FlamesNation mailbag: Offseason options

With the offseason rapidly approaching, the Flames have to solve the big question of why things didn’t work out as expected. They’re going to go through an offseason with many different answers to that question. So, which ones are worth exploring? Which aren’t?

If you trade Sean Monahan, you should look to get another point-per-game first line centre who is also young and comes with a very reasonable contract. The only other players that come to mind with those descriptions is Nathan MacKinnon, Mark Schiefele, and Alex Barkov. Neither of those players will get traded, simply because teams don’t trade players like that and come out on the winning side of the deal.

I think Mike’s evaluation of Monahan hit the nail on the head. You should read it if you haven’t already, but here’s a summary: Monahan has his warts, and that’s fine because you generally have to lose for an entire decade and strike out on three other first overall picks before you find a player without them. Monahan still does incredibly valuable things that contributes to the Flames winning, and has shown throughout his career that what he’s good at – scoring goals- overshadows what he’s bad at -defence- by a large margin.

Yes to Jeff Skinner, and yes to Matt Duchene. They usually put up at least 40 points a season, and can offer flexibility in a lineup that got too rigid and predictable towards the end of the season. You could load up one line or spread out the offence more effectively if you have one of these players in your lineup. You might even be able to do both at the same time.

And they’re both UFAs, which is why I wanted to answer these questions together. The Flames have the opportunity to add two very, very good NHL players without giving up anything other than cash assets. The hold up is, as usual, cap space. The Flames already have an expensive offseason RFA period approaching and are pretty close to the cap ceiling. If they want one of Skinner or Duchene (they can probably only afford one), they’ll have to offload some money. You can run your own cap dump scenarios if you’d like to -we’ve done plenty in past mailbags- but they’re all unlikely to happen, sorry to say.

Both players are also UFAs for the first time in their career, and are probably looking for a big sum of money over a long period of time. As enticing as either of them are, I don’t think the Flames will voluntarily dive into cap hell this early into their contention window. If they look to add an elite player, they’re looking through the trade market.

I think the light is on, it’s just not as bright as many had hoped.

Sam Bennett’s finished his fourth season with the club and hasn’t really shown much growth from year one. When he does look like he’s finally taking that next step, he often putters out. His consistency is really what’s holding him back, but it’s been like that since day one of his career. It’s weird and frustrating. Playoff Sam Bennett is so engaged and fun to watch, but he’s only like that for bits and parts of the regular season. We’re probably only fooling ourselves if we think Bennett having a few good games is an indication that he’s finally figured it out.

In an RFA year, the Flames have to decide whether that’s enough to continue on with the Bennett project. His playoff performances do get you excited about that sliver of potential, but when you’re up against the wall cap-wise, you have to pay him for what he usually is rather than what he occasionally is. If Bennett’s camp doesn’t like that, the two likely split.

Don’t confuse the Flames building up depth with the Flames being ready to ship players out immediately. I see the Flames going after players like Alexander Yelesin and Johan-Carl Lerby as attempts to make up for only drafting six defenceman (three of whom aren’t with the club anymore) in the previous four drafts (24 picks). They have self inflicted depth issues in those departments. This is an attempt to fix that.

While I’m optimistic about the futures of Yelesin and Lerby, I don’t believe that they’re ready to play immediately. The SHL and KHL are much different leagues than the NHL, and there’s going to be an acclimation period. Both of the Flames’ recent signings are going to get a year of assessment in the AHL (Lerby will stay in the SHL next season and come over, presumably to the AHL, the season after) and then a decision will be made.

Now that doesn’t mean defencemen aren’t on the block…

It’s tough to read Brodie’s league wide value. He’s a first pairing defenceman in Calgary and usually picks up 30+ points, but he’s playing next to a likely Norris winner, and hasn’t seen much success away from said likely Norris winner. Even with likely Norris winner, he still has his issues. How many teams are willing to pony up for the risk that they’re bringing on a dud? Factoring in his contract, which only has one more year remaining at a moderate cap hit, and it might feel like a rental situation to most buyers.

Teams generally aren’t going to give up their cost controlled, high end forwards for a player with potentially papered-over flaws who could bolt in a year. If a Brodie trade materializes, I think it might be for decent prospects and conditional picks. There’s just too much risk associated with acquiring Brodie that teams are going to hedge their bets when exploring a trade, which is bad for a Flames team that wants something now.

I go back and forth on it. Brodie’s frustrating at times, but he’s also been a key part of this team for the past several years. The Flames probably won’t mind moving on, but it won’t be easy, or even something they seek out to do.

It really does depend on what they get for him in a trade. If it’s like what I described above, they probably hold onto him. The team has more immediate needs, and if Brodie is the player that has to be sacrificed to solve them, they can live with that. Future assets aren’t enticing enough. A player who can contribute now? Brodie’s gone.

The Flames really shouldn’t be wasting time with project players. The roster is ready to win now, why devote time to someone who isn’t? If the team was rebuilding, you could take the chance that maybe you find a diamond in the rough or an underappreciated player, but there’s limited opportunities and room for error on a team with Stanley Cup aspirations.

Look at the Curtis Lazar experience. Perceived as an unfinished player, he was acquired with the hopes that he would find his NHL footing and become a core piece. Acquired with about 20 games left to play, he played in exactly four, two of them coming after the Flames clinched. With every game mattering down the stretch of the 2016-17 season, it wasn’t worth the risk. The next season they tried, and neither party was better for it. I’m not pinning the 2017-18 season failure solely on him, but Lazar really stuck out for the wrong reasons on a non-playoff roster. The Flames sent him to the AHL this year and didn’t miss a beat without him.

Austin Czarnik also falls into this category a bit. There were times where he looked absolutely dynamite, but moew times where he struggled. He is also an incomplete player who still needs time to figure things out at the NHL level. The Flames healthy scratched him for long periods of time because of that. They couldn’t wait for him to blossom into the player they hoped he would become, and there wasn’t really enough opportunity to let him grow. Perhaps James Neal and/or Garnet Hathaway weren’t the solutions, but Czarnik didn’t put up a strong enough case to unseat them.

If you do want an answer though, I’ve always liked Joshua Ho-Sang from the Islanders. I think he could solve some issues if he reaches his full potential, but I don’t think the team has the patience.

They should adopt a shark named Hanifin because it’s the same pun and also because sharks are cooler than pigs. Only problem is that a divisional rival is also named the Sharks.

  • oilcanboyd

    What about TJ for Shaw of the Canadiens? Would he be a fit for the Flames? Nice contract with 3 years left… but Brodie is UFA after this season so Flames would need to sweeten the pot.

    • Kevin R

      Heck no. Montreal absolutely need a D like Brodie the target should be the NHL ready goalie Lindgren & maybe a 2nd & 3rd for Brodie. I have no issue having Lindgren back up Ritter next year. We need the cap space & this kills two birds with one trade.

      • BigChefJeff

        What makes you think Lindgren is “NHL ready” and in any way a step up on Gillies or a cheap free agent? He played one NHL game last year (it didn’t go well), and he played fewer than half of Laval’s games in the AHL. If we’re giving up Brodie, it better be for a lot more than an undrafted, 25-year old minor league goalie who “might” be able to be adequately back up a few games.

        • Kevin R

          Fair enough, from the game I saw him play I liked his net presence versus the few games I have watched Gilles. Gilles seems like he drops to his knees before the opposing skater even enters the Flame blueline.
          Would love to be proven wrong on this but I guess my confidence level isnt too great. I would be ecstatic if he we got Primeau instead of Lindgren anyway, just didnt see Montreal parting with Primeau.

      • everton fc

        Shaw scored 19 goals, last season. He had 47 points. He’s 27. And he take no crap from anyone. What is there not to like? He may take dumb penalties. But I’d take him, as a Flame.

        If you can move Brodie for Shaw and ?, I’d consider it. It’d be a package deal of some sort. But a player like Shaw is what this team needs more of.

        • buts

          Kadri is twice the player Shaw is. That’s the guy they should target. Brodie and Bennett for Kadri and Nylander. We need grit, I know Bennett has it but Kadri when disciplined has it in spades and it frees up cap space for the leafs. That trade would help our top 6 immensely.

          • The Red Knight

            I’ve always advocated that Bennett will become a really good player,he’s only 22 right ? And he was pretty solid , he’s driving play better ,making better decisions ,dumping puck in and forechecking then turning puck over, did not take a parade of bad penalties, he is the first Flame to stick up for his teammates, he’s a Warrior, and one of the hardest pound for pound hitters in the league. He’s gonna break out and will be a very complete player, he could be a Captain one day in this league. I have a lot of respect him .

  • Korcan

    Regarding Skinner or Duchenne, imo there is no way to afford them. If I were Tre, I would instead look at someone like Kyle Turris, an underperforming player on a bad contract (but who is relatively young with potential to improve with a change of scenery), and see if Nashville would consider a trade for Neal, another underperforming player on a bad contract, but who GM Poile likes and might be willing to bring back. Turris is a 2-way offensive center who has potential to be a #2 allowing Backlund to be (better?) slotted as #3.

    Regarding Bennett, imo Calgary needs to keep him. This season he showed he is starting to get who he is as an NHL player and is going to be a great middle six forward for years to come, AND he is one of only a few Flames players who seems capable of elevating and playing playoff hockey (attention Sean Monahan). You don’t get rid of those guys.

    Regarding Monahan, imo if he doesn’t make a conscious and determined decision to learn and commit to the defensive side of the game, he is going to continue being a major liability come playoff time. I don’t expect him to become a Selke candidate, but he needs to become someone coaches don’t need to shelter. Calgary will not have playoff success until their #1 center becomes a more complete player — it’s as simple as that.

    Regarding Brodie, imo if Tre can get something of value in return (i.e. Brodie and Jankowski for Kadri and a pick/prospect) he should definitely trade him as he will likely be on the third pairing next year and is too costly for a 5/6 dman. Trade him while he still has value and/or becomes a ufa.

    • deantheraven

      I was right there with you, Korcky, until that bit about trading for Kadri.
      CTibs suggests that Mgmt wouldn’t want to part with Brodie for futures. I beg to differ. Unloading Brodie for a first (maybe plus) would shave needed cap space at a time when the D cupboards are full of potential replacements.
      Gio Ras
      Hani Hammer
      Vali Kjyller (sheltered like BP did this season with the 3rd pair)
      And that top sixer winger…

      • Korcan

        No worries. I get it regarding Kadri, I was merely using him as a for instance because reports are he could be made available. Maybe I should have used Kapanen instead.

    • HOCKEY83

      I love the underperforming comment. You think it might have something to do with playing 4 less minutes a game from when he was with Ottawa? They paid him what most 50 to 60 point per season guys get in this league and then the moment he got to nashvile they dropped his minutes dramatically. So the underperforming and bad contract comment is inaccurate and all on nashville.

  • Joel Ottos Jock

    Hopefully Sam Bennett is given more of an opportunity this season to play with skilled players. Sam has been under utilized in his entire career with the Flames. He was never given an opportunity to succeed. Playing with guys like Hathaway, Brouwer, and Jankowski is not the awnser. He is a kid who has the missing elements most son here are complaining about our #1 C missing. Every time he was given the small amount of ice with Johnny they looked good. I really hope BP considers shaking things up. Bennett between Johnny and Monny might be the mix of skill and grit and speed. Leaving Lindhole to center chucky and JimBob Neal.

    • cjc

      Bennett HAS had his opportunities. He’s played on the top line, he spent a large part of last season with Chucky and Backs. He just didn’t produce. We need to accept that he is a pretty average player.

      Case in point, lots of people go around arguing that Jankowski deserves to play higher in the lineup. So who is the problem?

      • HOCKEY83

        No he hasn’t got the same chance as other young guys on the team. Tkachuk has been able to play on the second line from the moment he got here no matter how he’s performed. You think they give hime a chance because they’ve announced that he’s on the first line in the starting line up…before the period is over Peters has already switched it back. Give him a ligit 10 to 20 games starting as center on the top line. He will do what Mangi does and open space up for Johnny to do his job far better than Monny ever could do for him. As far as I’m concerned Peters is one of the main factors in losing that playoff series. It was so painfully evident he had no idea what he was doing…having never coached a team in a playoff game before. By the way Janks is barely good enough to keep the 3rd line center spot…moving him up would be a mistake.

      • Exactly. The two players you mentioned have been giving many opportunities (esp Bennett). They are both serviceable and decent NHL players but not better than bottom six. It’s funny how people have conspiracy theories about how the team has it in for certain players. Who wouldn’t want these guys to succeed?

        • HOCKEY83

          It’s not a conspiracy theory. It’s fact. When comparing players it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out average ice time played and line mates played with when comparing players. What I find funnier than your supposed conspiracy theories are the bloggers here who think they know what they’re talking about but can’t seem to see past the point totals. To say Sam Bennett as a 4th overall pick has had the same chance on this team as Johnny Monny Tkachuk Lindholm…Basically anyone that’s ever played on the top 2 lines since he’s been a member is just a general lack of hockey smarts.

          • Well maybe I do lack the hockey smarts as I am not seeing it at all. Just because someone was a 4th overall doesn’t make him a sure thing of being a great/elite player. I assume we can agree on that. It seems to prove my point in that if they chose him 4th (higher than all those other players you wrote) then how does it make sense that they would willing not give him a chance like the others? They burned a year of his ELC for a short playoff run probably because they believed in him. I thought at the time and still now that it was a mistake. That is a fairly large gamble for a team to make for the benefit of the long term relationship of the player. As a coach, would you continually put someone out that you see with poor consistency, take lazy penalties and isn’t producing (defensively or offensively)? I put 90% of the blame on where Bennett is at on Bennett.

          • HOCKEY83

            I agree with you and have always thought they brought Slammin sammy up too early and hurt his development. I think the lazy penalties is a result in trying so hard to be good with the limited talent he has to play with. All I’m saying is put him in a ligit top six role for longer than a game or 2 to see what the actually have. I think he would do a better Job than Monny does creating space for Johnny. He’s done well whenever they put him up there. Lindholm gets here plays well on the top line and it’s set in stone. Ferland was gifted that spot and never ever earned the top line minutes he got. Give Sammy a half season or 20 games up there to prove himself. The Flames can create 3 pretty decent lines with the players they have right now if they split up that top line. Sorry about the hockey smarts comment just meant people in general not you specifically. Look at timo Meier. That guy is getting 19 to 20 mins a night playing with their top line and people compare him as being so much better than Sam When Sam plays 6 less minutes a night with way less talent since he’s been in the league.

      • The Red Knight

        So your saying at 22 Bennett is not going to get any better? I guess,TKACHUK,Anderson, Mangiapane this must be what they are too and they won’t get better there hitting 22 it’s all down hill from here? My lord

  • Kevin R

    Christian, cant agree on your trade assessment value of Brodie. His stats scream solid 2nd pairing offensive D & last I looked, many teams are needing this. Also Bennett is too young to conclude his ceiling. Look at Timo Meier on San Jose & he is having a playoff of his career, who coincidently is same age as Benny & Ive been reading how patience has finally paid off for San Jose for him. We need to ween off the 3M line & find a way to get our highest pick in franchise history to play a full season in our top 6. For most of his career Benny has been the victim of inheriting Tre’s UFA signing anchors he way over pays with.

    • supra steve

      Is Brodie’s value similar to what the Flames paid for Hamonic? We all know how long it took the Isles to move Hamonic, I guess because they originally wanted another young D in return. So my worry is that the Flames make Brodie available, but no worthwhile offers are received or it’s only draft picks coming back to CGY. I guess if it’s draft picks that are offered, Tre could use those as trade currency during the summer or at the trade deadline?

      • Kevin R

        If its only draft picks I wouldnt be that upset, I have no problem on drafting/scouts. Also, the cap space gained is huge for us& we already have a Brodie replacement. But my preference would be getting a player we feel will add to what we have & need.

    • cjc

      Meier isn’t a good comparable for Bennett. He has outproduced Bennett two seasons running. Meier has one fewer goal than Bennett in 119 fewer games. San Jose has a gem there, but he earned the opportunity.

    • 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… And I’ll repeat~ Wennberg = 5 MILL a Year… No Thanks!

  • BendingCorners

    The Flames are a good team. They don’t need a major overhaul. Mostly they need more structure to their defensive game and to raise their intensity when the games become more physical. Those are teachable changes. Whatever roster changes BT makes over the summer will likely target players who already showcase those attributes. He will probably not surrender a core player to bring in a role player. Then again, he is full of surprises so late June could be very interesting.

  • Off the wall

    I was watching this man guessing the ages of adults by watching how long they could stand on one leg, with their eyes closed. All he could see were their legs, nothing else.

    By timing how long they kept their balance, he was very accurate in guessing the age group.

    Who would have thought? As you age, you’re balance deteriorates. That would explain why I’m more reluctant to hoist myself into trees as I get older.
    Pruning trees takes precision balance. I’m no monkey anymore, though I still love banana’s.

    A great hockey player has outstanding balance. Theo Fluery had a wide stance when skating, perhaps that’s why he was so difficult to knock off the puck for such a small player.

    Perhaps we should stop trading our players away and have them work on balance. You know, try to knock each other off the puck. Scrums, Board work, front net presence. Anything that challenges BALANCE!

    Sumo wrestling anyone?
    Skating like a Flamingo on one leg while bending as low as possible?

    Giordano is aging, however have you seen him shoot? Always has one leg up, when firing the puck.
    And it’s accurate. He’s our karate kid! Wax on ..wax off. It’s no wonder he is a candidate for the Norris. It’s all about balance.

    Close your eyes and try to stand on one leg. You might be surprised…😉

    • Kevin R

      I know everyone hates it when someone posts, I know someone who has heard type of thing but interesting you mention Fleury. The person that I know who says he heard that Fleury has offered that Monahan & Gaudreau should call him & he can help them with tactics that will get them more room & ice when things get chippy in the playoffs.

      • Off the wall

        Funny you should mention that Kevin. When I was first practicing as a Horticulturists, my mentor wouldn’t let me work with power equipment.

        I resented him at the time. I had to do everything by hand. The fine details that is. He wanted me to learn by making mistakes.
        What a jerk, I thought!

        Looking back, it was the best lesson I’ve ever received. Failure.
        Because you never get better by only success. You have to learn to fail, to get the real appetite for success. Our conundrum isn’t the players, it’s the ability to continue learning.

        We all have the ability to take opportunities and use them, or choose not to. I’m glad I didn’t quit on mine.

        If I were Gaudreau and Monahan, I would take the offer and thank Fluery. His success in his era wasn’t a fluke.

        Outside the box, is where we’re going to find what our players are made of!

      • HOCKEY83

        The company I work for has a suite at the Dome and they don’t like hockey much. They just use it at times for wining and dining business associates which has resulted in box seats for myself and a friend for the last 12 years at most home games. The last few years Fleury has been frequenting the suites for the Flames organization. He is my all time favorite player. It also resulted in being able to play in 2 flames alumni games with him. Dream come true. Monny and Johnny should absolutely take him up on his offer.

  • Garry T

    Looking at the Calgary Flames as a team, I do not see another leader of on the team that can drive this club forward other than Gio and we need to correct that. We have issues with the cap and this will become even more dominant if the Flames decide to sign Tkachuk long term.
    We have weaknesses throughout the club that require a review and a plan to correct.
    Leadership is expensive. We need someone now because Gio is good for maybe two three years max and then Houston, we have a problem.
    As a result, this and all future drafts should involve a new dimension that has not been taken into consideration in the
    recent past. We simply have looked for three elements in terms of players. Good skating defenders with upper hockey IQ assets. Good skating forwards that fit into the mold of an over all team age element 22 to 24 years of age and these players have to be skilled. Goaltending ….that needs work and in the past has been an abysmal process.

    Where you see teams still competing, there is an element that those teams have focused on or lucked into. That is team leadership either not quantified during the draft years or pursued by the Flames. Regardless, with a true number one leader, those players have upped their game and it is a combination of leadership and the realization if they up their game, they have a chance at the holy grail, the Stanley Cup. The compete level in this year’s playoffs has shown that if you have a plan as a club, if you have the desire in the players, if you have that ” Leader ” who can put you on his back and instigate a will and a way to win, you will succeed.

    The Flames failed to show an ability to provide those qualities and are thus out of the playoffs. So it is time to evaluate each player and what each brings to the table. Who is really needed on this club and those that ride on the coat tails of others.

    Change is required.

    Leaders are obviously hard to obtain but Columbus, the lucky buggers have a bunch of them. I would go after two, possibly 3 of their guys and be prepared to give up someone you might not ordinarily do to originate a hockey trade.

    I think the Leader we could obtain is Duschene.
    I think the Leader we could develop is Dzingel.
    What and who do we have that would interest Columbus? I do not know if we have anyone and if that is the case,
    that is a sad scenario for this club. I am hoping we have two to three assets we could move to Columbus in a sign and trade deal of the players coming from Columbus to Calgary. I leave that up to Treiliving.

    Bringing anyone new in to Calgary is going to exacerbate the cap system in Calgary. In looking at that, the big elephant in the room is Tkachuck. I have advocated and am even more convinced at this moment that as short term deal for three years at a cap of $ 4.5 million per year on a bridge deal is the way to sign a man you want to keep and manage growing the club via Dzingel and Duschene at the same time.

    Breaking the cap mess down, it is obvious to me that we have to make great decisions. I would:
    1. Ensure Mike Smith and his $ 6.5 million dollar cap hit are gone. I would do a canvass of other clubs as they
    retain his rights until July 1, 2019 to see if you could get a pick or a player as an asset for his rights. The answer to
    that would be surprising if someone bit, but you will not get if you do not ask.
    2. For all of you that think Frolik is done. Look at what he is doing for the Czek. Team and how valuable he is in terms
    of our checking line of Tkachuck, Frolik and Backlund.
    3. For those of you in a panic that Tkachuk’s Dad is going to have a major influence on any deal he does, you are
    probably right. However at some point and that is now, you have to look at the team you want to build and the best
    interests of that team and tell son and father that the team is at a crucial stage. Dad will understand that. Son, maybe
    not so much. We have a player that many would like to have but to me has not or did not take the opportunity to establish himself as that $ 6,000,000.00 plus player during the 2019 playoffs. We have a commodity that we have to establish a value on and the answer is not throwing money at him. It is saying this is how we are going to structure the deal and if you through the next three years and if you establish the value you feel you are worth and we agree with that, then you will get your money, but that is not happening right now.

    4. Our Coaching sucked in these playoffs and that element needs strengthening . I would bring in a Craig Simpson
    or a former team leader / quality player like Howerchuck and replace Huska. Re-set the systems and move forward.

    With Duschene and Dzingel you can fix the first line , the Backlund line is fine, you might have to trade out players off on the 3rd. line to get some player and financial balance, but that is part of the process of growing the club. We might have to give up a young D we do not want to , but there is scope to do that with what we have waiting in the que.

    We then need a backup goaler who has held the number 1 status elsewhere at some point in time to back up or take over from Rittich.

    We need to find a way or a team to take on Stone and I think that can be done. I think there is a team out there that will take on Neale. We might be surprised and if not we still have him . Regardless, we are closer to the cap that we need.
    We can make cap balance and we may have to take a hard look at moving out a player here or there. Here’s hoping we can achieve our goals and changes.

    • Puck Head

      I agree that at least a few major changes have to be made with the core group of players. If we limp into the season with roughly the same roster we’re a goner come playoff time.

    • oilcanboyd

      “We have weaknesses throughout the club that require a review and a plan to correct.”
      Well now, the Flames broke the 100 point barrier this season and were one of 4 (including Tampa Bay the overall leader) teams that got knocked out in the first round of the SC Playoffs.
      I don’t really see problems throughout the lineup. Just need Peters to come up with better defensive schemes for the POs.

      • Puck Head

        We got most of our points before most teams started trying, at which point we were screwed. We are not tough enough, plain and simple. Also, guys like Monahan do not appear to be built, both mentally and physically, for the grind of playoff hockey. If we come in with the same first line I will not be a happy fan.

  • Off the wall

    Unrelated, but I’ve gotta say something about these ads.

    Don’t try growing a rose by planting it in a potato. Unless you want a rotten potato and a dead rose stem. You’re better off with putting the rose stem in a vase of water and allowing it to form healthy roots. Horticulture 101. It’ll take a month or so. No special elixirs required, nor a potato.

    I eat potatoes, unless I want to grow them, then I plant potatoes.. to eat them.

    Am I the only one who read that ad? Debunking stupid ads. Now another service brought to you by Otw.

  • canadian1967

    If we could sign Duchene, the way to afford him is obviously to trade either of Monahan or Backlund.
    Package either Monahan or Backlund along with Neal for a couple of draft picks or depth options, and voila, our team speed doubles and we would get a slight Cap relief out of it as well.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    Watching Kawhi Leonard carrying True North on his back during these playoffs has made me envious of a Canadian club that is led by a Yank superstar who actually superstars in the postseason. Comparing what Leonard has been doing versus the crap in the bed effort by Gaudreau and Chucky is frankly a non comparison as much as it is an abject embarrassment.

    Correct me if I am wrong but the last time a big wheel Yank on the Flames brought his A game to the playoffs was Joey Mullen 30 years ago and Conroy 15 years ago? That is totally unacceptable!

    Tre better think long and hard about the prospect of having two of his highest paid hands being playoff-shy Yanks before he commits heavily to Chucky.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    I watched a lot of Islander games this season and Casey Cizikas caught and held my attention on most game nights as he is high energy, tenacious and plays a 180 ft game. As much as I would like to see him on the Flames next season, I just can’t find the fit even when I try and force it. He is not offensively gifted enough to be a 1st or 2nd centre, and we already have a glut of 2nd to 4th centres, nor does he have the size some of us would like up the middle. Can’t see the Isles trading him if they lose both Lee and Nelson. Quite a sweet find for the Isles in Round 4 of the draft.

  • freethe flames

    Trying to follow Christians’ mailbag comments:
    1: Monahan is what he is a 30 goal scorer who has his warts. If you are going to trade him you need to get that back. To make him more effective we need to add another RHS who can drive play. Is there someone out there that fits the bill? I don’t think there is an easy answer; I would love Zibby but that will be expensive.
    2. Skinner did not flourish under BP and the rumour is that they did not get along. The chances of him signing here is pretty limited.
    Duchene might sign here as this team looks like a team heading in the right direction; his price tag would likely make him the highest paid player on the team. Someone else on this thread suggests he is a leader; again the rumours are that he was not a leader in Colorado. I don’t know that to be true but it is the rumour.
    3. Sam Bennett: I think we have good idea of what Bennett is a solid 3rd line winger who might have more offensive upside.
    4. TJ Brodie: He is a 2nd pairing defenceman on most teams and should get us a return along that line. With the development of Andersson he should be moved, Some would like only draft choices but I would prefer us to add a solid middle six RHS forward. One player mentioned has been Shaw(is he more than a RH version of Bennett; I don’t know); a trade with Habs could be TJ and Czarnik for Shaw and Amira which would significantly change our RH depth.
    5: Prospects; who knows.
    6. Who to name after an animal: Magpie for Mangiapane.

    Getting better will be hard work.

    • Jumping Jack Flash

      I stand by my earlier trade proposal of Monny for Josh Anderson +. Imagine what he could do with Johnny. His speed would bring a different game from Johnny with more pace than he has had in the NHL.

      Monny is a great point producer for most of the regular season but he has never played with pace. If you watch how Anderson played with Panarin you can see how he would fit with Johnny. My 1C would be a trade for Turris for Neal…dare to dream. Now we have a good regular season team but some grit and speed on our top line for playoffs.

  • BringtheFire 2.0

    “Monahan has his warts, and that’s fine because you generally have to lose for an entire decade and strike out on three other first overall picks before you find a player without them.”

    That, Good Sir, is the best dig at our provincial rivals that I have ever read.

    Well. Freaking. Played. Applause from the gallery, Christian, applause.

  • SeanCharles

    Players to target: Kapanen, Kadri, Duchene, Shaw – basically top 6 centers or RHed wingers with speed/edge

    Players to trade: Brodie, Frolik, Jankowski

    Players to dump: Neal, Stone

    Monahan: keep him, he is a top 6 center that scores 30G on average at at least 60pts. Those types of players don’t grow on trees. The key is adding to the center group so he can have some more support. Jankowski just didnt cut it last year, Backs and Ryan are good guys to have as well as Monahan but we need a solid 4th guy to round out the group.

    Bennett: I don’t want to give up on him yet, he has the skill but hasn’t put it all together yet. I still believe he will become a top 6 player.

    Brodie: The time to move on is now as we have defensive depth, hes an upcoming UFA, his value improved tenfold this year, we likely can’t re-sign him. It makes no sense to hang onto him, scratch Valimaki/Kylington every game when everyone is healthy and then lose him as a FA next offseason.

    • Jumping Jack Flash

      I would be hesitant to trade Janko until we know what we have…yes he is soft but he is skilled. He needs to be moved up before we pull the pin or at the very least tried on the wing. He is unfinished goods and we would be trading him at a low point…which is il-advised.

      • everton fc

        I agree. But, if Jankowski can pry a player like Kapanen out of Toronto, in some sort of package deal, you do it. That said, Kapanen won’t be moved – Johnsson’s more likely to be moved. Ditto Connor Brown.
        Kapanen and Nylander are close friends. Why would they mess with that?

    • freethe flames

      Lets try this again:
      Name Age pts Salary
      Eberle 29 37 6m
      Simmods 31 30 4m
      Donskoi 27 37 @2m
      Lindholm 27 13 1m
      Connolly 27 46 1.5m
      Acciari 28 14 .725m
      Hathaway 27 19 .85m
      Chaisson 28 38 ,65m
      Carpenter 28 18 .65m

      Not an overwhelming list is it. From this group I would be most interested in Connolly, Donskoi and resigning Hathaway.

      • everton fc

        Chiasson might come cheap. Eberle’s the one with the most impact-potential, to me. He’ll also ask for a lot, probably get it, and could tank. Everyone here knows I’d re-sign Hathaway.

        • BlueMoonNigel

          Eberle is 29. What have we been ragging about regarding Tre offering lucrative deals to guys either pushing 30 or who are already there? No way to Eberle unless its a maximum 2-year deal.

          • Beer League Coach

            That is what I have said all season long. At age 29 or 30 keep the term short. 2 years max and if the player won’t sign short term we let him become another team’s mistake.

  • Puck Head

    The main question with Monahan is how can a team have a 1C who cannot drive play and is unnoticeable most games? As a fan I feel bad dumping on the guy but as long as he is our 1C we will not be hoisting the cup. Sure he scores 30 goals by skulking in the background but his +/- isn’t great and he doesn’t do anything to help his line mates.

    • Sterls

      I posted this in the Monahan evaluation, but if the Flames were considering trading Monahan, I believe they should target a true first line RW and shift Lindholm into the 1C spot. Lindholm is better defensively and in the dot (a poor mans Bergeron) and in my opinion better suited as a 1C than Monahan. Is he likely to be an elite 1C? Not likely, but it is hard to get an elite guy unless you draft him, so he may be the best we can do without breaking the bank on a UFA. Back to Monahan, he won’t net us a true 1C in a trade, but he could very likely net us a true 1RW in whatever mold the flames may prefer. If Monahan nets us a 30-40 goal scoring RW to play with Lindholm and Gaudreau, who also either brings some speed or some grit (or perhaps both), our top line is that much better, as our 1C can play effectively in both ends of the rink, and our RW brings an element to the line that Monahan lacks.

    • everton fc

      I, for one, never suggested Brodie for Shaw, straight up. I did suggest Shaw would be a good fit here, and in some sort of package deal involving Brodie going the other way, I’d consider it. Montreal would be a willing trade partner. So might the Wings, Brodie’s childhood team. Ehn is one in Detroit I find interesting. But the Wings don’t have a lot of other players of interest, for this fan, outside Athanasiou, who isn’t going anywhere.

      • I like TO as a trade partner for Brodie. Really good cap hit and can compliment Reilly. The players I target are Nylander or Kapenen. Cost for Nylander might be a pick/4th liner/prospect to add and Kapanen a pick/prospect the other way

  • freethe flames

    There are two teams that are in absolute cap hell even before they sign their own RFA’s: Pen’s and Vegas. There are two more teams that will be in cap difficulty as they sign their RFA’s Leafs and Jets. The Pen’s traded away their picks only 1 pick in the first 3 rounds and could be a team to look at; but who on that team fits the Flames needs.

  • freethe flames

    Here is a question would people do a Bennett for Kapenen trade. The Leafs get a little more sandpaper at a cost less than they will pay Kapenen and the Flames add a RHS with skill.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      Dubas would be a moron to make that deal one for one. Do you think the gritty Bennett as a Leaf would have resulted in TO taking out the Leafs? I don’t. The problem with Bennett is that during the long 82, he still has not enough peaks and too many deep valleys. Unfortunately, if Playoff Sam was 82 Sam, the poor guy would be dead from exhaustion after a season.

      Looking at the Flames roster and the Stockton pipeline, the Flames need the size and sandpaper of Bennett as much as or more than the Leafs. I would be loathe to trade Sam at this time. He was one of the few Flames to show up against the Avs and that says a lot to me.

      As much as I want Kapenen as a Flame, I don’t think Bennett should be the lure. If the Flames have any hope of getting Kapenen, it will likely involve one of their 3 entry-level defencemen and as Valimaki and presumably Anderesson have been designated as untouchables, that leaves Kylington. But Kylington alone won’t swing that deal. Personally, I would try and move Hanifin before Kylington but I am not so sure the Flames are as high on Kylington as I am. I can’t think the Leafs can take on much more than $4M in salary in exchange for Kapenen.

      Were I Tre I would be inclined to throw an offer sheet at Kapenen if I couldn’t get him via a fair trade. The compensation if the Leafs don’t match would not be a killa, and don’t forget the glowing satisfaction of sticking it to the Leafs by swiping one of their bright baubles while they are watching us. Flames would be Canada’s most beloved team for a few days if Tre managed this.

      Bottom line is to get Kapenen in a Flames’ uni this offseason, but don’t go nuts getting the guy.

      • freethe flames

        Would you pay Kapenen more than $4.26? Up till there the compensation is only a 2nd rounder. I am not sure I would get higher than that for a guy who might not be a fit here(I have know idea if would or would not)

  • freethe flames

    Many of us have speculated that the Flames will move on from both Brodie($4.65) and Frolik($4.3) and many would be okay with just getting draft picks back; TJ likely gets a 1st and 3rd rounder and Frolik likely a 3rd rounder. So you get @$9m in cap relief; would these picks be enough to hit a home run to fill the obvious need up front; a top 6 RHS forward and another top 9 RHS forward.

    My top candidate for the Flames to acquire would be Zibby; he fits all my criteria. With the cap savings on TJ and Frolik he fits easily. But what would the Rangers want/need; they are in a rebuild but they need more than just draft picks as they also need young NHL er’s. My offer would be the first we acquired for TJ, Janko and Kylington for Zibby. Not sure it would get it done but that would be my offer. I would then use the remaining gained cap space to pursue Brett Connolly or Donskoi. Zibby in my mind would be a great add to the Johnny/Monny pairing and either Connolly/Donskoi would be a great fit to a Tkachuk/Lindholm pairing.

    • Beer League Coach

      I wonder if Flames could pry J.T. Compher out of Colorado. And if so, at what price. He could fit in at C or on RW and could be a good 2nd line guy at either position allowing Flames to use Backlund as a 3C.

      • flames2015

        I don’t see why the Avs would want to get rid of him. He’s a RFA, under team control and the team currently has $10 mil of cap space. He was solid for them in the playoffs.

        • Beer League Coach

          That is why I would like to see Flames take a shot at getting him. He would be a definite upgrade on the 2nd or 3rd line, either C or RW. I am sure he would be costly to acquire and the cost might be more than Flames could pay for him.

  • Franko J

    With the sting of the very unimpressive playoff run by the Flames slowly fading, I believe Treliving has already started to think about re-shaping the current roster. I truly believe that Monahan, Brodie, Frolik, Jankowski, Kylington are on the trade block and it is only a matter of the right partner and the right pieces coming back via a trade.
    Remember last year the Flames and the Blues were negotiating a trade and it fell apart and then the trade happened with Carolina. I think a similar deal will be in place where Treliving will target teams with current RFA’s and try to resign them like he did with Lindholm and Hanifin. As well, Bennett was part of a number of negotiations and Treliving wasn’t willing to trade him then and I think after another pretty strong playoff performance will not trade him now.

    Personally I would recommend Treliving from refraining into the UFA market. His track record is less than spectacular when it comes to free agency and a definite no to both Duchene or Skinner. Take care of in house matters with the resigning of Tkachuk, Bennett, and Rittich first.

    Never mind all this trade talk with the Leafs, I would actually target team like OTT, NYI and NJ in the East and Chicago, Arizona, and Nashville in the West.

  • Budgie

    Monahan stays, he put up 82 points. You won’t replace that in a trade-he played hurt in the playoffs =again=it won’t improve Calgary to trade him=the Monahan,Lindholm,Gadreau line was one of the best-Playoffs? Think of adding some size-and Bennett stays-how you could slag Bennett is incredible.