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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski

31 Thoughts: Flames among ‘most aggressive teams’ in trade market

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman emptied his Stanley Cup Final notebook in the latest edition of his 31 Thoughts column. In this edition, he listed the Calgary Flames as among the “most aggressive teams” in the trade market.

There’s a ton of trade talk. Among the most aggressive teams: Buffalo, Calgary, Chicago, Minnesota, Nashville, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Vancouver, Vegas, Washington and Winnipeg. Depending on how the draft goes, we could see some frenetic attempts to move up and down.

Friedman also touched on a potential James Neal trade – something he discussed on Sportsnet 960 The Fan last week – noting that the Flames had “tested the market” for the forward.

One team that was reportedly curious about acquiring Neal: the Edmonton Oilers:

I think the Flames at, the very least, threw around the idea of Lucic for Neal, but decided against it. Word is the Oilers were willing, thinking Neal could work with one of their top centres. Another team pointed out an additional problem with Lucic’s situation — he has to be protected for the expansion draft.

Lucic has a full no-move clause in his contract, while no current Flames player has such a restriction in their deal – Mikael Backlund, Michael Frolik, Mark Giordano and Michael Stone have no-trade clauses of various kinds, but nothing that would potentially tie Brad Treliving’s hands in the 2021 expansion draft.

Based on the level of trade chatter out there, and Treliving’s history of making moves, next weekend’s NHL Draft could be a busy time for the Flames.

  • freethe flames

    So 12/31 teams are very active. Something will happen. Will it be good for the Flames? Here is hoping Neal can be moved for something shorter and with some hope of an upside.

  • Raffydog

    Instead of fretting about how to shed salary to sign Tkachuk, they should trade trade him to anybody willing to take him. He’s proven he cant handle the playoffs, and if you cant bring it when it matters most, there is no room for you on this team.

    • deantheraven

      Dion just got bought out so no trade there. In a perfect world, Neal bounces back and has a great first half then moves at the deadline, getting replaced internally.
      Ok, not likely. But at the year end pressers, Neal himself put the idea out there when he was fresh out of his meetings with BP and BT. A move shouldn’t surprise any of us, but neither should a return of the Real Deal. We aren’t privy to what James thinks about playing for the Flames or what was said by him, management or his teammates behind closed doors.
      He’s a pro, he has pride, and undeniable scoring skills that vanished last season for whatever reason. I’m willing to give him a second chance, unless of course Tre works his magic again at the Draft and gets something we can all live with.

  • oddclod

    Similar contract, less term, both bottom 6 dwellers. It’s a win based on term. Hard to see value in keeping Neal after getting benched. He’s an aloof clown. Much rather see Looch knock the sh** out of people. That room could use some moody behavior on a squad of primadonnas.

    This isn’t as bad as my initial reaction of hell no, but then I think of full meal deal on the opening night roster and cringe.

    Even if Neal lights it up in Edmonton who cares, proves he was a lazy malcontent arsehole and karma gonna hit him In the ass. Hope he reads this. What a tool.

    Still not finna happen. Looch ain’t waiving to come here, he’d prefer the states where they love their dancing bears.

    I’d much rather see Boyle in Flames silks. Gritty and playoff proven. Package Neal and a defenseman and a 2nd rounder and maybe.

    Ate turds Neal!

  • Flameon13

    Couple things I’ve been thinking about on a James Neal trade and on potential goalies to work as a backup.
    What about a James Neal to LA for Quick. Both had a terrible season and are both in the 30s. but historical have been much better in past seasons. Both on same term remaining and have very close cap hits. LA got a solid goalie in Jack Campbell and backup in Cal Peterson, but generally don’t score a whole lot. While for us even with James Neal having a bad year our scoring has been higher than it has in a long time, but once again our goaltending was iffy to put it nicely. If both bounce back from their career lows then LA gets their goal scorer and we get a good goalie to split with BSD (If not still a reliable backup for BSD). If more pieces need to be added I’d also send Lazar with him and rights to Mike Smith (if they would like to sign him as a backup). Even try to bring Clifford into the deal if we can.
    Another option being Scott Darling in Carolina who is signed for two less years than Neal and costs 1.6mill less. Scott Darling has performed well in the past when expectations for him were to be a backup. Since going to Carolina and expectations rose he has been simply awful. The difference being here he would be expected to be a backup goalie once again which might take pressure off of him and he could begin playing his game again. This wouldn’t be a straight up trade as Neal has a longer term and more dollar value but it shouldn’t cost much more since I believe having a bad goalie is probably worse than a bad forward in most cases.
    Another option being Schnieder in Jersey but a trade for Schnieder even after an off year is probably slim and would cost more than James Neal or probably a no to Neal in all, but its still worth a call.
    And last one that came to my mind was James Reimer in Florida. This one would also cost more than Neal going back probably a prospect of some sort or a pick. Reimer had an off year as well but has been solid in a backup role or while splitting duty as a 1B. Florida has a lot of cap space and have a desperate need to move Reimer so that they can sign Bobrovski. So the desperation is there but are they desperate enough to take Neal? (I would also consider trading Michael stone straight up for Reimer)

  • Budgie

    Trade Neal for a draft pick, maybe a 2nd. round, unload the salary-sign Tkachuk, Bennett, and Rittich after trading Brodie for another draft pick, Brodie might fetch a first round pick, or a 2nd. and a decent prospect. Frolik could be a trade for a goalie, to split season or compete with Rittich.