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Friedman: Michael Frolik trade is ‘a possibility’

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman made his weekly appearance on Sportsnet 960’s The Fan’s afternoon show, where he chatted with Ryan Pinder and Will Nault about all the news post-draft. One tidbit he dropped related to the Calgary Flames and a potential trade for Michael Frolik in the very near future.

I think there are a couple of teams interested in Frolik. I do think that’s a possibility. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t be hugely surprised if it happened before July 1 with him. I think it comes down to a deal that you guys have to like, but I had some teams tell me that Frolik’s name was out there and they heard of nibbles. There’s something, but we’ll see if it goes anywhere.

Pinder asked if he had heard anything on TJ Brodie and Friedman noted not much – but also noted that it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s no trade talk, just none that’s gotten back to him.

Per Friedman, the reported return for Frolik would the draft picks, but “nothing too high.” In other words, the intended cap relief for Frolik’s $4.3 million AAV could be a consequence of such a move.

The Flames didn’t make any major moves at the draft, though arguably that was a result of the 2019-20 cap number not being available until Saturday afternoon. With this year’s draft in the rear-view and general managers prepping for free agency, the expectation is the flurry of moves expected on draft weekend will instead of spread out over the next eight-to-10 days.



  • BigChefJeff

    Kinda sucks we’ve reached the point where we basically have to accept giving up Frolik for nothing. I like him a lot and think he is still pretty useful as a player–just not in the top 6 anymore. Think he’d be a good guy to keep on the 3rd or 4th line wing, but his departure is a foregone conclusion now that (a) he clearly wants a new opportunity and (b) we need cap space and his is probably one of the easiest contracts to off-load. $4.3 isn’t a terrible cap hit, but pretty clear at this point no one is stepping up to take on Neal or Stone.

    • buts

      4.3 M for a fourth liner who can penalty kill and that’s all, offensively the play died on his stick amongst terrible turnovers. Stajan got roasted, contributed more and made less. BT dropped the ball again when he could have got a bigger return at the tdl then what he will get now. When will BT learn to maximize his assets.

    • The Beej

      @jeff

      Dont fret. I think a lot of us are misreading the market because the draft was held so early. Usually the draft is a little later. The thing that has messed all the teams is up is you usually know the CAP before the draft. That is the reason for the delay on the trades.

      Now everyone has to go back and run their numbers again.

      I still anticipate a decent return for Brodie and/or Frolik.

  • Garry T

    If we are not getting anything for him play him until the Trade Deadline. Doing that will result in fair market value. Giving him away to pay outlandish money to Tkachuk is BS

    • BigChefJeff

      You would rather keep Frolik until the trade deadline than to pay Tkachuk? We have under $13 million to pay Tkachuk, Bennett, Mangiapane, Rittich, and (maybe) Hathaway. Money’s gotta go out the door if you want to keep those guys–giving Frolik away for very little appears to be the way to do it. Nobody is lining up to take Neal or Stone off our hands. Toronto gave Carolina a first round pick to take Marleau–would you rather give up our 2020 1st to get rid of Neal, or give the last year of Frolik away for free?

      • Garry T

        Just in from Eric Francis. Tkachuk demanding $10,000,000.00 on long term contract. Negotiations have slowed down. So tell me Big Chef Jeff, where will the money come from to pay Johnny and Monny $14 mil each in roughly 3 years. What about Lindholm, Hanifin, Anderson, and on and on. This is getting real crazy, real fast. What if a bank or a landlord jacked up your loan payments by 10 to 15 times what you are currently paying out now. Can you manage that and do not tell me it is not relative!

    • Luter 1

      When guys like Mangiapane can step up in one year to what I think is Froliks level you have to move on with $4 Million plus contracts and continue to have draft picks. Frolik is not someone that that exudes intensity needed to win in the playoffs, he’s a digger but soft on the puck, isn’t physical and has a shot that’s softer than most. Give the young guys (Dube) icetime And well be way further ahead by year end.

      • everton fc

        I disagree. Frolik is intense. He’s been the most physically fit Flame for two years running. There no guarantee any of these young guys can fill Frolik’s role.

        Buyout Stone. Move Czarnik for a pick. Move Brodie. Hope Neal bounces back. Neal’s contract is the real albatross, though. The only way to get Tkachuk/Rittich/Hathaway/Bennett/Magiapane signed, is to bridge Tkachuk, unless we can dump some of these cement-block contracts BT’s signed, over the years.

  • Em Durp Em Hrudey

    Backlund is replaceable by Jankowski at a fraction of the price. Dont believe it look at this season’s stats. Backlund averaged over 5 mins more playing time a game and was replaced by Jankowski on the penalty kill. Backlund was on the 2nd unit power play and amassed a whopping 15 more points. Backlund faceoff % = 49.6%
    Jankowski faceoff % = 52%
    Backlund shooting % = 10.2%
    Jankowski shooting % = 14.1%
    Backlund PPG = 0.6
    Jankowski PPG = 0.4
    Backlund cap hit $5.35 million
    Jankowski cap hit $ 1.68 million.
    $4 million more for what 0.2 points a game… take off the rose colored glasses and look at the reality. Backlund is an overpaid at best 3rd line center. Ask him to submit a list a shop his arse. Trade Backlund free up $5.35 million.

    • BigChefJeff

      This is one of the stupidest things I have read on this site, and that is an accomplishment. Backlund is a legit top 6 fwd–the guy gets Selke votes every year. Other than on the PK, Jankowski barely looked like he belonged in the NHL.

      Goals: Backlund 21/ Jankowski 14 (5 of which were PK)
      G/60: Backlund 0.91/Jankowski 0.84
      xG: Backlund 21.75/ Jankowski 10.37
      Assists: Backlund 26/ Jankowski 18
      A/60: Backlund 1.13/Jankowski 1.08
      Primary Assists: Backlund 19/Jankowski 12
      Points per Game: Backlund 0.61/ Jankowski 0.41
      Shots: Backlund 205/Jankowski 99
      S/60: Backlund 8.93/ Jankowski 5.92
      Corsi%: Backlund 55.35/ Jankowski 51.44
      Penalties Drawn: Backlund 11/ Jankowski 8
      5v5 Shooting percentage: Backlund 8.7%,/Jankowski 7.2%

      This was an off year for Backlund, and he was markedly better than Jankowski is every notable statistical category. Good grief.

          • BigChefJeff

            Jankowski is going to be 25 in September. How much more do you realistically think he is going to develop? If you think there is a lot of room for growth still, then that is fair. But I haven’t seen anything from him to suggest he deserves any more ice time. He was given ample opportunity this year, and his 5v5 numbers were not spectacular by any stretch of the imagination. I hope he does take a step forward next year–would only be beneficial for the team–but he’s got a long ass way to go before he is in Backlund territory.

      • Luter 1

        No way is he top 6 on any team thinking of winning the Cup. We couldn’t even think of matching him head to head with McKinnon because he is neither fast or physical enough. Guess what, every team has a McKinnon lIke player and Backlund proved he wasn’t up to the task. Good regular season player just not defensive elite like Flame fans think.

        • BigChefJeff

          We literally line matched Backlund against CONNOR MCDAVID every single home game. Everyone played like garbage in the playoffs– to lay it on the feet of your second line center and 5th highest paid player is asanine, especially when the top line was completely invisible. You know who didn’t have a Mackinnon-like player in that series? Us. If we had three good lines, and Backlund could slide to 3C with two good wingers, that would be amazing depth.

          To suggest Jankowski is anywhere close to Backlund is absurd–there is nothing to suggest he is, or ever will be.

          • cberg

            I think Jankowski still has a lot of untapped potential. He has shown it in the past, in college, where he led his team to a championship, outplaying Eichel. This year it seemed he was told he was to be tasked with Penalty kill, face-offs and defensively-responsible 3-4C. He did that extremely well, improving in all those areas and near leading the league in Short-handed goals. I would say he is under-utilized and still has more to give.

          • TheBigChef

            Yep and BigChef effectively proved Jankowski is nothing close to Backlund calibre.

            Whether Backlund is in the upper echelon of 2Cs is a completely different conversation. I think he is safely better than half the league’s 2Cs. If we had a superstar center that pushed Monahan down to 2C and 3C I would be okay with that. That’s not happening. Even if we rotated Lindholm to C and moved Monny 2C and Backlund 3C, I don’t think there are enough good wingers to have three good lines.

            Not sure where you guys think this team is going to find someone better with no cap room.

          • I think the argument is if Backs is a better player. Can’t believe it is even a question. Jankowski is a good 4th line centre. He is 25 years old. He pretty much is what he is. Besides a hat trick and unsustainable shorthanded goals he looked okay. He isn’t replacing Backs.

      • SouthernFlame

        Yeah shouldn’t be much of an argument there. Frolik can easily be replaced. Its not about Jankowski and Backlund its about who would you rather keep? Frolik or Backlund. Backlund would get a better return yes but I would rather Frolik leave than Backlund.

          • TheBigChef

            I think the player is a good fit. My concern would be the price.I have a feeling he will have some value on the market and could get $3mm+. If that’s the case, I don’t think we can afford him. Not if it costs us another roster player–like Benny.

        • BigChefJeff

          I showed you every meaningful stat available in the sport of hockey, of which Backlund was superior in every single one, and your response is “but Backlund took more penalties”?

          • The GREAT WW

            You mention penalties drawn but not taken. You are obviously Cherry picking stats.

            The argument was that Backlund is an overpaid third line player. Yet none of your stats address “per $ earned”

            Backlund played on the PP and on a line with the generational Byng……Jankowski played on the PK (killing Backlund’s lazy penalties) and on a line with Neal.

            WW

          • BigChefJeff

            Yes, I cherry picked those TWELVE statistical categories. How dare I leave off faceoff %, shooting percentage and penalties. Everyone knows those are the three most important stats. I think McDavid would have won the Hart this year, if only he had won a few more faceoffs!

            Your argument was that Backlund was “replaceable” by Jankowski. The two are not in the same conversation. Jankowski’s offence totals were buttressed by outlandish PK production that will not be repeatable.

            You want to ignore PP and PK time? Here are some more 5v5 stats for you:

            CF%: Backlund 55.33%/ Janko 51.47%
            G/60: Backlund 0.88/ Janko 0.59
            Points/60: Backlund 2.04/ Janko 1.63
            On-Ice SV%: Backlund 93.14/ Janko 90.98

            If you want to criticize Backlund, pick a better comparison, and do your homework, because this argument is embarrassing.

          • Em Durp Em Hrudey

            You also failed to mention in your “stats” that Backlund had over 5 mins more ice time a game and played second line power play minutes. You also seem to forget the fact that Backlund has Tkchuck and Frolik on his wings where as Jankowski had who? You Backlund lovers are blind to the reality that this guy is not what you think he is…especially at $5.35 million per. Gross contract. At best a 3rd line center. Jankowski given the chance will eclipse his stupid lazy penalty taking arse. Janko also ranked 45 th in the NHL in faceoff%……scroll way down to find Backlund with the rest of the 1 million dollar centers in the NHL.

          • BigChefJeff

            Em Durp Em Hrud.
            Not sure if you need me to explain stats to you, but those per 60 rate stats account for ice time. I also included 5 v 5 stats. This means it ignores any boosts Backlund would have received from PP production (if we want to just ignore the fact that PP times is given to the best players on the team). Backlund is still ahead in every category.

            I’m not saying you have to love Backlund. But you are doing a poor job of arguing he is not good, and Jankowski is a poor comparable. I’ll be here waiting if you want to go do a little research and come back to me with some statistical evidence.

          • Jon Moxley

            Moxley here. Not sure what a BigChef is but I be thinking it’s something that lives behind a computer screen living on ballooned [email protected] stats. Mosley’s eyes don’t lie and Moxely’s eyes see an overated well overpaid lazy hockey player that goes by the name of Backlund. There be a difference between roughing it up and sitting in the sin bin and being lazy with the stick and sitting for 2.
            Moxley out!

          • The GREAT WW

            I’m not arguing that Jankowski is a good comparable for Backlund…I’m arguing the exact opposite.
            Backlund makes 3X what Jankowski does.
            Backlund is old and declining; Jankowski is improving.
            Backlund is on the PP, Jankowski is on the PK.
            Backlund plays with Byng, Jankowski plays with Neal.

            There is no comparison….

            WW

          • BigChefJeff

            Show me that Jankowski is improving to the point he will ever be a 2C and recipient of Selke votes. Any stat you want that’s not faceoff percentage or shooting percentage (Jankowski’s 5v5 shooting percentage was worse than Backlund’s by the way)

          • Em Durp Em Hrudey

            Lol…..BigChef seems like a bit of a douche. “I played NCAA”….”I coach tiny mites hockey”…..”I live off garbage ballooned stats like Glen Gulutzan “……I would take a Moxley over a conceded nerd any day.
            Durp out!

          • Jon Moxley

            Moxley thinks BigChef be Glen Gulutzan’s hair stylist. BigChef is in Corsi heaven. BigChef loves when thing Gel.
            Moxley believes in you BigChef. Your moms calling, dinners waiting.
            Moxley out!

          • BigChefJeff

            Ballooned stats hey? I concede. Experience and statistical literacy are not helpful qualities to possess in player evaluation. In fact, we should just get rid of all stats (except for faceoff percentage of course). Henceforth, all contract values will be determined in the sole discretion of Moxley’s eyeballs and Em Durp Em Hrud’s analysis of their faceoff ability and whether or not douchebags on the internet have a well-reasoned, well-researched and objectively justifiable counter-position.

            Scoring chance generation, shots, defense and opposition shot suppression, and goal scoring are all overrated anyways.

          • TheBigChef

            Yep. He was garbage in playoffs. Whole team got roasted. I’ll take the 82-game sample and the prior consecutive years of Selke voting over 4 god-awful games. Was there anyone you were happy with in the playoffs?

          • LannyMac

            Hey Big chef I’m guessing the majority of people already knew that Backlund is a more effective player than Janks but not by a landslide. Backlund certainly was joke at the same time in his career compared to Janko at this pt in his career. The one thing I hope nobody argues with is how absolutely useless both were in the playoffs. Backs will always be a china doll and therefore useless in the playoffs. The saddest part of this debate is if Janko brain can’t get around how successful a guy with his big frame could be a menace and driving force in the playoffs. Otherwise what a waste of a draft pic

        • HOCKEY83

          Backlund had 8 mins of penalties in the playoffs. Bennett 16 Tkachuk 18 and Hathaway 14 all had twice as many. Also Backlund only had the fithe highest total for the season. Janks had only 12 for the season because he’s the softest 6’4″ guy in the league

      • HOCKEY83

        Ya agreed backland is twice the player janks is right now. He had a very slow start to the first 20 or so games of the season and then picked it up. He bounce back with a solid season. Janks still plays like an rookie trying to find his game.

        • everton fc

          Ryan’s a better centre, and a better player, than Jankowski right now. Ryan is a great 4C, on a team competing for the Cup. Backlund’s a good 3C, on a team competing for the Cup. Jankowski might be a good 4C in our current lineup, if Ryan plays wing. But then there’s Dube, who I believe will be better than Jankowski.

          All this said, Jankowski has value here. He’s also cheap, in terms of payroll. To label Backlund a “bum”, is nuts. He’d be a great 3C here, if we had a 1C, and Monahan was the 2C, or, if Dube can develop into a 2C, or, if Lindholm becomes a 1C, or 2C. We have depth, down the middle. A very good thing. A positive.

          • TheBigChef

            By the end of the year Ryan was better than Jankowski for sure.

            Unfortunately we can’t even afford to keep our own players right now, let alone go chasing a star 1C. If the cap situation ever gets figured out, maybe the play is to chase after a legit top line RW and shift Lindholm to Center–run with Lindholm, Monahan Backlund down the middle. I think it works so long as they have good wingers to play with. Right now moving Lindholm to Center just creates a hole on RW.

          • deantheraven

            Middling depth down the middle. You’ve got Backs,Ryan, maybe Dube , Janks.
            Four bottom six centres if you lump Backlund in with the others. I won’t be surprised if BP shakes up the top six. He talked like Lindy would be starting as centre next season. The question is will he be charged with centering a scoring line or a shut down line. He could be a very solid two-way middleman. If he pushes Backs down to L3, so be it. But let’s remember, most often the second line is tasked with shutting down the opposition’s top line= defined as a second line because more minutes than a third line would get.

    • BendingCorners

      I think you need to make an adjustment for quality of competition (which I haven’t found so if you do find it please tell me where). By repute, Backlund faces far tougher opposition so his results need to scale up. I do think there will come a time when trading him makes sense, but I’m not sure it has arrived, in large part because I’m not nearly as impressed with Jankowksi as you seem to be.

    • Jon Moxley

      Moxley likes you moxie kid. Backlund is a turd that has been buffed and shined for way to long. Take a sniff, shiny or not a turd stinks like a turd. Backlund is a turd.

    • cjc

      So Backlund is worse at faceoffs… but takes faceoffs against other teams best comp. I’d like to see Janko keeping a 52% rate against McDavid, Crosby etc.

      Backlund is a less accurate shooter, we know that. But he makes up for it in volume: 9.1 shots/60 vs. 5.9 for Jankowski.

      If you look at points/60, Backlund was 2.04/60, good for 5th on the team, Jankowski 10th, 1.63. Those are even strength numbers by the way. Last season, the team scored >60% of the goals at ES with Backlund on the ice. Jankowski? 45%. He’s even more physical than Jankowski: 2.76 hits/60 vs. 2.08.

      If rumours about Toronto being interested in Jankowski are true, I would do a deal (for picks) in a heartbeat. His contributions are replaceable.

      • The Beej

        After reading this ridiculous thread of complaints against Backlund I am just glad our team is run by people who actually know something about hockey and know how valuable Backlund is.

        Know hockey… pretty much the oppositte of the folks posting on this thread.

        They wont trade Backlund because he isnt easily replaceable.

        But hey… lets throw Janko out there against the top competition in a shut down role and see if he can produce like Backlund. I like Janko but he likely cant produce like Backlund in a shut down role. There is absolutely 0 evidence that Jankowski would be a replacement for Backlund in his role.

  • BendingCorners

    I see the Hawks acquired de Haan from the Canes in exchange for Forsberg. BT could have sent Brodie or Hamonic to Chicago instead and addressed the backup goalie question. Oh well.

  • Raffydog

    Pretty sad that all this is just to sign a severely overrated player in Tkachuk. 8 million a year for a plug that plays on the second line, and is probably a better fit on the third line. 8 million a year for a player who cant skate, doesnt hit, and is softer than microwaved butter. No wonder this team will never win a cup with this group.

    • HOCKEY83

      The Flames are trying to gain cap space for the players they need to sign by getting rid of certain players. who else you think they’re getting rid of to sign donskoi for the 3.5 to 4.5 mil he wants.

  • freethe flames

    If all we are being offered is a 3rd I would be disappointed b/c he is better player than that; but that seems like what the market will dictate. If that is what is being offered for TJ we had better by Stone out and keep TJ. This also makes we want to buy out Neal now; screw the long term impact on the cap.Then trade TJ at the deadline. Same could be said for Frolik.Send Czarnik to the farm

  • Snowie the SNOWFLAKE

    Backlund is overpaid and Flames fans over rate him consistently. He is on a decline and can only get worse. Scary thought. Jankowski, you all will remember his name come mid season. Give him a chance and he will pass that 2nd line dinosaur.

    • HOCKEY83

      Is there a reason why before mid season we will all be forgetting his name. I mean he’s on the team right. How do you forget the name of a player on the team.

    • Off the wall

      I don’t know how an article on a possible trade for Frolik, turned into sh^t slinging over 2 very different hockey players in Backlund and Jankowski?

      Are you guys ok? Maybe everyone is just hungry.

      Big Chef Jeff, no point arguing with Hrudey or WW. They’re cemented in Backlund Bitumen.
      It’s ok, we still accept them. They’re fun to have around.

      I played pro hockey… never ..
      I was too small and too slow.
      But I don’t boast about it!

      • Jon Moxley

        Heck Hrudey played pro hockey in the highest level and still says ” apost too” and “I know right”. Moxley don’t give two flying skunks arseholes if you played NCAA, BCHA, or back up dancer for the NWA, Backlund is not a 2nd line center and no cup will be lifted in cowtown with him playing that second chair in the rusty trombone symphony!
        Moxley out!

  • freethe flames

    @$6.1m in savings if you buy out Stone and Neal and then send Czarnik down, Keep Frolik and TJ and trade them at the deadline when they have more value unless the offer is at least fair.

    • cjc

      I don’t really see why Frolik and TJ would have more value at the deadline, other than a team would have a better sense of where they stand and they would be owed less cash at that point.

      If we send Czarnik down, he likely gets nabbed off waivers.

      Imagine keeping Frolik and TJ, the team likely being in a divisional playoff spot and going “eh, we’re going to trade to effective players that helped us get this far for futures”. Not going to happen (unless of course the team finds itself outside the playoff picture).

      I don’t think Brodie gets traded, because the team still likes him and given their caution with young D I don’t think they are ready to throw Valimaki and Kylington to the wolves (and neither plays the right side).

      Frolik could get traded, if only because they feel others can fill his role (Bennett, Mangiapane or perhaps Dube) and he is apparently upset.

      A buyout for Stone seems possible, but Treliving already has a number of buyouts in his past and I’m not sure ownership will be happy seeing that. I think it’s more likely that Neal stays and they hope for a bounce back.

      • Rudy27

        Don’t think past buyouts would prevent Treliving from buying out Stone. What’s the point of having him in the press box all year. At least a buyout gives us cap space, and possibly enough (it would be tight) to sign the RFA’s if we can’t move Frolik or Brodie.

    • Rudy27

      I believe Freidman is one of the most connected of all the analysts. He must be in tight with a lot of the GM’s and other notables, as he has been pretty accurate in his assessment of trades, contracts, buyouts etc.

  • .BigChefJeff

    It’s plain and simple here boys and girls. I played at a higher level of hockey than everyone else here. I still coach to this day. My stats are copied and pasted from Google to prove all my points. Don’t hate me because I am simply better than all you losers. NCAA is far superior to any of your beer leagues you think you excel in.

  • BendingCorners

    Time to set the cat amongst the pigeons.
    Vancouver has cap space and Benning has a plan but isn’t executing it very well (I figure that’s more polite than stating that he isn’t very bright).
    So, Neal plus Backlund to the Canucks for a 1st and two 2nds.
    Is Duchene worth picking up as a UFA to replace Backlund?
    Or is there a better choice out there?

    • Em Durp Em Hrudey

      OMG now that’s a pipe dream. You can break the internet with such nonsense ya know. Is Duchene a replacement for Backlund….does a dog sniff it’s own a$$ after it farts? A dirty dish rag that has been discovered behind a rotten block of cheese in thebigchef’s nacho buffet has more value than Backlund. That trade would almost be as bad as Larson for Hall….

  • RKD

    Frolik played well for his country not for the Flames in the playoffs. Let that sink in. These guys would take a bullet for their homeland not so much for their NHL team.

  • freethe flames

    The simple solution is buy out Stone; the $2.3 m saved allows BT to sign both Hathaway and Mangiapane and probably still have a little left over. You then have enough cap left to sign Bennett & Rittich for @6m combined and whatever is left goes to Tkachuk. It means icing the same team as last year but it also prevents BT form going to FA, a place he has not excelled.

  • Garry T

    I think this site if read by the players would be disconcerting. Let’s try not trading anyone for a week starting Tuesday June 26, 2019. I am sure their families would appreciate that!