FlamesNation mailbag: Almost the off-season

With a sure-to-be dramatic game seven coming up this week, we’re one game away from the hockey calendar flipping over.

What’s in store for the Calgary Flames in these upcoming weeks?

I’m wary on it.

Kyle Turris had a really bad 2018-19 season, which doesn’t bode well for a guy who’s turning 30 this offseason. His 5v5CF% cratered to 50.56%, down from the 55.70% he had last season in Nashville. Naturally, the CFrel% numbers dropped to, from 5.86% to -2.71%. This is despite starting in the offensive zone 66.90% of the time. To put it briefly, Nashville trusted him in an offensive role, but he really couldn’t do much with it. If that continues, a potential swap of the two players might be a lateral move.

Now, there’s the chance that he just had an off year, and should he bounce back in Calgary to the regular 40-50 point guy he has been in the past, it’s a steal for the Flames. But the team also runs the risk of trading their current expensive problem for a future expensive problem. Knowing normal aging curves, the chance that Turris’ $6M contract goes sour before the 2024 expiry date is extremely high. The team might get one or two good seasons out of him before he starts declining heavily. On the plus side, he’s probably more attractive expansion draft bait, so there is an easier out available, but that’s betting on him having two good enough years to keep his stock high.

So pick your poison: James Neal now, or a more expensive version of him a few years down the road, if he isn’t already dead on arrival.

Based on what we know, it’s definitely Michael Frolik that’s involved, and either one of the first round pick or Sam Bennett.

I think Bennett would be the second piece next to Frolik, as it makes sense for both teams. Minnesota appears to be looking for more than just one NHL option, as they’re also looking at multiple pieces from other interested clubs. The Flames want to clear out salary, so Frolik’s $4.3M and Bennett’s ~$2.5M (as a guess) for Zucker’s $5.5M will save $1.3M.

TJ Brodie’s salary is probably the only one they can take off the books without taking anything significant back. As already mentioned, Frolik will net Zucker, which won’t save that much money.

I elaborated about it last week, but Michael Stone is unlikely to be moved. If the Flames do find a suitor for him, it’s likely that they’re taking back equal money, which would nullify the point of trading Stone. With just one year left at $3.5M, the Flames will either ride it out or buy it out.

I think the only trade to expect is the Zucker deal or any potential Brodie deal. Brad Treliving can, and will, surprise people with his moves, but I feel that the potential trades that have been floating out there make the most sense for the Flames.

To answer the second question, and to touch on Jake’s ideal trade, I’m not sure I see the Flames moving up in the draft. I don’t think this year’s draft is particularly outstanding outside of the top five (and even then, only the top two), and the costs associated are out of the Flames’ price range.

Based on Ryan’s work here, it generally requires a second (the Flames don’t have that) or a third (the Flames do have this) to move up in recent drafts, but only a few spots, and generally not far up the draft order. If the Flames are in love with a prospect that falls far from where he’s projected to go, I could see it happening, but it would have to be someone truly special.

The Flyers also probably aren’t going to trade 11th overall for Brodie, unless the Flames put together a package they can’t say no to, but that would be too much for the Flames.

It’s almost a certainty.

I think part of the reason why Bennett’s name has been floated around in the trade talks is because the Flames believe that either Andrew Mangiapane or Dillon Dube will be able to replace him. Mangiapane’s play late in the year cemented his status as an NHLer next season, barring any complete meltdowns, and Dube is too good to hold down in the minors. Someone has to move, and it’s likely the player that’s going to get more expensive next season during a cap crunch while also not making much progress over the past few seasons.

Even if Bennett winds up staying, I feel that Mangiapane and Dube are probably going to see more ice time regardless. They’ve both looked like sure NHLers in their brief pro careers, and now look ready to actually stick around.

      • HOCKEY83

        He’s not much better than Frolik and I gaurantee you Zucker’s ice time would drop when he got to the Flames so his offensive skill will have seemed to lessen and all here will blame tre for another bad pick up. He was a top line guy there in Minnie. He would not be that in Calgary.

    • wot96

      It makes no sense. You send two players to Minnesota and save $1.3m, maybe, but then you have to replace one of those positions on the roster. At league minimum that’s only a $600k savings and you have given up one of the few guys that performs in the playoffs. Sounds like a bad deal all around.

    • The Red Knight

      Exactly, Monahan is the one who is invisible out there , he can’t play pk or defence , he doesn’t hit , take hits to make a play,he doesn’t stick up for his teammates,not a leader ,not a number one centre that will lead the charge . Boring player even if he did have a good point season, he is softer that a mashmellow soaked in butter ! Bennett is a true warrior and I hope he is a FLAME for life ! If Trevling trades him for another powderpuff player I’ll never buy another jersey or seat again!! Who ever thinks that’s a good trade needs to give there head a thick shake !

      • Baalzamon

        Yeah, Minnesota would never trade a good player for no reason. Never ever.

        That’s why they kept Nino Niederreiter. And Mikael Granlund. Yup. Those guys are still in Minnesota.

        • Kevin R

          So you are absolutely positive Fenton is going to make horrible trades every trade he makes. Zucker was crap for the first 50 games last year. That would be the same as saying Smith should be the goalie we sign because he had a good playoff & decent numbers after the all star break.

          • Baalzamon

            That’s… not even close to the same thing.

            Zucker is a regular 20 goal scorer in his prime who produces goals at rates similar to Phil Kessel (with far better defensive results). And he does that with the crap roster in Minnesota.

            I’m not saying trade Bennett for him, and in fact I wouldn’t. But that’s not because Zucker isn’t worth it, it’s because the Flames need what Bennett brings. It’s a question of fit. You trade Frolik and Jankowski for him and you’re laughing.

            Last season was a huge off year for him, and he still had 20+ goals and 40+ points. He did that while shooting under 7% at evens (his career average is close to 11%) and with his linemates shooting blanks even worse than he was (on-ice shot percentage under 6%. League average is typically over 8%).

          • Kevin R

            Cmon Baalz! Zucker is 27 & he has only eclipsed 50 points in his career once!! & you are trying to compare him to Phil Kessel???? Seriously??? Kessel hasnt had less than 50 points in a season since….well….the 2008 season in his first year in the NHL. Cmon!!!! Neal had consecutive 20 goal seasons & suddenly at age 29 he goes cold. Frolik & Bennett is simple insanity & I would not put Bennett or the #26 pick in the same conversation. You take the sure thing of Bennett over the #26 all day long & twice on Sunday.

          • Baalzamon

            Okay Kevin. First of all, this:

            Frolik & Bennett is simple insanity & I would not put Bennett or the #26 pick in the same conversation. You take the sure thing of Bennett over the #26 all day long & twice on Sunday.

            Has nothing to do with anything. I never suggested trading the 26th pick. I also said, flat out, that I wouldn’t include Bennett in a trade for Zucker.

            Second of all, I said that Zucker produces goals at a similar rate to Kessel. That is a fact, not an opinion. Don’t believe me?

            Over the last three years Zucker has produced 0.93 G/60, Kessel has produced 0.83 G/60. That is: Zucker has been a better even strength goal scorer than Kessel over the last three years and he doesn’t play with Evgeni Malkin.

            For the record, their all-situations goal rates are 1.15/60 and 1.13/60 respectively.

      • Burnward

        Also: this team has no Sam Bennett replacement. There isn’t another warrior coming up. This team is soft enough. Do not get rid of one of the kids that can actually man up.

        • The Red Knight

          Exactly how are you gonna replace the hardest pound for pound hitter in the league ? Bennett is the last player you want to trade ! I could see Bennett wearing a letter one day .

          • The Red Knight

            So Mangiapane and Dube are gonna drop the gloves with Darnell Nurse ? And players that have 30-40 pounds on them? Not likely,replace is not the word I’d use .

    • FlamesFanOtherCity

      If you make that trade, plus Zucker for Frolik, you should include Janko.
      You could create a line of Mangiapane-Bennett-Turris. Zucker plays top line RW or 2nd line RW, depending on what you do with Lindholm.

      If we are thinking about trading Brodie, I would look to NYR for Kreider or Buchnevich.

    • CowboyBob

      At least Turris can skate at an NHL level. Maybe what’s wrong with Turris’ game can be fixed, but Neal is never going to be better skater. On a side note, would love to hear how it is going with Tkachuk and Monahan and their skating coach this summer.

  • SgtRoadBlock

    This Zucker stuff getting old…
    Sooo when Seattle joins would you protect him or expose a kid? or trade picks to Seattle to not pick player Y on expose list? cause that would mean we trade Fro + and then ++ for Seattle not to take a player.. all that for Zucker ???
    Trade some players for picks and go with what we have, invite some PTO and hope for a hot playoff Run the best we could ask for..

  • Kevin R

    The more I thought about it the more a deal like this makes sense, to the horror of many that will probably trash this idea multiple times.

    I would trade Frolik & Neal to Anaheim for Perry & the 2nd first rounder (St Louis 1st rounder they have which would be 30 or 31).

    Salary impact Neal 5.75mill & Frolik 4.3=10.0 going out. Perry is 8.625 for 2 more years. So we gain 1.5 mill cap space, we add a nasty right shooting RW that had a horrible year last year because of injury & previous to that has always been a 50+ point player. Because he has a NMC, even if he fit good Flames would have to buy him out as we dont want to have to protect him, but a 1 year buyout is extremely palatable in this case. The reward for that is we get another 1st round pick in this deep draft. Both Neal & Frolik both would easily fit in Anaheims top 9 & if they wanted to flip Frolik at the TDL, they could probably recoup 2nd & 3rd rounders for Frolik as a rental.
    The deal makes sense & I could easily live with Perry for 1 year, maybe some of his nastiness would rub off on some of our guys.

  • Skylardog

    What will happen will depend on how Treliving views our needs. I am not holding out hope he sees all of the needs or can get as much done as is needed. Will the fixes will be band-aid solutions, or true “fix the issues” changes. Tre’s history is to go band-aid. He never brings in a top guy, just guys he hopes will work out well enough. (Smith, Elliott, Lack, Neal, Brouwer, Czar, Hamonic…). This also applies to his coaching decisions. Neither of Peters or Gulutzan had coached a single playoff game before coming here. Strange for a team that is pushing for regular playoff appearances and playoff success.

    Internally here are the requirements.

    Sign Tkachuk
    Sign Rittich
    Sign Bennett

    External moves to bring in what we need.

    Acquire a top six RW
    Acquire a top six center (like it or not we need one to be a true contender)
    Find a back up to Ritter or a 1B to play with him
    Defensive depth in Stockton – shelves are bare down there.

    To get all that done, we need to:

    Move out Cap – Frolik and Brodie out for sure
    As we have 10 DMen, and to control costs on the back end so we can spend it up front, we also need to sign Fantenberg as a 6th D, and move one of Hamonic, Hanifin, or Gio (love that one don’t you all?)
    That leaves:

    To make room for all of the above, Move out Janko (he would be the 5th center). It may cost us a few other players… Mangi?

    Do you all realize that the bad UFA signings cost this team $15.125 million last year and for the upcoming season, and there is very little that can be done to fix the situation?
    Neal – $5.75M
    Brouwer – $1.5M
    Stone – $3.5M
    Czar – $1.25M and
    Ryan – $3.125.

    Neal and Brouwer are obvious errors, but Ryan comes with the same formula, and aging player that is unlikely to sustain their level of play thru the entire contract. The big thing with Ryan, is that he is an overpay for a 4th line center. Dube, Lazar, Benny, or a host of 4th line younger UFA’s could have been had for $1.0M. Czar was just a bad signing from every standpoint despite being relatively cheap. Stone was a totally unnecessary UFA signing because we had acquired Hamonic.

    You can’t say Ryan is good, then trash the Brouwer and Neal deals in the same breathe. Logistically, they are identical. They all go against a move to higher speed, skill, and youth.

    So what would we look like with $15.125M more available to spend this spring? How deep could this team have gone?

    And by the way, those 5 guys gave us a whole point in the playoffs.

    My hope we get this right has deteriorated dramatically since the trade deadline. But then again, what do I know besides nothing…

    • supra steve

      “You can’t say Ryan is good, then trash the Brouwer and Neal deals in the same breathe.”

      Yes we can. Every signing is different and should be judged individually. Ryan was v. good last season, I expect more of the same for 2 more seasons.

    • Puck Head

      Sklyar, you probably noticed that people don’t like hearing the truth. I agree with most of what you are saying. Tre needs to man up and make some major changes.

      • Kevin R

        Curious. Why would you say Tre needs to man up & make major changes when the team just broke out & won the western freaking conference. I am trying to understand the blowup mentality here. I am totally behind asset & cap management & having to move from expiring contracts & finding cap space. I get trying to move Neal. But it seems everyone has written off this young core. I just find this amazing.

          • BendingCorners

            So blow it up and start over after a strong season? No thank you.
            Build on what’s there. Skylardog calls that the band-aid approach, I call it continuous improvement.

          • Skylardog


            That’s the problem. The “continuous” improvement has left us with $15M in useless salary, all because he wanted a $5.75M guy that was old instead of taking his $5.75, Czar’s $1.25, and Ryan’s $3.125 to go out and get a $10M top 3 forward.

            Does that help to see where I am coming from?

        • freethe flames

          Not everyone has written off the young core. I would say most of us that there are serious holes that need to be filled and they are not likely going to done from within.

        • Puck Head

          Kevin, ummmm we won games earlier in the season and stunk out the house towards the end of the season and into the playoffs when other teams started playing. If we go into the season with the same lineup I think it’s safe to say that we’ll be in for another disappointing season. Don’t get me wrong, we have the skill but lack grit and determination. Some of the soft guys have to be moved out. This would include a few of the core. I don’t feel like wasting another season.

          • Kevin R

            Ok. I understand to some extent. They played pretty good down the stretch actually, they had to to win the West. I recall that game in San Jose was pretty well played & had big implications on standings. Once we clinched, guys turned the intensity down, it happens.
            Monahan 30 + goals are huge getting into the playoffs & Gaudreaus possession entries are huge during the year. Hanifin probably had his best year & he isnt even close to his peak. We got guys like Brodie, Frolik, even Hamonic that have 1 year left & odds are we probably wont be able to afford any of these guys unless they give us a serious hometown discount. Hamonic might. These guys represent 2 top 4 defenders & a top 9 forward. They also represent over 12.0 mill in cap space. You just dont punt 30 goal scorers like Monahan because you didnt like how he played in the playoffs. Neal was a mistake by Tre. Wish we all had a crystal ball. But Tre needs to see what is happening & I think he’s going to get a dose of it with Tkachuk.

            RFA status was supposed to put a damper on escalating salaries & allow players that hit 27 the chance to cash on based on previous performance. This has changed big time (ironically starting with the Oilers on the Draisatyl & McDavid contracts) These young 22-23 year olds are wanting big & I mean big bucks for potential rather than performance. Many think this is a league problem & a battle for the next CBA. But really it wont be a CBA issue. This is a players issue. The guys that are going to squeezed & screwed are the UFA’s turning 28-29-30. There is no money for them after these talented RFA’s get their greedy cut of the players revenue pie. Cant blame GM’s to succumbing to their demands either, the landscape & cap dynamics are changing as we speak. Players Association may want to put ceilings on what RFA’s can get paid or we may see quite the rift within the player ranks.This could be a topic for one of the FN writers all by itself. In a few years GM’s wont be able to get into any bidding wars for older UFA’s. Sorry for the digression.

        • Raffydog

          Cause this young core is garbage. Gaudreau cant handle playoff hockey. Monahan cant handle playoff hockey. Lindholm cant handle playoff hockey. Tkachuk cant handle playoff hockey. Gio cant handle playoff hockey. Backlund cant handle playoff hockey. The list goes on and on. There are one maybe two guys who can rise to the occasion, and you all want to trade one of them. If the goal is to win the Stanley Cup, how do you accomplish that with a roster that disappears when the going gets tough?

          • T&A4Flames

            Love comments trashing our team from someone who cheers for a team that can’t even make the playoffs with a generational talent and 4 1st OA’s. Classic.

    • freethe flames

      Skylar I read your piece sand understand where you are coming from until you get to trading one of Hamonic,Hanifin or Gio. IMO the move is to buyout Stone. Ryan despite being overpaid was an okay signing; his ability in the faceoff circle was significantly important. He is not Neal or Brouwer because of the lower caphit and shorter term. Sorry he is not.

      So who would you consider the top 6RW that we should pursue? What would you pay?

      The top center you covet is by your earlier posts is possibly Zibby; whom I also think would be a significant add.

      Your back up would be? Again at what cost.

      The other way to create the cap space is a Neal buyout. I completely disagree with your case of blaming BP for Neal’s play. He did not play hard enough or well enough to earn a job on the top line. You can’t blame linemates on his being lazy, unable to keep up with the play or attempt to be engaged. Sorry that’s on him.

      • Skylardog

        Hey Free – Well thought out response.

        I really don’t want to see Gio go, although we could get something back for him now before he becomes an untradable asset. Hamonic has just one year left and you cannot let him walk if we are unable to sign him.

        I move Hanifin because of 3 reasons
        1 – He was the worst of the defensemen on the ice during the playoffs, and absolutely brutal against MacKinnon. There were signs he has problems playing solid defense during the season.
        2. He is expendable because we have Gio and Valimaki that are both capable of being top 2 pairing D during our cup window. That would make him a third D at best.
        3. He is very tradeable, and could get us a great player back. His leaving would reduce the cap by removing his salary out and could be replaced as a 4th D by Fantenberg. Fant only resigns here and stays if he has a top 6 spot, otherwise he leaves. Fant, Vali, and Andersson were all better than Hanifin in the playoffs.

        Backup is a big question mark for me. We should have been all over Anders Nilsson when he was traded from Vancouver mid season. I haven’t looked at the options since he was given a new deal by Ottawa.

        A Neal buyout means he is on the books for 8 more years. No thanks…
        Do I like how he responded to Peters decisions this year? No, but to have a guy brought in by the GM as a first or second liner and not even get a sniff of that from the start of the season leaves me with the opinion that Tre and Peters are NOT working together as they should. That too is VERY concerning.

        Ryan is not an ok signing. He too disappeared in the playoffs and the 4th line was absolute garbage on the ice against the entire Colorado lineup. He started slow, had a decent 25 game stretch after the All Star break, but is not anywhere near what we really needed. It was a horrible decision to bring in a guy that was going to be at best a third line center, when it has been clear for 3 seasons we needed a top six center, the EXACT mistakes I am talking about with Tre in the last 4 years.

        If you get a top line center, say Zib, then you immediately improve your second, third, and fourth lines. You get a 4th liner, you help that line only.

        Down the middle, this is a force.

        This is weak

        You want to win a cup, the top one (or similar) has a chance.
        The bottom one goes out in round 1, every time.

        • Skylardog

          Whoops – you suck it up with Stone this season, or move him out and retain half his salary. I don’t think he can be moved until the TDL. Buyout means more useless salary next year.

        • freethe flames

          We need to have a draft party and drink a few beers.

          My problem with Neal is that I think his relationship with the coach has soured to the point he is a problem within the team. A big problem and I would rather have him gone a pay him for eight years than continue to be the problem.
          If you can get a great return for Hanifin it is something I could live with. While I understand riding the Stone contract out something i was willing to do it might be time to cut ties. I’m not sure if there are any UFA D who can be had on the cheap to fill the depth.
          On Ryan we will agree to disagree but that’s okay.(I agree he is overpaid).

          So here is a thought on a trade: Monny and his 4 x $6.375m and 82 points along with Calgary’s 26th and 88th overall picks for Zibby and his 3x $5.35m and 74 points and the Rangers 49 and 58th pick. They get a little younger(24 for 26) and more term to coincide with their rebuild. They also get another first rounder. It shakes our top three lines to something like this: Johnny/Zibby/?, Tkacuk/Lindy/?, Bennett/Backs/?. Still need to fix the RHS but I think that can be done by trading Brodie and Frolik for draft picks and using the cap space to improve the RHS.

          • Skylardog

            The problem with moving Mony is that even if you bring in Zib, you still need another top 6 RW and another top 6 Center. If you move Lindy to the middle, you then need 2 top 6 RWs.

            Hanifin for Zib straight up. Add Janko or Mangi to get back a solid D prospect that is 2 years out from being a good one. Rangers have some good young D.

            I hesitate on this as we are getting thin on D, but Ky straight up for Kapanen. Ky is always a 6th or 7th here (even lower if we keep Hanifin) but in Toronto would crack the lineup in part due to his low cap hit. We give up a surplus D for a 2 RW. They get cap space and a young skilled D.

          • HOCKEY83

            Hanifan won’t be going anywhere for at least his entire contract. It’s too good of a contract for his calibre of player. If Tre and Peters were truly has horrible at their jobs as you like to make them out to be then yes trading away Hanifan might be something they would do but I don’t think they are that stupid.

          • Jumping Jack Flash

            Zib would be good but I would trade Monny for Tom Wilson and that would immediately change the culture. Lindholm slides into the 1C spot. While we have Johnny we need to do a better job protecting him. Imagine the swagger Johnny would have knowing his linemates have his back.

  • Slowmo

    Trading Bennett with Frolic for Zucker the the H are you smoking? Frolic is a btter player and point producer than Zucker. U just want a trade for the sake of a trade. If thats the case then lets trade you for someone with common sense. LOL . Ok in all seriousness lets tared couple of third line players but not Bennett or Ryan or or we have a good 4 lines or lines A-B-C-D since our players are capable of playing on any of the top 3 lines why trade at all lets just pickup Ferland and move on Trade Stone D and perhaps Frolic if wanting to clear up cap space. But we have a few that are worth keeping only reason I suggest Fros is because he wants a trade but we only need Fer back and we are set we have Dube and Mang and perhaps even Lazar ready to pop the bubble.

  • meat1

    One player never mentioned (and maybe for good reason) in a trade has been Rittich. If the cost to re-sign him is in the three million plus range, what about trading him and taking a swing at Lehner or Bob? I know they’ll cost more but I see them as definite upgrades in net.

    • The Red Knight

      If we can get a retro Berra return for Rittich do it , Still not sure how Rittich became a number 1 goalie?when did this happen? How many games did Rittich steal last year? 1 ? We still need a starting goalie!

      • The Red Knight

        Ok just remember I’m the only one that predicted that the Flames would finish first in the west ,got a lot of flack for it , I believe something along the lines of a bold prediction,also said going into playoffs that there not tough enough, go ahead and check! If you don’t agree that Rittich is not a number 1 goalie I’d love to hear your debate instead of cowardly trashing , man up and reply !!

        • HOCKEY83

          Rittich may not be a number one goalie as of yet but only because Smith was being paid to be the number one. He will get the chance this coming season. Keep in mind Kipper was also not a number one goalie anywhere when picked up by the Flames but very shortly after became one.

          • The Red Knight

            ok, I’m not saying Rittich can’t become a number,or maybe he is now, still think they need atleast a 1b option, are there better options than mike smith? Would mike smith take a backup goalie contract(salary) for a year ?

  • Puck Head

    The Zucker deal fell through at the last moment (thankfully) and pissed off BT. He will not be coming here and is not the type of player that we need to take us to the next level.

      • The Red Knight

        Has everyone been watching the playoffs? Flames are no where even close to the compete level needed to……. well compete … not even close … zucker is not going to change that at all ,especially if Bennett going the other way , need to clone Bennett if anything!

        • BendingCorners

          Everybody learns by doing, and that includes hockey players and coaches. If they play soft again next spring then yes, some bodies need to be moved. But these same players can become more aggressive and initiate contact – it’s an adjustment that they can learn to make.

          • The Red Knight

            Well I’m still waiting for Monahan to lay his first body check 6 years later , I was hoping Jankowski would also man up ,but a wimp is a wimp and you can’t teach what’s not in your DNA ! I’ll eat my words if they come out next season and Start knocking people off pucks like every one else does ,once again watch the playoffs , not saying blow up the whole team , but if you can’t hit in hockey then I’d rather see them pack there bags and have someone else pay them millions for there idle play . That’s putting it nicely!

  • Gus Fring

    I would do the Neal for Turris trade in a heartbeat! I actually posted that over a month Ago. Neal didn’t have the right guys to play with here. He needs a playmaker we only have one in Calgary and that’s Jonny who Neal can’t skate with. Turris wasn’t surrounded with any offensive weapons in Nash either. He looked really good in Ottawa playing with Stone. Turris can skate and he is a right hand centre with a great one timer! Something we don’t have! He can help on the 2nd unit power play. Our power play is very predictable Jonny below the goal line lookIng for Mony in the high slot. I think Turris will add way more value look how good he was in the worlds over summer when he had offensive players to play with. He also broke his foot this year which set him back.

    • everton fc

      We need to shed salary. Why take on Turris’ salary, when he may be on his way to be another millstone, similar to Brouwer, Stone, and perhaps Neal? Neal may bounce back.

      Ideally, dumping Neal’s contract doesn’t mean bringing back a similar financial and performance challenge. What type of deal would a team like Ottawa be willing to make, where they get some salary, and don’t lose much in return? There are four or five teams who will need to add salary. There’s where I’d be looking to make a deal – not by adding a guy who may be reaching his “denouement”.

      • Gus Fring

        Teams may look at adding him if they don’t send a bad contract back but it would cost us another asset. High draft pick or prospect which we don’t want to do that. May as well take a chance on a player that needs a change of scenery. I realize teams need to hit the floor but they rather sign a free agent for one year at a high salary than get stuck with a player with multiple years. Ottawa can simply re sign Spezza and players that no one else is looking at for a year to hit the floor. That is cap and asset management.

  • freethe flames

    I am so tired of the discussion over Zucker for Frolik and one of Bennett or our first round pick; IMO he is not worth it. I would rather trade Frolik for picks and see what his $4.3 could do to meet our real needs of a FHF that brings some grit with some offence. If the deal was Frolik and Czarnik I could probably accept it but what is out there is an overpay.

    • freethe flames

      I would have liked Coyle and I said so at the time a solid RHS who can play center or RW. Exactly what BT needs to get this off season; maybe two of them.

  • Getpucksdeep

    Man not a lot of patience in this crowd. The team had an excellent regular season even if they did stumble/run out of steam/whatever at the end.

    I think the conundrum is we lost in 5 to a one line team. That line was just too fast especially MacKinnon. Yet we’re watching St Louis play a team deep fast physical game. That’s two rather different styles.

    One would think if Treliving makes just 2-3 moves, he’s thinking speed and size too. Tall order and Zucker sure ain’t the guy. Who really knows what he’s cooking up. No one saw a popular player like Ferland going.

    • super6646

      1. Stop asking to trade Brodie for christ sakes. Even with his mistake prone play, he was arguably the only top 4 dman to handle the speed of the Avs, and definitely wasn’t the reason we lost.

      2. Neal probably isn’t getting moved. His contract sucks, and quite frankly, I don’t see a move out there to benefit the flames, and no one is taking his full cap hit without a first ++

      3. Bennett isn’t untouchable lol. He’s a fine 3rd liner, but he definitely shouldn’t be considered anything more than a complimentary piece. If we can get better, yeah, move him.

      4. Stop penciling Andersson as a top pairing dman. He played 10 games in that role and he’s suddenly ready… yikes. The meltdown if he couldn’t handle that role would be one for the ages. Hope management isn’t blind to a small sample size.

      5. Speed>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Size. Flames didn’t lose because of the later.

    • Stu Gotz

      Actually I saw Ferland going to be dealt before his final season started. He was going to be a UFA in his final year. Going to command big bucks with a history of inconsistent play and injury problems specifically concussions.

      I will agree with you that the moves Treliving will make in the offseason will be minimal however thy will be impactful.

  • Skylardog

    Funny how 18 months ago I said we should go after Zucker to fill in that top RW spot (before Ferly left). I now want no part of bringing him here.

    We don’t need a 20 goal guy, we need a 30 to 35 goal guy.

    You move Frolik for a draft pick and to clear cap space. No more half players trying to make it on top lines.

    • freethe flames

      So lets take a serious look at the FA class of 2019. Will any of the guys who scored 30-35 goals last year come to Calgary? Not if BT sticks to his internal cap. Even if the new cap for Tkachuk raises the team bar to $9m will Panarin or Duchene who are the top 2 forwards out there come to Calgary for $9m; personally I doubt it. If one did it would take all of the cap space cleared by trading Frolik and Brodie plus some. That would be the only FA we could sign, It might be easier to add 2 guys who can score 15-20 each.
      Trading for a legit top 6 30-35 goal scorer who is on a decent contract will also be very expensive in regards to assets. Your earlier discussion of Hanifin for Zibby has some merit but again are you replacing him him with Valimaki as your second pairing D, Then what does the 3rd pairing look like; Kylington and Fentenberg. Who in FA do you add to the D core? You mentioned the need to add some depth in the organization on D; who would you add.

  • BendingCorners

    @Skylardog – I get where you’re coming from and mostly agree, but $10MM UFA don’t grow on trees. Panarin is available this year but even if the Flames had money to burn, Panarin would not come here. Mark Stone would have been a good addition at the TDL, but that was a trade and Vegas offered a package that grades out to Valimaki, Bennett and a high pick. Beating that would have been a challenge, but I suppose doable, if Stone was willing to come to Calgary.
    Looking at your list of bad signings though, Ryan and Czarnik are fine, I believe, just not bargains. The other three I agree were not the best choices, but if Neal had not fallen of a cliff, we would have been happy enough with him. Stone was an overpay and only protected against slow development by Andersson and should not have happened (unless the plan was to make a pitch to Mark Stone at some point and the plan misfired because the target was unwilling). Brouwer was mediocrity personified even before he was signed so another poor choice.
    Unfortunately, a GM has to work with what’s available and the desired targets aren’t always willing. and every GM makes mistakes. But yes, not signing those three would still have left an extra 10.75MM for UFA signings.
    Since Frolik and Brodie are expendable (although trading Brodie increases risk at RD, where the team has little depth) and sending Stone and Neal to Stockton frees up 2.1MM, there is money to sign a UFA, if a good one pops up. So hopefully something good happens.

  • Puck Head

    This was one of the best group discussions on this site for a while. Seems like there are a number of differing opinions and little consensus. I don’t envy Tre because you have to give to get and good hockey trades seem to be few and far between in the cap era. Draft picks are also treated by most teams like golden eggs as they GMs realize the importance of developing their own prospects.

  • Derzie

    Potentially available players better than Zucker (taking age and cap hit into consideration):


    • freethe flames

      Now ask yourself this question from your list: we have had Chiasson and he is a role players and is not better than Zucker, Ferland is ijury prone, Marner is a RFA and would cost @10m and what assets, Nyquist disappeared in the playoffs, Panarin to play in Canada is @10m. Your list shrinks significantly. Personally I would take Connolly and Donskoi over some of these other names. First things first BT has to create some cap space.

  • everton fc

    Random thoughts;

    Speed > Size. Agree. However;

    We moved Ferland, and lost a fair share of our toughness. A move that worked well for the Flames, but I’d be talking to Ferland’s agent. As much as Jankowski frustrates me at times, he’s someone we should hold onto. Ditto Bennett. Dube and Mangiapane will start and finish the season with the Flames, but they are far from “tough”. Gritty, perhaps, but not tough. But they both possess excellent speed. And I see both becoming “character guys”. A good start, for the future of the organization.

    I actually like Frolik’s game. But he, Czarnik, and if at all possible, Neal, should be shopped. I’d move Stone for a 6th round pick and eat salary. With the talk of trading Hanifin – is he better than Brodie, or vice versa? If we lack toughness, if we lack the dedication to go deep, if we lack character, why would we move Hamonic? He’s a keeper. I feel the same, about Hathaway. We need character guys like Hamonic and Hathaway, Gio and Andersson, Rittich… To me, these guys have character. I think Bennett does, too.

    The Blues are a reflection of Berube, a coach full of character. Look at where they were in January, as opposed to now. As for the Bruins, do we have a leader like Bergeron in the room? Do we??

    The Blues have two good goal scorers, and a lot of role guys getting it done. Good back-end scoring. But a coaching staff full of character. I think our coaching staff got us to where we ended up, last season. They certainly weren’t perfect, but our boys were seldom out of games. I think they are a character group. They’ve inherited some young (and not so young) playboy types. That’s how I see it.

    The Bruins have three 30 goal scorers who play hard every shift. Then there’s Krejci and DeBrusk… Good defence, solid 1-2 goalie tandem, but read about Bergeron’s speech before Game 6. Again, do we have character like that, in our room?

    What are the answers? Dump salary – which means, “No”, to guys like Turris. Move as much dead salary as possible. I think Frolik’s worth more than people think, on the open market. Czarnik, Neal, and Stone, not so much, if at all. I’d take Josh Anderson over Zucker. You want a 30-goal scorer, bring Taylor Hall back to Calgary. Do some blockbuster for Hall and Miles Wood, like we did to get Lindholm and Hanifin – a deal using players like Brodie, Hanifin, Frolik, Jankowski, Kylington, even our first – something monumental. Even Mangiapane and Dube (and Bennett) are considered, when trying to get Hall (and Wood) out of New Jersey. One move. One big move. Target a guy like Hall, who is not talking to the Devils at all, as I type. Wood is the character guy in the deal. (I put Kylington in the trade bait above, but I actually am liking Kylington, and think he’ll fit in well here, going forward).

    This is the type of move we need to make. Downside is I’ve read Hall was one of the guys in Edmonton who “liked to have fun” – if I am wrong with this statement, “Mea Culpa”. But Hall is the 30 goal scorer we need.

    • Puck Head

      It’s hard to agree with everything in such a long post with so many pieces to digest but I gave you are cheer. Overall what you say makes sense. Well thought out. If Hall is open to coming home the Flames should see what it takes to make it happen. A home grown guy could be what it takes to kindle the fire. 👍

      • everton fc

        Yeah, I was rambling a bit, hey?! To summarize (and thanks for the cheers!)

        I’d like to have Hall and Wood. Both. I’d try and bring Ferland back, as well (there’s where I’ll get my trashes!) Hall is the #1 priority, though. But Wood is the other piece.

        How would “Dube-doo”, centering Hall? Or Jankowski?? That’s the other thought, on my mind; Hall-Dube-Tkachuk, or Hall-Jankowski-Tkachuk. I also think Backlund could adequately centre Hall (Hall-Backlund-Tkachuk).

        Everything I’ve read about Hall tonight, is he wants the Devils to get more talent, and realizes his window for even making the playoffs, let alone the Cup, is closing fast. He wants to play w/high-end talent, and deserves the same. Make him a Calgary Flame.

      • everton fc

        Yeah, I was rambling a bit, hey?! To summarize (and thanks for the cheers!)

        I’d like to have Hall and Wood. Both. I’d try and bring Ferland back, as well (there’s where I’ll get my trashes!) Hall is the #1 priority, though. But Wood is the other piece.

        How would “Dube-doo”, centering Hall? Or Jankowski?? That’s the other thought, on my mind; Hall-Dube-Tkachuk, or Hall-Jankowski-Tkachuk. I also think Backlund could adequately centre Hall (Hall-Backlund-Tkachuk).

        Everything I’ve read about Hall tonight, is he wants the Devils to get more talent, and realizes his window for even making the playoffs, let alone the Cup, is closing fast. He wants to play w/high-end talent, and deserves the same. Make him a Calgary Flame. I can’t see the Devils moving Wood, as his dad played there. Worth a try, though.

        (Kadri centering Hall, with Tkachuk on RW… Another interesting line!)

    • freethe flames

      What would you pay for Josh Anderson? Is he even available at a price similar to Zucker? Hall probably has grown up but what will his ask be next year or does he turn into a one year rental? Why does NJ do the deal? How does it work for them?

  • cjc

    What people seem to be forgetting is that Zucker is younger and under contract for 4 years. That is the big reason to do this trade. I’d give up the first over Bennett, but I am honestly not sure there is room for Bennett on this team anymore. People can coo about his playoff performance, but in the end he did not move the needle.

    If Bennett goes though, we can thank the Neal signing. That is the main reason the current cap crunch exists. It was unnecessary and an obviously huge risk to take.

    • freethe flames

      I doubt anyone is forgetting he is only 27 and is signed for 4 more years at $5.5m; what people are questioning is he worth Frolik and Bennett or the first round pick;and many of us think not.

      Name points 15/16, 16/17, 17/18, 18/19
      Zucker 23 47 64 42
      Frolik 32 44 25 34
      Bennett 36 26 26 27
      F&B combined 68 70 51 61

      Zucker does not replace the combined numbers of F&B so the Flames need help there. My other complaint is that i think you can get better value for the $5.5m salary than Zucker; may be not in one players points but i other elements of the game.

    • Budgie

      Bennett isn’t going anywhere, he showed up for the playoffs. Trade with Philly? After seeing Calgary get dominated by the size and speed of Colorado’s top line I would trade Gadreau. Its drastic because Gadreau is amazing. Take Philly’s 11th. pick, Courtier, and a prospect like Frost for Gadreau and Clagary’s 26th pick. The players are the same age, Courtier is bigger and makes just over 4 million for next three seasons. The prospect is as good as a high draft pick. Gadreau is a great player but size matters

        • Garry T

          That is really under valuing Johnny. Better deal Johnny to NJ for their 1st. Plus NJ would have to augment a deal with more picks this and into future years. Calgary would then flip that pick for multiple picks
          To the Avalanche or the Rangers, possibly Buffalo.

    • oilcanboyd

      Bennett will still be a value contract with his next one. Benny only player who showed a ton of grit (and offense) in the playoffs. I don’t know much about Zucker…