The Stanley Cup playoffs are winding down and for teams that aren’t in the mix, trade chatter is beginning to heat up. Per a pair of reports from The Athletic’s Michael Russo and Josh Yohe, the Calgary Flames have had discussions with the Minnesota Wild for a move involving Jason Zucker.
The Penguins and Wild are in trade talks. Phil Kessel is front and center. Read about it here: https://t.co/5N8PhuwHv7
— Josh Yohe (@JoshYohe_PGH) May 23, 2019
The Athletic is paywalled and we don’t want to completely blow up their spot, but here’s the gist of it (paywalled link):
According to Michael Russo of The Athletic, the Wild are actively shopping Zucker and have talked to Calgary about Sam Bennett and Michael Frolik; to Arizona about Christian Dvorak and Christian Fischer; and to Vegas about Jonathan Marchessault.
The context of the broader piece is about discussions the Pittsburgh Penguins have had with Minnesota regarding Phil Kessel. If you’re curious, there’s a lot going on league-wide right now.
As you may recall, Russo previously reported that the Flames and Wild have extensive conversations about a trade prior to the trade deadline that would have sent Frolik and the Flames’ first round pick in 2019 to Minnesota for Zucker. The deal fell apart at the last minute under foggy circumstances, but it makes complete sense that Flames general manager Brad Treliving and Minnesota GM Paul Fenton would reconnect after the season to see if they could make things work.
Frolik is entering the final year of a contract that pays him $4.3 million annually, while Bennett is a pending restricted free agent. Zucker is heading into the second season of a five year deal that pays him $5.5 million. Barring other players coming back, moving Frolik and Bennett for Zucker would (a) upgrade the Flames’ top six from an offensive standpoint and (b) create the chance to give Dillon Dube and/or Andrew Mangiapane additional ice time. It would make the salary cap a bit tighter for the Flames going forward, so it might need to be part of other moves designed to create some cap flexibility.