantenberg staying?
— Is it October yet? (@SeattleHockey5) April 27, 2019
Yeah. He’s probably the seventh defenceman with Dalton Prout on the way out and Michael Stone also likely joining him (how, I don’t know).
Fantenberg isn’t spectacular, but he’s proven that he can at least play regular minutes for the Flames without being a disaster. With Juuso Valimaki and Oliver Kylington being pretty inexperienced, it’s good to have a defender that can step in when the youth eventually hit a rough period. If he costs less than a million dollars, he’s worth it.
What’s the deal with this Russian defenceman we are signing? Any good? Or depth move?
— Charlieyyc (@Charlieyyc1) April 27, 2019
Alexander Yelesin, the rumoured but still unconfirmed mystery signing Bill Peters brought up at garbage bag day, is pretty intriguing. He was a KHL all star this year, boasts a 102 MPH slapshot (although he only scored 10 points this year in 55 games), lead the league in hits, is a desperately needed RHD, and is just 5’11.
I don’t think it’s anything other than a depth move thus far, so don’t think anyone serious is moving out as a result of this signing. He’s only 23 and will need some time in the AHL to refine his game and get it up to NHL speed. I don’t think the Flames are banking on him to become a major NHLer, so he’ll provide much needed RHD depth in Stockton. If he does anything more, I’d be surprised.
What’s the return for Brodie, Janko? Who we taking in the first round? Spencer Knight?
— Jesse Huberty (@JHub003) April 28, 2019
It’s tough to get a good read on how other teams would value TJ Brodie. He’s got a pretty friendly contract, is on the right side of 30, has posted at least 30 points a season for the last six years, has good possession numbers, can play first pairing minutes on both sides of the ice, and seems like he’s generally regarded as one of the NHL’s better defencemen. However, he’s also never been as great a player away from Mark Giordano, has had a pretty rough end to the season, and takes more risks than most would like their first pairing defenders to take. His value depends on whether prospective suitors see the glass half full or half empty.
The Flames probably won’t take less than a first round pick and an NHLer for Brodie. He’s been a loyal servant to the team since he broke into the league and is one of the friendly contracts for a key player on a playoff contending team. As frustrating as he can be, those qualities are hard to find around the league, and especially so at that price. Treliving isn’t going to sell low on Brodie, nor should he. It’s not a Dougie Hamilton situation where the team is willing to sacrifice their supposedly untouchable player for a critically needed upgrade elsewhere – they would be getting rid of him just to get rid of him. Cap concerns are valid, but there are a few other contracts they should prioritize getting rid of before Brodie’s.
For Mark Jankowski, he’s probably around third to fourth round pick value. He’s also on a good contract and is RFA at expiry, but he’s also approaching 25 years old, isn’t outstanding at anything other than shorthanded situations (and even that tapered off towards the end of the season), and hasn’t shown much to suggest that he’s going to be much more than a 3C. If the Flames can pull Jankowski out of their own AHL farm system, what’s preventing other teams from doing the same thing? With depth pieces, you can usually find them within your own organization or on the market for around the same AAV without needing to pay an additional asset, so that’s probably where other organizations will look. Even if a team was interested, I think the Flames are okay staying put on Janko considering his production and cost.
I wouldn’t draft Spencer Knight in the first round. The Flames could stand to have a more promising future in the net, but they really need a goaltender now and Knight isn’t going to be ready for three to four years. There’s other things they can do with that pick that can reap benefits now when they need them.
[Editor’s Note: We’ll be getting into the (few) pros and many, many cons of drafting goaltenders early closer to the 2019 NHL Draft.]
Trade backlund. What’s the return?
— Flames Beauty (@beauty_flames) April 28, 2019
Well if you trade Mikael Backlund, the return will be Not Mikael Backlund, so you really shouldn’t bother. If a team wants a Backlund type player, then it’s likely they don’t have a Backlund to give back to you, and if they did, why would they bother asking for Backlund? There’s only a few players who are as impactful on ice as Backlund, and teams generally don’t go about trading them.
The thing to remember about gauging trade value is that the value of the assets returned is not always the same as the value lost. Let’s say Backlund gets you two first round picks right now. I think most people would take that in a heartbeat, but forget to consider that you’ve deprived yourself of a defensively reliable 2C for the next few years in exchange for two lottery tickets. That’s a problem when what you really need right now is a defensively reliable 2C.
Let’s go back to the previous question which dealt with Brodie. His value, in a vacuum, is less than a first round pick and an NHLer. No one is going to pay that price for Brodie, but when you consider his role in Calgary, that’s what it will likely cost to pry him out of here. Backlund, right now, is untoucheable unless someone offers a deal where the Flames get an undoubtedly better centre out of the deal. That isn’t happening, so trading him for the sake of getting value out of him is a bad idea.
Value is a relative thing depending on the situation you’re in. Right now, Backlund holds more value with the team than away from it. Sure, he has five more years on an expensive extension, and he also did just cross the dangerous line of 30, but you can make that argument for just about the entire team if you really felt like it (imagine trading Mark Giordano for these reasons when he was facing the opportunity to go UFA). Backlund is still a great two-way C who has yet to show signs of decline. In perhaps a few years when he actually starts declining, this question rises up again, but for now, there’s really no purpose.
I would like to see the @NHLFlames hold onto their first rounder this year. Do you think they keep the pick or trade it?
— Louis (@louisv981) April 28, 2019
The Jason Zucker trade seems to be inevitable, so they probably trade it, provided the Michael Frolik + first package is still the one that’s happening.
If the Zucker deal falls through, I feel the team will still be eager to spend that pick. They are already comfortable with trading it for immediate help, and it would be extremely Treliving to have another deal lined up in case the first one didn’t go through. There’s not much available at #26 that can help you now as much as an already established NHLer can.
The only way the Flames keep their pick is if all other trades don’t materialize, but I can’t see that happening.
What would a trade for Nylander look like? Who says no?
— Khalid Keshavjee (@KMKeshavjee) April 27, 2019
Toronto is probably smart enough to realize that William Nylander’s “bad” year (which was still pretty good) is an aberration and probably want to hold onto him for the time being. They do need money for Mitch Marner, but trading Nylander is a step in the wrong direction. He’s still young and hasn’t even hit his ceiling. If he does take a step forward next season, his $6.9M AAV quickly becomes a steal. They have other contracts to trim and they’re probably not getting rid of the player that took so much pain to keep cheap.
The Flames really can’t do anything for the Leafs. Both teams need to have cap space to sign RFAs, so trading Nylander means the teams have to swap salary too, which kind of undermines the entire reason for trading Nylander.