114Matthew Tkachuk
Photo Credit: Ron Chenoy/USA Today Sports

Signing Matthew Tkachuk before the draft allows Brad Treliving to make big moves

The off-season is a time for National Hockey League teams to overhaul their rosters. Due to the salary cap complicating in-season tweaks, the biggest moves are often made at the annual NHL Draft and via free agency.

The Flames’ biggest off-season piece of business is a new contract for pending restricted free agent Matthew Tkachuk. With a few other things on the docket, other significant moves will likely be held up until Tkachuk is signed.

It seemingly puts a bit of time pressure on the deal, since during his time as Flames general manager Brad Treliving’s avowed philosophy has been to “build [his] team during the summer.”

Here’s a quick summary of the major moves that Treliving has made either at the NHL Draft or in the first day (or two) of free agency:

  • 2014: signed Jonas Hiller, Mason Raymond and Deryk Engelland
  • 2015: traded for Dougie Hamilton; signed Michael Frolik
  • 2016: traded for Brian Elliott; signed Chad Johnson and Troy Brouwer
  • 2017: traded for Travis Hamonic
  • 2018: traded for Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin; signed James Neal, Austin Czarnik and Derek Ryan

The draft and July 1 work well for retooling an NHL club for three big logistical reasons:

All of the 31 NHL clubs are in the same place at the same time. Several of Treliving’s draft weekend swaps were finalized from earlier chats via him tracking down the other GM on the draft floor and working out the mechanics then and there. A GM can figure out the trade market in a hurry, figure out fair value, and get a trade from concept to execution pretty rapidly on draft weekend due to sheer proximity.

Similarly, with the advent of the courting period, player agents now congregate in the draft city to have chats with GMs looking to add their pending free agent clients. It’s just as easy for both the agents and GMs to figure out the lay of the land in the free agent market and facilitate rapid signings on July 1.

The other big factor that leads to off-season moves is that teams are allowed to exceed the cap over the off-season – defined as between July 1 and the beginning of the regular season. Things may be tight up until then, but the temporary increase of the cap ceiling often leads to a flurry of moves as additional money is artificially injected into the cap system.

Here’s the gist of the situation: the Flames can have up to $91.3 million of deals on the books up until the 2019-20 season begins. But given that the projected cap for the upcoming season is roughly $83 million, they’ll need to have a plan for getting under that ceiling.

As we detailed a week ago, the Flames’ cap situation isn’t entirely sunny. They have $65.4 million allocated to nine forwards and six defensemen, which leaves them $17.6 million to re-sign Tkachuk, Sam Bennett, Andrew Mangiapane, David Rittich… and figure out four more roster spots, including another goalie. With so little cap wiggle room, how can Treliving do much more than tinkering around the fringes of his roster without knowing how much cap space Tkachuk will eat up?

The Flames probably don’t need to make seismic changes to a roster that finished second overall, but they’re going to make off-season changes because that’s what NHL teams do. If Treliving wants the ability to make one of his habitual big swings at the NHL Draft or during free agency, he’ll need to get a deal done with Tkachuk before he heads to Vancouver for the draft.

  • Garry T

    After watching Calgary Flame out in the first round, it quickly became apparent that
    1. Talk is more important than action to Tkachuk.
    2. His productivity was shut down by the Avalanche in a heart beat and unless he had an injury the Flames were not
    prepared to talk about, this guy’s value dropped like a stone to the observer. Yes he was a good in season player and
    managed to acquire points. But if they can shut him down in the playoffs, they can shut him down
    during the season. Because he apparently will not stand up for himself. He would rather mouth off and that gets old
    fast.
    3. Unless the Flames have a way to make him more creative, his value to me as an outside observer is not anything
    north of $4.5 million dollars annually for the next three years. The Flames do have control for the next three years.
    They should make sure they know what this young man has to offer before flashing all of their cash on him.
    4. Our hockey club has to show some just prudence here.
    5. He scores some nice and some greasy goals. But if teams double team him / impede him/take him out of the crease
    area, his production disappears. This is a worry.
    6. Large Cap Payouts are destroying some clubs ability to compete. The issue then becomes what can you do to either
    pay the man or correct the issue. In the interim you are in cap hell jail for 6-8 years.

    I suggest that the club gives him a nice raise to 4.5 million and then in 3 years if he is the player they think he is,
    we pay him. Patience Brad, Patience.

    • Raffydog

      Tkachuk is a chump. Cant skate, doesn’t hit, wont forecheck, cant backcheck, has no heart, and is about to get way overpaid. I wouldn’t give him anything more than 4.5, and even that is an overpayment. His contract is going to be an anchor on this club thats worse than Brouwer and Neil combined.

    • Dougiefred

      In my mind Tkachuk’s play has gone down since the day Austin Matthews signed his big contract and Matty was interviewed the next day. Dollar signs were flashing in this eyes.

    • The Beej

      I think you here and a lot of people are making the mistake of jumping to conclusions on a 21 year old over a sample size of 4 games. Our GM wont make that same mistake.

      People are not seeing the forest for the trees or whatever saying you want to use.

      We didnt lose because of lack of grit. True we lost more puck battles than I would like to see but…

      After reading the posts here over the past couple of weeks it is clear that the FANS DONT KNOW WHY WE LOST THE SERIES.

      The grit thing is just a narrative and the numbers dont back it up.

      We outhit the AVs. Grit wasnt a problem. The stats paint a clear picture of why we lost. We were dominated in puck possession. Why? Because the AVs kept it simple and we did not. We forced passes and we gave… thats right GAVE the puck away constantly. We didnt keep the puck away from Mackinnon we gave it to him.

      The giveaways lead to a lack of possession which leads to a lack of scoring chances. They didnt need to shut us down. We didnt even have the puck. If we had the puck more we would have given up less chances while producing more offense.

      I wouldnt pick on Tkachuk too much as his line had a pretty tall order.

      The guys I look at are Brodie and Monahan. Im not kidding. Go back and look at game footage. When you see a 2 minute sequence where we are a disaster in our own end… go to where it started… it started with a bad giveaway. A lot from Brodie. Monahan too. Monahan also did not get open when Gaudreau had the puck and did nothing to create space for Gaudreau.

      This team can move Brodie. We have the young guys.

      Ideally I would say move Monahan for that elite center we need but that is not so easy. Perhaps Malkin or Kopitar could be moved by their teams for cap reasons and to get younger. It would be risky to acquire a center over 30 but I am not sure how else we acquire that elite center.

      • Kevin R

        Agree & it pains me to see all the negativity on Tkachuk. Kid is only going to get better, his desire will get better, thats in his DNA. Real bold move with moving Monahan to the likes of Pitt for Malkin. Gaudreau wouldnt be happy but after playing with Malkin for awhile, he may forget about friendship when success kicks in.
        Never thought of Kopitar, I think I would rather have Malkin for 3 more years than Kopi for 5 more at higher salary.
        I find Rutherford an unreasonable SOB & cant imagine the ask would be for Malkin.

      • Off the wall

        Tkachuk is a rare commodity among hockey players. He can single-handedly take a team off their game. At 21 years old!
        Show me another player at his age, that can win in so many different ways?

        Prudence suggests we don’t know what we have in Tkachuk. But we do. He can score, ( just 34 goals) play physical and be a thorn in every opponents side. Does his poor skating prevent him from scoring? And he has Backlund as a Centre, who we all know isn’t a finisher. So, what does that say about him? Yeah, he’s exceptional for his age!

        Using playoff predictions, Crosby, Stamkos would be left wanting this year. That’s a ridiculous notion as is Tkachuk’s …that we pay him $4.5M.

        I’m sorry but if you can’t see Tkachuk’s value, then you’re not really paying attention.

        OTWW

          • Off the wall

            Hey Derian!
            I’m good friend, just gotta stay away from controversial issues!!

            Tkachuk gets $7.5M over 6 years. Anything less is a win, though undervalued. He might top out at $7.75M

            Just my opinion. I’m sure Treliving has a better sense of his $$ and terms than I do…

        • Luter 1

          The more you watch him the less physical he actually is, far from a punishing hitter or forechecker. Be careful with this guy, if he stops getting greasy in front of the opponents net he will be a proverbial 20 goal scorer. The family have very large heads in more than one way!

        • Albertabeef

          He can single-handedly take an opponent off their game yes. But so far he has not shown the ability to win a game single-handedly. He does not “take a game over” with his “offensive prowess” that you need in the playoffs. You need game changers, which I’m not sure he is yet.

        • SoCalFlamesFan

          A little off topic but OTW your doing kinda of good in the playoff pool to be a true flames fan. 🙂 The flames losing did not seem to hurt YOUR winning.

          • Off the wall

            Haha, thanks SoCal. If you click on my name in the pool, you’ll see I went with 5 Flames players.
            I’m actually surprised I’m still in the top 10! I’ll probably take a mighty tumble here in the next week..😉

    • Derian Hatcher

      @ GarryT – I feel you make some valid points. He can be an effective player in causing crap after the whistle. He is good in front of the net and deflections. However, he is a below average skater and the big question for me is…what is his growth potential? Like many Flames, he was a non-factor in the playoffs (after game 1). How much can he improve his skating? Is he a difference maker or simply a chirper? It was proven to the Flames, Jets, Lightning etc. that the regular season is one thing. You better have players that are willing bring it in the post-season. Is Matthew Tkachuk going to bring it in the playoffs?

      Are the Flames paying him big money for his regular season or what he is going to bring in the playoffs?
      Two different dollar amounts IMO.

      • Kevin R

        Too much is being made of Tkachuks playoffs. This was his first one, some pretty hard critics on this site. The kid has a desire to win, he’s 2, I would say some lessons learned from this short playoff disappointment.

        • Albertabeef

          Actually it was his second playoffs. He played 4 games agaianst the Ducks in his rookie season and was held off the scoreboard. So this was an improvement. He is still young, how much can you expect from someone his age? I hope we don’t have him increase his playoff games by only one each playoff. 4vsDucks, 5vs Avs, 6vs?

        • HOCKEY83

          He did play in the Anaheim sweep but I agree with this and mostly the entire team was garbage in the playoffs so kinda hard as a 21 year old to step up all by yourself and win a series. He had more points than Johnny, Monny or lindholm.

      • deantheraven

        Yeah, we can’t argue with his points increase but there’s no denying his game has changed. In years 1 and 2, he played with more edge and sometimes backed his chirping with his knuckles. I get that he was carving out his space in the league, but that guy would have been so valuable in March and April, and May, and June…
        Potential missed. That’s what everyone inside and outside the organization sees as what happened this season.
        Chucky’s potential has taken a dip, despite his increased scoring. It will be interesting to see how the contract is structured.UFAs tend to get deals based on what they’ve been more than their potential, but the end of an entry deal is a whole other beast. Tre has a marquee player and at least 3 other elite players signed for less than $7 mil, and they had career years that weren’t contract years like Matty. I think Tre has a strong case for a “Show Me” deal, but I’d imagine all parties want something longer than 2-3 years. And there’s no doubt that getting it done before the first day of summer would be ideal in order for Treliving to do-do that voodoo that he does so well.

    • Justthateasy

      Yep. Bridge deal is the only way and should always be the only way to go. How else do you know what you’re paying for? All you doing is gambling that the guy is going to be great with a long-term deal. Nothing worse than a huge deal and then the guy goes on cruise control. If I had my way I pay you after the season.
      If after 3 years you like what you see then you don’t mind paying for an extension. If the guy doesn’t want to stay and moves on there’s always competition for that.
      We don’t need any stupid Nylander deals.

  • Raffydog

    Flames are nowhere close to winning a cup. Just wait for this core to fizzle out, then when they all leave for greener pastures and the Flames get a competent gm, they can do a proper rebuild, and with any luck, sometime within the next twenty years, they might contend for a cup.

  • Pietro

    If we need cap space (which we do), I would get rid of Monahan. I would also rather get – somehow rid of Brodie until he has a minimum value. Of course I would personally drive Frolik to wherever he is destined.
    Tkachuk is an agitator, not particularly tough and rough, but definitely worth of a 4/5 M per year contract.
    If Stone decides to/can play a physical game, his size can come in handy.

  • TrevorKidd37

    Hall–Monahan–Bennett
    Tkachuk–Lindholm–Neal
    Dube–Backlund–Frolik
    Mangiapane–Ryan–Hathaway

    Giordano–Andersson
    Hanifin–Hamonic
    Valimaki–Kylington

    Lehner
    Rittich

    **Johnny and TJ get dealt; Stone gets bought out**

  • Oil Spilly

    Did you notice after a few NHL vets called out Tkachuk for his cheapshots and chirps that all of a sudden chucky backed off from playing that way. At the end of the day he is human and that couldn’t have been much fun to hear truly respected men from around the league basically make fun of you. The thing is, all a lot of guys have to now do is ask chucky to fight. They know he won’t. It isn’t the same as before. If chucky wants to be that guy he will have to earn it the same way Marchand, Avery, C. Lemieux all earned it. That means he will have to man up and drop his mitts win or lose. You can’t just be a wannabe tough guy and turtle or only throw punches once the linesman are in. That’s what chucky does. Either he is going to be that player of he isn’t. He needs to make up his mind. Didn’t notice him in the playoffs at all. There was zero elevation in his game when it mattered most. Then again maybe he also had a hurt thumb.

    • Puck Head

      MT is very good at ‘goating’ the opposition into taking penalties and he is very very good at it. This has nothing to do with fighting but gives the team a tactical advantage when the opposition continually gets suckered into taking penalties. A number of players in the league do it, it’s just that Chucky excels at it.

      • Puck Head

        ….and to add, I used to play with a goalie who had no boundaries when it came to trash talking the opposition. There is trash talking and then there was this guy. He would dig and dig at the opposition to the point where my jaw would hit the ground at times. It was everything from funny to embarrassing to scary (because you would get worried that your head would get taken off because of him). But his tactic worked more often than not as he threw the other team off their game. There is more value in a mouth than most people know.

    • Kevin R

      Theo Fleury put out an excellent tweet in response to the Doughty whining, I wish I knew how to link it here but it was awesome. I dont think MT could give a rats a$$ about what the opposition think of him any more than Marchand cares what players think when he licks their face.

  • buts

    It’s time for some intellectual honesty….do any of you think our team with the likes of Monamuffin, Jonny turnover, Backlund, Brodie, Frolik, Neal, Jankowski could beat any of the 8 teams left in the playoffs? If we acquired Kadri, Hall, Ferland possibly Gallagher and a bruiser D like Gudas or Parayko in exchange for the flames I mentioned I’d like our chances a lot better. I say shake this team up. Jonny will be gone after his contract expires so why not maximize your assets now. I’d even consider trading Gio and make MT our next captain. Go ahead and trash but the team as the core presently is has a snow balls chance in hell of winning the cup.

  • CalgaryBornandRaised

    Flames need to move out some salary in order to help them take the next step

    1.) Trade Frolik for Zucker, like they almost did at the deadline this past year, yes we take on 1 million more in salary, but we improve our top six with speed and skill
    2.) Trade or buyout Stone, that 3.5 million gone, or minimal cap hit will help sign our FA’s and RFA’s
    3.) Trade Brodie for cap relief and either a bottom six center or package up a pick and try and get a second line center to move Backlund down, Flames can roll with Gio and Andersson, Hanafin and Hamonic and Kylington and Valamaki

    • Albertabeef

      So the Flames have 5 guys who have 20 career playoff games now. The active leader in PO games played is Phaneuf at 25 lol. The points leaders are
      Monahan 13pts
      Phaneuf 12pts
      Gaudreau 12 pts
      Bennett 11pts
      Brodie 11pts
      Backlund 8pts
      Backs is the lowest at of the bunch with 0.40 points per game. Gio is a 0.31points per game while Tkachuk is a 0.33. Tkachuk I can live with as it’s a learning process given he’s only 21. And everyone trashes me for saying it but Brodie is the one Dman I wouldn’t trade.

        • Albertabeef

          First off you have to have the puck on your stick a lot for that many giveaways. Johnny has way more. But that is what happens with good players. Plus it’s called high risk high reward for most parts. The other part is the forwards cherry picking at the opponents blueline. But as I said in a post further down, judging by “on ice goals against” Brodie was the fourth worst defensively of the D vs the Avs. Ham and Gio each were on the ice for 10 goals while Brodie was on the ice for 4 goals against.

  • Dunk

    Funny how well Carolina is doing without coach Peters. He was not very good at adjusting to what Colarado was doing.
    Dump Backlund, Monahan, Brodie, all softies that you will never win with in the playoffs..

  • Gus Fring

    We move out Stone, Frolik and Brodie and there is no more cap crunch. We have all been saying this all year. Stone we really don’t need at 3.5. I am sure teams can use a 3rd pairing RHD d man with some size for that cap hit.

    • cjc

      Q1: On which team(s) would Stone be an upgrade?
      Q2: Of those teams, which are in the midst of rebuilds and don’t want to improve?
      Q3: Of the remaining teams, which are on Stone’s 15 team list?

      I have a hard time seeing a trade partner out there for a guy who played just 14 games this season.

    • deantheraven

      Yes, those three can and should go. But ideally at least Frolik will be replaced by the Top Six Unicorn everybody wants and that will mean more salary than what Fro costs now, and net gain will be lowered accordingly.
      As for Stone, I think Tre’s going to have a real tough time convincing any team to take him in a deal that doesn’t include salary coming back.
      But yeah, those three are tradeable, and Brodie & Stone look to be replaced by homegrown talent (and Fanta). Of the three I’d be most reluctant to ship out Frolik, unless as a part of a major return. Yes, his scoring isn’t what it was but he still ticks a lot of boxes.

  • Garry T

    Derian Hatcher …. Thank you. Calgary Borne and Raised. The deal according to several on this site was that it was
    Zuker for Frolik and our First this year.
    We do not have a second, so the First is really important as a result of our Stockton team needing to be rebuilt. I suggest we pass on any deal that includes our first. There has to be a hockey trade out there that can work for us. I also see Frolik as a keeper. The best shut down line in the NHL has this guy on it and he is the key workhorse out there.

    • Joel Ottos Jock

      Why? The first in that position is a crap shoot and the Flames track record of late to mid 1st round draft picks is brutal. Use it to bring in a piece.

    • CalgaryBornandRaised

      No denying what the 3M line has done, the stats are there and Frolik is a big part of it, however the Flames need to grow and Frolik making 4.5 million is about 2.5 million too much, and that money can be better spent elsewhere. If teams are going to key on Monahan and Gaudreau (like the Avalanche did this year, and the Ducks two years ago) then we need a second line that will step up and carry the load for a bit, and Frolik is just not that guy

      As for the draft pick, the guy we get down in the 25-31 range is not going to move the needle for maybe 2-3 years, maybe longer, where trading it with Frolik would bring back a top 6 guy that would help our team now

  • FlamesFanFromMI

    Wow after reading all these comments it’s sounded like that we had horrible season. We lost in playoffs in the first round and yes it wasn’t pretty, BUT we made it to playoffs and had 50 wins. Why all the “fans” start to sound like that they are from oilers? So far armchair GMs traded Johnny, Moni. I think we should trade Geo as well. Jeez guys get a hold of yourselves.

    • buts

      Are you watching playoff hockey? This a whole different type of game in the playoffs. Toughness, determination, grit, desire, all that you don’t see in a regular season 82 game schedule. Friedman says you almost need 2 different teams to succeed.Regardless our flames wouldn’t come close to the way the final 8 are playing. They are too small with not enough grit etc.

      • Kevin R

        Thing is Colorado never played with that grit during the regular season & found that gear in the playoffs. Teams that have done it suddenly dont. There is nothing saying this team cant find that gear in the playoffs. I think we need changes, Id like to see us get some nasty players but I dont think what we have is ready for the garbage can just yet.

      • FlamesFanFromMI

        I heard Elliot. We tried that in the past in the Sutter era. Remember what happened? I am agreeing with u to a certain extent but trading Johnny and Mony isn’t the answer. Guess wait and see for July 1st.

  • BendingCorners

    I don’t think there is any rush to sign Tkachuk. Treliving will make a qualifying offer and then later will make what he considers a fair offer and then let it sit while he proceeds with the rest of his agenda.
    Come September he could very well be saying “Sorry Mike, no money. You should have signed sooner. Now all I can pay you is …”.

  • RKD

    Chucky is a heart and soul guy yes he also struggled in the playoffs but if his ceiling is still high and he’s future captain material don’t insult or alienate him. On the flipside Brad can get to number both will like he’s not Dubas and cave in. I don’t think the answer is as simple as moving Lindholm to center. Our team was too slow for the Avs but you don’t gut your team with a young core.

  • PhoenixofPrometheus

    If Mika Zibanejad is available I believe the Flames should absolutely trade for him. He’s 6′ 2”, posted 74 points on a mediocre team, works hard defensively, and has a great cap hit at 5,350,000 for three more years. If the deal can be done in the range of Brodie and our first I’d take the deal. That would allow Monahan and Zibanejad to fill the first and second centre positions, moving Backlund to the third line. Backlund could then act in a pure shutdown role. Assuming Frolik stays, which seems unlikely at this point, the lineup may look as follows.

    Gaudreau–Zibanejad–Lindholm
    Tkachuk–Monahan–Frolik
    Bennett–Backlund–Neal
    Mangiapane–Ryan–Hathaway

    Giordano–Andersson
    Hanifin–Hamonic
    Valimaki–Kylington

    Rittich
    ?????

    Extras: Jankowski, Dube

    • Raffydog

      For me this is part of the problem. Everybody wants to tinker with the forwards, which definately needs to be done, however the bigger issue is the pillowy soft defence. If I’m an opposing player, nobody in that defence group worries me at all. Until the Flames can build a defence core that makes life difficult for the opposition, you can tinker with the forwards all you want, it wont change anything.

    • Heeeeere’s Johnny

      How would Backlund be in a pure shutdown role with Bennett and Neal as wingers? I’m down for grabbing MZ if we can make it work, but I don’t see the Rangers seeing a low 1st and Brodie as sufficient payment either.

        • PhoenixofPrometheus

          You’re probably right. I’m no GM so I don’t have a realistic handle on the perceived trade value of Zibanejad. I think the two pieces I mentioned could be a start.

      • PhoenixofPrometheus

        You’re right, the lineup isn’t perfect. There would have to be juggling to figure out what would work. With how slow Neal has been, it may be difficult finding an effective spot for him. It is also possible that he could bounce back, but that is far from a certainty.

    • withachance

      Zibby is not available. I think NYR wants him for the rebuild. Neal has to be in an offensive role or else he’s useless. Might as well try to get him going as the Flames sure as hell cant trade him without losing big assets

  • Garry T

    Gus Fring and Raffy Dog. Gus … Stone has been injured. When he first came to Calgary, he was a solid player and a difference maker. Now healthy, he should still be able to play. According To Tre, he is in the best shape he has ever been.
    He is worth a 4/5 round pick. I do not care, this is business and he is worth something to someone somewhere
    and we will get value or he will wind up being our number 7 next year.

    Raffy …. Believe in them nan, Believe. We are a Hayes, a Buschnevich and another forward with size from being there.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      No, Stone was not a difference maker when he came here. He had been advertised as a 2nd pairing defenceman when he arrived but very quickly it was apparent that he was strictly third pairing. That’s why I booed Tre when he overpaid Stone on his extension. Terrible deal at the time and still awful, as to move him, salary will likely have to be retained.

        • HOCKEY83

          Stone can fit anywhere in the 3 pairings in case of injury and do a good job that’s why he got paid a little more. I think there is a trade out there for him.

          • Albertabeef

            Actually Stone was supposed to be Kulak’s 3rd pair partner this past season but things drastically changed. Stone is pretty much of no use to us now. He was solidly passed on the depth chart by not one or two rookies but three rookies. Too expensive for a 7th D.

  • The GREAT WW

    The Flames do need to make seismic changes.

    Need a goalie.
    Need to position our D for the expansion draft.
    Need grit in the forwards.
    Need top 6 talent (X2).

    WW

    • Puck Head

      Saying that things are ok because we finished second is a way to make people think that things are better than they are. After watching the team stumble into the playoffs and then crumple in 5 games showed that the roster blueprint is wrong and that some major changes are needed. A few tweaks and changes aren’t going to cut it and is postponing the inevitable. We need to get bigger, stronger and meaner. Skill is great but if that’s all you have going don’t expect a cup celebration.

      • Loud_voices

        Sure… sure… lets just hire Peter Chairelli and let him do what he did up in edmonton… because that worked out so well for them….. No offense but your comment is garbage… Not actually factually based and clearly you don’t understand metrics. Calgary was the 10th “biggest” team heading into the season…
        Colorado is the 3rd smallest. Boston the 7th smallest… Being “bigger” has nothing to do with it. I agree they need to get “stronger” and be way more aggressive on pucks but that doesn’t take dismantling an entire team… That takes players stepping up and playing more meaningful roles. We watched them play aggressive, and outplay teams all year, which they should have been able to do in the playoffs as well… But they didn’t, and they refused to take the proper steps to correct themselves and that’s why they had an early exit… Do you really think Tampa Bay is going to completely dismantle their team that just tied the record for most wins in a season just because they got swept first round? Nope… And they would be dumb to do so….

      • Phockey

        They definitely struggled once the league went to calling any and all infractions primarily stick related and interference/picks. There are definitely two distinct seasons where in one you can freewheel unimpeded with powerplays galore. Then there is the last 20 or 15 games and the playoffs where the whistle goes away and the ice shrinks, muggings and stick checks that were called with ease in the first 60 to 65 games don’t even get a sniff at being a minor penalty in the last part of the season and playoffs. Don’t get me wrong, I love the playoffs and the style of play. I just don’t see other sports issuing penalties and administering the accepted rules in such a distinctly different manner from the regular season to the playoffs. This seems to be a unique feature of the NHL. Strikes and balls are called the same in the MLB as well as runs, hits, errors etc. NBA and NFL are no exception. I’m not saying the other pro leagues are better than the NHL but until the divide between what is called in the regular season and the playoffs is shrunk it will be difficult to functionally build the right team to get to the playoffs and then excel in the playoffs.

        I don’t think a massive tear down in Calgary is warranted just yet. Doing so might just mean we miss the playoffs for an extended period again. I’m certain Tre will do what he can and what he thinks is right but you can’t have playoff success if you don’t make it to the dance.

        • Beer League Coach

          People get so wound up about who we are going to lose in the expansion draft. It is not that big a deal. Every team in the league, except Vegas, will lose one player. No team can lose more than one. And the expansion draft is not for a couple of years. Many things will change before that happens.

    • Getpucksdeep

      I doubt any changes will be “siesmic”.

      I stand by my year long statements that 7 out of 8 teams develop their own cup winning goalie and do not trade for one. Maybe Rittich is that guy or maybe it’s someone else but trading for a goalie or signing a UFA is fraught with peril. Maybe its BSD maybe it’s Parsons and for all we know a year from now it could be Gillies or the newly resurgent MacDonald IF they resign him.

      We are so deep and have so many young D that we will loose one somehow. We can only protect 3 so perhaps Tre makes a draft pick plus they choose the guy we want them to choose type deal. We were so lucky last time with Engalland being a Vegas resident.

      Absolutely need more grit but with decent speed. Bennett and Hathaway both get around fine. I think Czarnik, Dube, Mangiapane, and Ryan are all good small players. Of course JG is in a league of his own. IMHO good players or not thats 2 too many smallish forwards.

      X2 “top 6”? good luck with that. I think just 1 “Chris Krieder” type player would just fine thanks along with maybe, if were lucky, another bottom 6 large fast physical.

      I’m on your page, just not as radically.

  • SeanCharles

    Move Frolik, Brodie, Stone and if at all possible Neal.

    Replace them with Dube, Valimaki, Kylington and a top 6 RHed forward aquired via trade.

    Sign/trade for a 2nd goalie and maybe take a run at Duchene. If that doesn’t pan out look to make another trade for another forward.

    In a perfect world:

    F: Gaudreau, Monahan, Lindholm, Tkachuk, Backlund, Bennett, Ryan, Hathaway, Mangiapane, Dube, Jankowski, Czarnik, Duchene?, Kapanen?

    D: Gio, Andersson, Hanifin, Hamonic, Valimaki, Kylington, Fangenberg? or a RHed guy found elsewhere?

    G: Rittich, No clue where we end up on this one?

    This would allow us to get better up the middle and on RW with 2 RHed shots in our top 6 forward group!! Also would allow our youngsters who are ready for regular NHL ice time to play. Only issues would be it won’t be easy to move Neal and Stone, Duchene likely has no interest in coming here and if he does it will be really expensive and it would be nice to find a Rhed shot dman to balance out the handedness instead of another lefty in Fantenberg.

    Just some random ideas, but I definately think we desperately need some more Rhed shots on our top 3 lines – Bare minimum we need to add 1 top 6 RHed forward.

      • SeanCharles

        As a rookie that is to be expected..

        What is Brodie’s excuse?

        In all seriousness we should hang onto Kylington because his offensive instincts are off the charts. The plays he makes in the offensive zone at his age is extremely impressive.

        Wait and see what we have in him before anything else.

        Gio-Andersson
        Valimaki-Hanifin
        Kylington-Hamonic

        • Albertabeef

          What’s Brodie’s excuse? More like what is Gio’s excuse. What is Hamonic’s excuse? Brodie was NOT the worst Dman in the playoffs. More like 4th worst. Others were much worse.

          • Albertabeef

            “Seemed” is the key word. Hamonic and Gio were both on the ice for 10 goals against vs the AVs. Brodie was only on the ice for 4 goals, Hanifin was on ice for 5 goals. Henceforth Brodie was 4th worst. Brodie was also the defenceman on ice for the most “goals for” by Flames at 6.

        • Loud_voices

          I don’t understand why everyone points the finger at Brodie…. He makes mistakes just like every other professional hockey player does.. actually his numbers point to on average being better than 3 quarters of the league’s dmen, if not more…. Half way through the season Brodie was statistically the best 2nd defencemen on any team. His numbers dropped towards the end of the year but his stats still point at him being top 60 which means he’s as good as any other teams 2nd D… He was 43rd in points, 47th in assists, 37th in goals and 37th in even strength goals, 6th in +/-, he was 129th in PIM… all while being 63rd in time on ice… that points to him being statiscally better than the majority of the dmen in the NHL while playing less time than a large majority of other teams top 2….
          And say what you will about his playoff performance, but he was tied for the team lead in goals….

          • Kevin R

            Some have to use scape goats to jettison players but trading Brodie is all about asset & cap management. He has 1 more year & then he will want what Gardiner is commanding & I see these two very very similar in minutes played, PP minutes & type of players. We cant afford nor should we want to resign Brodie in 1 years time. Plain & simple, move him while there is a big demand for puck moving D that can score consistently over 30 points per season. Oilers have a grand total of 1 D that has scored more than 30 points over the last few years. That is significant & in demand in this league. We are blessed with young guys that can replace what Brodie brings to this team. Gio will be an awesome Dman even with Andersen as his partner.

  • freethe flames

    As lots of people are throwing out trade ideas here is one to ponder. The Flames trade TJ to Montreal for Armia and one of Montreal’s 2nd round picks. Why this works for both clubs is that TJ is an upgrade on their left side and they have the cap space to absorb him and we get a RHS who can play in the bottom 6 and might if given a chance play further up the roster. We also get a 2nd rounder. I liked how Amira played for the Jets in the playoffs last year.

  • John Wayne's Hat

    With a lot of defensive depth and certain other teams needing defensemen, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a trade or two that could address their forward ranks using that defensive depth.