83TJ Brodie
Photo Credit: Candice Ward/USA Today Sports

Which Flames players might be on the move? (And which are likely staying put)

The only constant in life is change, and that is doubly so for National Hockey League clubs that suffered disappointment during the past season. The Calgary Flames had their best regular season in 30 years in 2018-19, but will likely make personnel changes over the summer.

Which players are most likely to move? Which Flames are likely sticking around? Here’s a quick rundown of where things stand, more or less. (For simplicity’s sake, we’re ignoring most minor leaguers and all pending unrestricted free agents.)

Willing to listen to offers

Michael Frolik: Signed for one more season with a $4.3 million cap hit, Frolik bounced up and down the Flames lineup this season as head coach Bill Peters tried to get Austin Czarnik and Sam Bennett going on the right side of the second line (with Matthew Tkachuk and Mikael Backlund). Frolik’s uncertain position drew the ire of agent Allan Walsh, who tweeted about his client’s tenuous spot in Calgary.

The Flames really could do without distractions next season and the offensive upside of Frolik is lower than that of Bennett, Czarnik or James Neal (who could all benefit from top six time next season). Given those factors and the team’s need for cap flexibility, there’s every reason to expect Frolik won’t be a Flame before too long.

TJ Brodie: The emergence of Rasmus Andersson as a potential top pairing option could spell the end of Brodie’s time in Calgary. Brodie struggled defensively at times, especially in the second half of the season, while Andersson looked more and more assured as the season wore on.

From an ability perspective, moving Brodie and putting Andersson with Mark Giordano is probably a lateral move that saves the Flames some cap space. But Brodie’s still a smooth-skating, puck-moving defender and could fetch them some assets – picks, prospects or immediate help in other areas.

2019 first round pick: The Flames didn’t have a first round pick in 2018 and don’t have a second round pick this year, so their likely preference is to use this pick to select a player so they can replenish their prospect cupboards. That said, if the Flames can use the pick to upgrade another part of their roster (or as a sweetener in another, larger swap), they’re selecting at 26th overall so it wouldn’t be a massive asset to give up.

Listening to offers, but unlikely to move

These players fall into two categories: players with value and players with uncertain value.

Sam Bennett and Oliver Kylington are two capable NHL level players. Bennett hasn’t gotten a chance to crack the top six rotation on a regular basis, but was superb in the playoffs and in spurts throughout the last few seasons. Kylington showed he could play a regular shift on the Flames blueline at age 21. Both players are capable, affordable, and just scratching the surface of what they can do – the Flames will get calls on them, but would likely hesitate to move either.

Mark Jankowski isn’t really a core piece, nor is he an up-and-comer anymore. At age 24, he may have already become the two-way, bottom six center that he’s going to become. But he’s a capable penalty killer and has a season left on an affordable deal (and will be a restricted free agent after that). Even those that aren’t enthusiastic about his upside have to admit that he’s inexpensive, useful depth – and maybe he still has some upside.

There are a trio of players the team would be happy to get offers on, but probably wouldn’t net a ton. James Neal had a poor season and has four seasons (with a $5.75 million AAV) left on his contract, so it’s unlikely the Flames would be able to move him. Michael Stone was injured or scratched for much of the past season. He’s still a capable depth piece, but his $3.5 million cap hit (for one more season) might scare off suitors. Third string netminder Jon Gillies didn’t have a great season in the American Hockey League and has a one-way deal worth $750,000 for next season. Even if another team thinks they can rehab Gillies as an asset, they might balk at paying him NHL money to play in the minors.

If you call about them, Treliving will probably hang up on you

Through hook or crook, Treliving has managed to sign several core players to long-term, palatable deals. So teams really shouldn’t bother calling about Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm, Mikael Backlund, Mark Giordano, Noah Hanifin, Travis Hamonic, or pending RFA Matthew Tkachuk.

Similarly, it would be unwise to ask about recent free agent acquisitions Derek Ryan or Austin Czarnik, potential starting goaltender David Rittich, or top prospects Dillon Dube, Andrew Mangiapane, Rasmus Andersson or Juuso Valimaki.



      • CowboyBob

        Nope, born and raised in Calgary. High school in 1989 and loved every minute of it. Edge of my seat in 2004. Just very disappointed in that playoff series. Some one has to ask some tough questions and not just be a cheerleader, same should be going on in Tampa Bay. Both teams might be built for the regular season, not the playoffs.

        • Stu Gotz

          I would have agreed with you but you included Tkachuk in your comment…..Johnny will be moved but not until the 5th year of his contract. That’s when they confirm he will not re sign in Calgary. Not sure you will ever get good value for Monahan so he stays here.

    • redwhiteblack

      To penalize an organization for bad performance by an “individual” is backwards. Brouwer had 2 teams paying him this year. Why would Neal be motivated to perform? He is set. Players have it pretty good. Karma is not good when spending good money over bad. GMs and owners need to be smarter.

    • where.is.ville?

      I totally agree. Nobody should be protected completely. I would certainly entertain trading Monahan. And Tkachuk should not become the highest paid player on the team. Is there any way to get rid of Neal? Put him in some kind of package deal? Brodie likely won’t bring much. We need a bonafide number 1 goalie, and a sniper.

      • CowboyBob

        I like Tkachuk, but seriously, if I’m BT when I first sit down for negotiation with MT and his agent I play a 5 minute highlight reel of Nathan MacKinnon in that playoff series and than ask MT how I could possible pay him the same money. MT better find a skating coach this summer, he has horrible outside edge control, that’s why he can’t accelerate quickly and explode up the ice.

    • Franko J

      After hearing today’s discussion on the Fan 960 with assistant GM Conroy I have an inclination that Treliving wasn’t too happy with a number of players on the team and he is still stewing about the way the team bowed out from the playoffs with a whimper. Conroy commented that even though the team is considered “young”, the majority of the core just went through the “third” playoff and there shouldn’t have no excuses how they folded against the AV’s.
      I think Monahan and Jankowski’s name will be bantered around a plenty come the draft.

  • Skylardog

    Morning Rant

    We have managed to develop a depth player spending mess that is going to take some serious manipulating to fix. It threatens the contender window we are all anticipating is ahead, and one we should already have been in.

    Assume the following, keeping in mind if you spend above what is listed in one area, you have to find that cap space somewhere else. These are cost ballparks in each area.

    Forwards – $50M
    Defence – $25M
    Goalies – $7M
    Breathing Room $1M
    Total $83M

    Breaking that down
    Line 1 – $20M
    Line 2 – $15M
    Line 3 – $9M
    Line 4 – $4M
    Reserves (2 players) = $2M

    D1 – $12M
    D2 – $9M
    D3 – $3M
    Reserve – $1M

    Goalie 1 – $4.5M
    Goalie 2 – $2.5M

    You need to find $1.5M already to cover Brouwers buyout.

    This is why I have concerns over Ryan. He is a 4th line center here, and at over $3M, means you already have to steal from somewhere else to afford his 4th line role.

    James Neal – OMG!
    $5.75 to sit in the popcorn seats. Now we are looking for $4.75M being moved from somewhere else to cover his bad contract. We are not buying him out for 8 years. Better hope we can pick up a center for him and Johnny to play with on that top line.

    Backs, Benny and Czar are over the budget for a 3rd line, assuming Benny signs for the EW Contract estimated $2.75M. That is how tight it can get in the bottom 6.

    Tkachuk if signed to EW’s $7.9M, plus Monahan at $6.375M leaves very little (only $725,000) for a RW as a second line. (Mony has shown we need an upgrade to the 1C position has he not).

    Stone as a 7th D eats up $2.5M more than that position should cost.

    So if this is where we are at, then we either have to remain weak on the top line, or move out some salary on D to fix this all.

    Let me give you a quick hint. Teams with a poor top line don’t go far in the regular season or playoffs.

    Neal is unmovable.
    Frolik is likely hard to move until the trade deadline, as will be Stone. Stone can only be moved at the TDL if he plays. Stone should never have been resigned once harmonic was picked up. Remember I said that the day we signed him.
    Brodie has to go. We need the cap space
    Benny may require a tough choice as a piece in a move.
    Dube must be in the lineup.
    Fantenburg for us to strengthen the top line must be the 6th DMan.
    Stone must be bought out
    And in one of the Hardest moves, Hanifin must be moved in a package with Janko that ultimately ends with a 1C. With out 2 new top 6 forwards there is no window.

    And lets be very clear. We are making hard choices because of 3 deals.
    James Neal, Derek Ryan, and Michael Stone.
    Why Ryan? Because you can’t pay a 4th line center $3.125M when they are only blocking a prospects chance at playing in the NHL. The most you can pay a guy in that role is $2.0M. A prospect cost you less than $1.0M.

    And by the way, the 4th line got dismantled in the playoffs. So much for them being the difference makers. They had to have their ice limited dramatically because they were under siege whenever they were out. Bednar always found a way to get MacKinnon’s line out against them as soon as he could.

    And we have to stop blocking our prospects from playing. This has been a theme for too long. Look how well Ras an Vali have played. Look at the blocking of Dube and others, while giving preference to guys like Neal. How about Ritter? It has to end.

    Rant done.

    • withachance

      Disagree here Skylar. I dont think you can look at lines and forward groups purely from a number perspective. That’s not how it translates on the ice. You’re not accounting for top 6 players getting underpaid as well. I think the cap crunch is much over hyped than we think. As long as Brodie, Frolik and Stone are moved, this team should be able to sign key RFAs and upgrade for the top 6 as well.

      “Backs czar and Bennett are over budgeted for a 3rd line” doesnt mean they are over budgeted for their value to the team. You cant just bucket someone like Ryan as a purely 4th line player. You’re not accounting for special teams, FOs, dzone starts, small things like that.

      I agree some deals are hamstringing the team (ala Neal and Stone), but important role players such as Bennett and Ryan have to be paid and retained. I think Ryan is far from the problem here.

      • Skylardog

        I get your view withachance. Lines change as well. It is just a framework. So put your top paid guys in your top spots an see what we have.

        Every team is built differently. Young RFA’s on entry level contracts that can play in your top lines changes the formulas. We have been a benefactor of this. But that all changes with Tkachuk needing a new deal.

        We are however in a situation where we appear to have no players in our top six that are going to be on entry level deals, save maybe Dube if he could earn a spot. If you just take our top 6 forwards in terms of expectations (in relation to salary), JG, Mony, Lind, Matty, Backs, and Neal, that group costs just shy of $37 million. I budgeted just $35 for the top 2 lines, and we haven’t made an upgrade yet, and may have a guy in there that can’t crack the lineup. The money has to come from somewhere else in the line up. Add in the 7 D we have, Gio, Brodie, Hani, Hamo, Vali, Ras, and Stone, and that comes out to just over $25M. Bonus here as we have 2 guys on great RFA deals.

        That leaves you $3.5 million over (including Brouwer) at this point, with only $22 million of my budget left to spend on 8 forwards and 2 goalies. We now have to account for the over pay of $3.5M, leaving just $18.5. Not saying that is a problem, except Ryan and a goalie tandem take out $9 million of that. That means $9.5 million for just 7 forwards. One of them is Benny at an estimated $2.75M, leaving just $6.75M for 6 forwards. That is all RFA min deal money for 6 forwards. There is no cap breathing room in that math.

        But we haven’t upgraded any position yet.

        You have to find some way to come in at $83 million while having the horses to contend. It has become very clear, based on the top line doing almost nothing for the 36 final games the team played, we have no top line, save maybe JG. Lind looked second line at the end. There are no RFA entry level deals out there to find a top line guy. We will have to pay.

        And that means stealing cash from the DCore. Whether it be in the form of trades, or buyouts is irrelevant.

        And in my math already, there is no Frolik, no Janko, and I haven’t factored in Czar or Hath.

        All I am doing is giving you a formula to tell you where the deadweight is, and where we can cut (trade) to find the guys we have to have to contend.

        You want Ryan on the 4th line for $3.15M, fine – where is that money coming from?

        Hey, Benny Janko, and Czar come in budget as a third line, but where is the third line scoring coming from that was so desperately needed in the playoffs?

        • withachance

          You raise some interesting points! Here are some of my thoughts/rebuttals:

          1) I dont think I neccessarily want a contender to have an entry level deal player in the top 6 (players that deserve to e paid like that anyways). That to me suggests either the player is a young phenom and capable of playing top 6 and is going to get paid big bucks anyways (Connor, Marner, Matthews, Laine etc) which makes this a moot point, OR the team doesnt have enough elite level players to play the top 6.

          2) I think it’s important to take playoff performance into account when evaluating team structure, but literally no one played well in the playoffs. Saying Gaudreau, Monny, all of the bottom 6 didnt perform isnt really saying much. Looking at the market values of these players, lets be absolutely honest here, Gaudreau is at least a 9M AAV player, Lindholm is a 6M AAV player. Where is the money coming from? That’s where, you’re getting great to elite level players on the CHEAP. If you gave out everyone contracts right now based on their market value, its hard to argue some most of the core players are undervalued by their contract.

          3) Going back to your point of reallocating cap, Brodie is a 4.5M hit that is ready to be converted to the forwards. Im sure you’re seeing on capfriendly that its not really hard to create a realistic scenario where the team can make meaningful upgrades, just by trading Brodie and Frolik, even buyout Stone, promote Dube and Valimaki full time.

          4) not sure what the expectation is for the 3rd line in terms of scoring. You want high impact 3rd liners, you gotta pay them 2nd liner money. Thats just how the league works now. You cant stay so strict on an arbitrary pay structure, but expect them to be impactful based on their role, because eventually they price out of that bracket. Where else are you going to find a 4th C with 40pts that play PP, PK and leads the league in FO percentage? If you dont want that fine, but dont expect a 1M player to match that output year to year

        • buts

          MacKinnons line schooled all of our lines Skydog including our so called shutdown 3M line. I like Ryan and consider him more of a 3rd line center vs 4th line. Ryan is better than Janko and Backs is more a #3C than 2C. Monahan got roasted pretty good by Conroy on the fan for being unable to be there for JG and said he skates too upright and also said he didn’t care if SM shot a puck all summer but wanted him working on his skating, core and conditioning.

        • Joel Ottos Jock

          Hey Skylar..care to speculate on who and where Hanifann for this #1C? I like that idea. I feel Valimakki or Kylington could play alongside Hamonic.

    • MDG1600

      Your Rant makes a case that supports my view that Brad Treliving is vastly over rated here on FN. Before everyone jumps all over me – I didn’t say he was a bad GM I say he is over rated. I see a lot of suggestions on FN that he is “the best” and should be GM of the year etc… He has made some good moves of course. He also assembled a team that was far too easily defeated in round 1 and has made at least two massively terrible Free Agent signings in Brouwer and Neal.

      • withachance

        Well he’s definitely the best GM Calgary has had in like the past quarter century. Definitely not GM of the year buuuuut i mean he assemble the 2nd best team in the league. Yzerman who is considered the best GM in the league built a team that was swept. Again, isolated performance like this playoffs shouldnt be the only basis for the argument.

        His FA signings have been hit or miss though. The misses have been a lot more eye catching than the hits for sure

    • benfr

      Good breakdown on cost allocation by position. It is a good guideline and framework for assembling a team in the salary cap era.
      I disagree quite strongly on your assertion that Ryan is over paid as a 4th line player. If that was all he were I could possibly agree but you fail to recognize that Ryan kills penalties, has one one of the highest faceoff percentages in the league, plaid on different line always making them better and provides veteran leadership.
      Another point I disagree with, although a bit less vehemently is blocking of prospects. Anderson played pretty much the full year as did Mangiapane and both look like they are fully ready but may have not been prior to this year. Valimaki was playing regularly until a serious long term injury required he play some rehab games, while few would argue that Dube’s time in the AHL did not have development value.
      On your point about Avalanche 1st line dismantling our 4th line-yes that will always happen against any teams 4th line. That was good coaching by Bednar and always happens on the road where the home team has last line change.
      Appreciate your cost analysis though.

    • everton fc

      Unrelated, but the ‘Canes are ready to sweep the Isles. Could be Carolina/Columbus for the Cup final, in the East. Who would have predicted that?! Makes me wonder how close the ‘Canes were, under Peters. Evidently, “close”.

      I wouldn’t move Kylington. I have this feeling he may prove a lot of people “wrong”, next season. But I think they will shop him. I would definitely not move Bennett or Hathaway. I might dump Jankowski. I’d seek to move Frolik/Stone/Brodie/our first/and Jankowski, depending on the return. If we could move Jankowski for Kadri, I’d consider that trade.

      As for your post; would I be fair to say the issues you bring up, fall on our GM? Regardless, I think we are close. We have to dump some junk, and make wise trades. BT needs to stay away from free agency; he’s proving to be one of the worst GMs in the league, when it comes to free agency signings.

  • FLT

    This armchair GM would absolutely consider trading Monahan. He’s excellent at scoring goals, which I admit is a very important and relatively rare skill, but in all other facets he’s mediocre to sub-par. I wouldn’t sell him for nothing, but if the price is right…

  • Off the wall

    Today seems like a good day for a story.

    My truck, ole’ Stanley was shining with the Flames adorning it. I was proud as a peacock driving around Victoria.
    But then came the playoffs.

    We failed to make any progress in this area. The whole first place in the Conference didn’t mean squat. We lost game 5 in our own barn. Yuck!

    Not long after I removed the “Go Flames Go” magnets off my truck, ole’ Stanley’s fuel pump went on it. I was literally 300 feet from a Mechanic’s Garage, however I couldn’t push it by myself. The truck was loaded up and I’m not Superman. So I troubleshooted the beast.

    I walked to the Garage to see if I could get a push or tow. Nope, mechanics were too busy. Otw had to figure out a way to get it 300 feet on his own.

    So I took the air breather off the truck and poured a little gas in the carburetor. It fired up! But because it’s a BIG ass truck, it lasted for 5 seconds. I limped the truck to the Garage, it took me 45 minutes to get it 300 feet.
    Pour gas, go 10 feet, repeat. Really frustrating. And of course I had to wait until the manifold was cool, so I didn’t accidentally cause the truck to start on fire.
    Could you imagine the scene, a Flames truck in Flames!🔥
    Yeah, I didn’t want to be on the news. That would have been quite the story.

    It got me thinking about our team. We have the engine to drive this team, but when you’re pump goes, the engine doesn’t work. Who’s the pump on our team? Is it Gaudreau, Bennett, Tkachuk, Giordano? I honestly don’t know. The engine is the entire team. But until we have a defined PUMP that drives our team, we won’t have any real answers to this issue.

    The Flames went limping to the Garage. We don’t need to start a fire by suggesting trading our core players, however we need to take a good look at what drives our team. MacKinnon was the pump in the series against us. We didn’t have one, and that’s why we sputtered out.

    Treliving, you have a big task ahead of you. Pretend you’re a mechanic, that’s gotta trouble- shoot an engine with no PUMP.
    Then you’ll know how to repair it.

    Hopefully, it doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg, like it did me.
    Looking at ole’ Stanley parked at the Garage, unable to run was depressing. It made me sad and frustrated. I’m sure Treliving is feeling the same way…

  • BendingCorners

    I lived in Edmonton when the greatest player ever, plus five other Hall of Fame players, learned how to win in the playoffs. It took them a few years and 30+ playoff games before they started their first Cup-winning run. The Capitals needed almost 100 playoff games to learn how to win before they won their Cup. The Flames have a lot to learn and only a few years to learn it in, but the current roster looks good enough (or nearly so) to win it all. I think we are all hoping for a bit more sandpaper, and a willingness to take a hit to make a play, but some of that comes from playoff experience also.
    There is turnover every summer, so we should expect between four and seven players to be replaced. Brodie and Frolik are candidates since they are entering the final year of their contracts, as is Hamonic, whose style of play is too rare on the Flames but also does not lend itself to longevity. Kylington is a candidate since there may not be room for him on the roster. Hathaway and Smith are UFA; Hathaway might be back or he might be replaced by Lazar, who is an RFA with arbitration rights but not a UFA. Some other non-core players could be moved too; Bennett, Jankowski and Czarnik come to mind. And of course, Stone and Neal, who would be difficult to move. A lot depends on what other GM are willing to offer, but it will be a different team next year, albeit with the same core and a bit more playoff experience to build on. Hopefully they learn at the pace that old Oilers team did and not at the pace of the Capitals.

    • Luter 1

      You have deletion of Bennet and Hathaway, are we planning on playing in a no-hit league next year? Unless your adding Reaves in return we would get run out of the rink in exhibition never mind playoffs.

      • BendingCorners

        I like Bennett and Hathaway. Sandpaper is essential, but could come from new players. Who stays and who goes does depend on the offer but also, as you point out, on what remains.

    • Speed Kills

      Unfortunately Stu LV is in cap hell next year… they are already Negative- $2,875,000 without signing any of there own UFA’s or RFAs. (If I’m reading CapFriendly right?)
      Which include RFA – (C) William Karlsson (a 43 and 23 goal scorer), (LW/RW) Tomas Nosek, (LW) Nikita Gusev, (D) Jimmy Schuldt and Goalie, Malcolm Subban.
      That is with letting All UFA’s Walk – (LW, C) Pierre-Édouard Bellemare, (RW, LW) Brandon Pirri, (RW, C) Ryan Carpenter, (RD) Deryk Engelland.
      So I can’t see them taking on Stone or anyone with $$$ attached to them.
      But It could mean deals to be made on the lighter side of payment for… EG: (RW) Alex Tuch is going to get $4,750,000 starting next year, He’s 22, 6′ 4 – 222 lbs and Fast~! He had 15G/37 Points the year before and 20G/52 Points this year…(I’d Target Him for Picks/Prospects)
      Also D men (RD) Colin Miller ($3,875,000 X-3), (LD) Brayden McNabb ($2,500,000 X-3),
      as well bottom six forwards with higher pay that might have to go? Like (C) Cody Eakin ($3,850,000 X-1), Ryan Reaves ($2,775,000 X-1)
      Vegas provides some Very interesting pieces that could be made available due to their Cap situation for next year.
      Lots to think about there…

      • canadian1967

        You’re right, they have $82,875,000 committed for next year on 11 Forwards, 6 D-men, 1 Goalie (Fleury), Clarkson on LTIR and $1M in Retained Salaries.
        SO VGK need to sign 5 players including Karlsson and 2 other Forwards, 1 D-man and a Goalie with $125,000 in Space to do it. Good Luck with that McPhee. I hope that nobody helps them out after how well everything went for them over the last 2 years.

      • RealMcHockeyReturns

        Agree that Tuch would be awesome, also not against one of Reaves or Eakin. Make it happen Mr T (for Treliving, use this fun adaptation of 80s TV character nickname)

    • Joel Ottos Jock

      Hey Skylar..care to speculate on who and where Hanifann for this #1C? I like that idea. I feel Valimakki or Kylington could play alongside Hamonic.

  • FLT

    If any other team made a reasonable offer for Janko I think the Flames would take him. While he’s frequently deployed on the PK, I don’t think his SH goal totals this year are repeatable. He’s not particularly good at anything, and is no more than the 4th best centre on the team.

  • MDG1600

    Personally I don’t think the Flames are as close to being a true contender as other might. For this reason I think it would be a mistake to trade away our 1st round pick for immediate help because I feel we need more than just one or two pieces. Apart from re-tooling the bottom 6 I feel we need 2 top 6 forwards who add grit and a little scoring and those guys are going to be really hard to get through trades and free agency. Are those guys tough to get in the draft? Absolutely, but they are also affordable for a few years which creates a great opportunity. I still see great drafting as the key to being a legit contender for the Cup.

  • RKD

    We were missing speeds and heart in the playoffs. We need some faster but also guys who hate to lose. We seemed ok and pedestrian at times. Defending speed seemed to be a big challenge. I was disappointed to not see Valimaki and Dube earlier may not have made a difference when your top guys didn’t show up. Monahan was very slow and unengaged. Neal can’t be moved unless packaged with something enticing. Bennett i would keep. Brods and or Stone could be moved without hurting us. Heavy is only good when combined with skill.

    • Getpucksdeep

      Malkins 32, had fewer points, way fewer goals and 08-09′ was the last season he played 82 games. I like Malkin but seriously? Malkin got unceremoniously dumped during the playoffs as well.

  • calgaryfan

    Treliving should be looking at every player and no one should be untouchable. Bennett drafted 4th overall and becoming a 3rd line player has hurt the Flames progress. I am not slagging Bennett but the Flames thought he was going to be that top line center, thus the Doug Gilmour comparisons. Monahan was cast as the big center the Flames had been searching for, while a good scorer not a top center. The Flames need to stop trading picks and get back to drafting as the players needed to improve this team are not available in trade.

  • Garry T

    The season was great and I am appreciative of that. There were a few instances that evolved during the
    season whereby the team lost a few games they should have won. But everything is relative. It is hard to
    maintain 100 % peak performance through 82 games and the crusher of a start in China that they endured
    may have been good for team building but they came home already behind the 8 ball.

    The playoffs are a different animal in terms of pressure. Either some of our top players were injured, exhausted as Bill
    like many other Coaches has a propensity to over-play guys he trusts. Gudreau was done after game one. Others just did not show up. So changes are necessary.

    They need to do the following:

    1. Go back to a very aggressive forechecking system.
    2. Go with a trap like system when the opposition is approaching our zone ( Avalanche )
    3. Hit anything that tries to enter their zone and find your man ( responsibility ) and always
    stay with him curtailing his ability to control play.
    4. During the playoffs they pulled into a tight zone system if that was a system instead of staying with or going at the
    puck carrier aggressively. Closing in around the goaltender was suicidal and should never be used again.
    5. There were at times beautiful goals were scored as a result of a five player entry into the offensive zone , maintaining
    control of the puck, very much the way the Avalanche did. We need to focus on employing puck control systems.
    6. Personnel wise, we need to add size, spirit and bite. You may as well try to find that needed leader plus solve the
    right side of the lineup issues once and for all this off season.
    7. Five picks in the draft is a limiting factor. I know the Team has pursued International free agents. But
    there are still a number of over age players throughout the N.A. Junior systems that could be had and
    used to restart the building of the Stockton and Kansas City Teams. I would put extra focus on that right now.
    8. I would also be looking at the entire draft lists for team leaders, skill, quickness desire and size. There are a lot of
    good players not taken in the draft and I would have my pen out all week long during the draft, trying to pin some of
    these guys down if they are not taken.

    Good Luck Calgary Flames.

    • Luter 1

      Excellent comments, exactly what they did. Played very reactive after pushing play during the season. Hopefully Peters learned something because his replacement Brindamour seems like an excellent coach.

    • Franko J

      @ Garry T:
      I like your points 7 and 8. Build through the draft. Hopefully if the Flames can trade Brodie and Frolik they can obtain more picks, thus deepen the prospect pool. I would look at prospects with a very high complete level.

  • Budgie

    The toughest decision-find hard nosed play-making speedy players to play with Johnny Hockey. Monahan, Lindholm and Gadreau were great in the regular season but they weren’t great in the playoffs. Monahan had a cracked thumb, Lindholm a sprained acl-it is a good line but can you roll with it next year? I think so if the Flames add two bigger forwards. Dube is coming up.

    Big shakeup or add a couple of pieces? Calgary was in the upper echelon until the playoffs. Do you stick with smaller skilled forwards after seeing Colorado have a size advantage that allowed them to take over 50 shots a game? Johnny Hockey needs the room that Bennett and Tkachuk can provide, perhaps Calgary is close and some line shuffling would work with one or two new forwards. Nothing too drastic but if you want to shake it up, the Flames of value are in the top 6 with Gadreau being the most valuable.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    I am as frustrated as anyone on how the Flames limped into and out of the playoffs. The way the playoffs are unfolding this will go down as a huge opportunity lost. It is guaranteed that a team with less points than the Flames will be hoisting the cup.

    The way I see it, the two biggest deficiencies are lack of grit in the top 6 and lack of a true shooter. Our best shooter is arguably Monny but he lacks the quickness to get his shots off with velocity on a regular basis. Having an exceptional playmaker like Johnny has given him the time and space that he needs. But he rarely generates offense on his own. The Flames desperately need a shooter like a Hoffman, Boeser or Tarasenko. When is the last time the Flames have drafted or had a player with an elite shot? That would have to be Iggy and before that I think we would have to go back to the days of Niewendyk or Mullen.

    The grit I would like to see in the top six is Josh Anderson or Alex Tuch. As previously stated, I would dangle Monny for Anderson. Anderson would be a step up on Ferland with the same intangibles. It would allow Johnny to be Johnny and provide an opportunity for Lindholm to center the top line. The team needs a one time specialist like Hoffman who could be had for Brodie.
    The team becomes a better regular season and playoff team with these moves.

  • Toma41

    Travis hamonic was acquired for a 1st and 2nds. Looking at stats, Tj Brodie is better than him in everything other than “grit”. Travis can’t actually fight. Hamonic is our #4. If Tj Brodie is traded for anything less than a 1st a 2nd + more, it’s a disaster. Adam fox got Carolina a 2nd and a 3rd. But like someone mentioned earlier, if andersson replaces him, who replaces Andersson on the 3rd pairing? Tj Brodie is a top pairing defender on most teams in the NHL and should get the flames a huge return. If he doesnt get the same as what Treviling paid for Hamonic then Treviling severely overpaid for Hamonic

  • TheWheeze

    BT fleeced Carolina in last years trade. We said. Carolina is heading to the second round of the playoffs in what could be a series sweep while the Flames had their asses handed to them in theirs. Nuff said.

  • Pietro

    With Borodie amd Frolik on the market we might be able to get an addition for the top 6.
    I don’t know whether we can find Neal a new team, considering his contract, but I would rather keep him and hope rather than buy him out.
    I am going to be unpopular here, but I would trade Monahan for high picks or strong prospects. If Lindholm can really play centre, considering that at centre we have the bodies (if not necessarily the quality) we can maximise on Monahan who is coming from a strong season.

    • Skylardog

      Lazar was not a mistake and costs us nothing in cap. He was a reclamation project. How we handled that is an issue. The kid will walk in the summer and find a regular spot in the NHL next season.

      A guy like Lazar on a $1.0M deal is exactly what we need in the lineup if we are to upgrade our weaknesses in the top 6.

      • Pietro

        You think the GM has done a good job?
        Neal? Stone? Brower? Hamonic for a 1st and 2nd UNPROTECTED (I love Travis, but come on, stay-at-home Ds are out of fashion). The trade with Carolina, we got Lindholm who was great, Hanifin who is OK, we need to see in the next 3 years how things go to assess whether it was a good trade.
        Re-sign Backs at that price, lose Engelland.
        GUlutsan was a horrible choice for a skipper..
        We missed the trade window deadline this year because we handed in the papers too late.
        I can’t really say that we have the best GM out there

        • withachance

          Jonny and Monahan under 7M, thats a 100pt player and a perennial 30g scorer, under 7M. Im ok with Backlund’s contract, the center on one of the premier shutdown lines in the league.

          You really think losing Engelland is an issue after just saying stay at home dman is out of fashion? Hamonic is a top 3 dman on the team and would walk into most team’s top 4 core.

          No one is saying we have the best GM, but he sure is a hell of a lot better than most GMs out there. He turned this team around pretty fast

          • Pietro

            I think that there is difference between having a solid stay-at-home D and losing it and spending 1st and 2nd pick to replace him for someone not as good/tough

  • T&A4Flames

    Just curious, what’s the breaking point for a Brodie trade? At what point does keeping him (at least until the trade deadline) give more value than a potential trade? What’s the minimum He could and should bring back?

    • Toma41

      X flames prospect Adam Fox just got Carolina a 2nd round pick and a conditional 3rd. He hasn’t played a game. Brodie is a legit top pairing defender. No reason he shouldn’t fetch a 1st and 2nd plus some late round picks based off what Adam Fox got Carolina.

    • freethe flames

      Regardless of whether it is Brodie or FRolik or Janko the return has to be worth the risk of losing them. Ask yourself do we have a replacement for them. TJ most of us would agree that Andersson is likely able to replace him but that leads to the question do we have another RHD to fill the #6 spot as effectively as Andersson? Stone? Prout? Can either Klyington/Valimaki play the right side. I don’t have the answer for that question but could I live with a third pairing of Valimaki/Kylington; probably.

  • Gus Fring

    Well I think this is welcome news to the fans. https://www.thefourthperiod.com/apr-2019/neal-experiment-could-lead-to-welcomed-trade
    If he indeed is willing to move on and Tre is looking to move him I suggest maybe Turris out of Nash as Neal has had good numbers there
    As I mentioned before Wennberg out of Columbus
    Booby Ryan has come up before
    Kyle Okposo is another bad contract
    Karl Alzner is another bad contract
    I think we have to settle on taking another bad contract back to move the real deal. I think out of this group I would look at Turris or Wennberg center would be a better fit for this team. Maybe Ryan but we would have to be able to include Stone with Neal to take on Ryan’s contract.

    • Jobu

      Article names Devils and Ducks… Zajac or Perry/Kesler would be the only moves that make Bad-contract sense. Jobu’d say no to any Duck deal though. He hates those two.

      +1 to Wennberg though. That would be amazing!

      • Speed Kills

        I don’t Know about Wennberg, I just looked at his states… Yikes, No wonder Tortz has benched him. Of All Flames Including D, played 50 games or more… Wennberg(Played 75) was out scored (in goals) By Every Flame (including Quine) except Andersson… they tied. And that is with a $4,900,000 X-another 4 years cap hit… Yikes! Neal actually had triple the goals and Janko was better at every state vs Wennberg, and Wennberg has 6 Years NHL EXP With 66-80 games every year played throughout those 6 years… Columbus would Probably/Gladly Ditch him for Neal… 5Mill cap waste for the next 4Years… for a player who had similar numbers this year – to Lazar’s Worst NHL numbers last year on the Flames… 5 – MILL a Year…