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31 Thoughts: Frolik trade possibilities, plus Flames goaltending options

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman released the final edition of his 31 Thoughts column for the 2018-19 season on Wednesday morning. In it, Friedman discusses two topics of interest to the Calgary Flames: the future of Michael Frolik and a potential second goaltender to play in tandem with David Rittich.

7. Calgary was looking at options for Michael Frolik. That could happen before July 1. New Jersey is a possibility.

Frolik was seemingly on the outs last season, as indicated by his inconsistent usage by head coach Bill Peters in favour of younger players and a public Twitter campaign by agent Allan Walsh to get Frolik more ice time. Heading into the final season of his current deal with a $4.3 million cap hit, Frolik is still a fairly useful two-way player. The Devils have oodles of cap space and multiple fourth round picks in the 2020 NHL Draft, so there may be a fit there.

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15. The goalie carousel: San Jose would like to move Aaron Dell, who has a $1.9 million cap hit and $1.6 million in cash. It’s believed the Sharks tried to make it part of the Patrick Marleau trade, which complicated things for an extra 12 hours or so. Mike Smith’s been tied to Calgary (along with Cam Talbot), Carolina and Edmonton. There been a bit of linkage with the Oilers: Petr Mrazek; Semyon Varlamov, too, but his price is high. Heard some talk of James Reimer, but that’s cooled. Curtis McElhinney was hoping for a two-year deal, and may get it.

Smith and Talbot are the names most commonly linked to the netminding job in Calgary, which makes sense given that David Rittich is still a relatively inexperienced NHL goaltender. Despite some struggles over his tenure, Smith was strong early in his first season and late this past season. Rather than gamble on Talbot, the Flames may opt for the proverbial “devil they know” in net. On the other hand, Tablot’s numbers cratered over the past two seasons on a defensively dicey Edmonton Oilers club and he may be more willing than Smith to take a low-ball contract for a season and bet on himself with an eye towards cashing in the following summer.

  • freethe flames

    How many teams are in a position to really do an offer sheet? How many of these top RFA’s can really be offered sheeted? Where does Tkachuk fit on teams lists?

    • withachance

      Teams who can do offer sheets north of the top tier of 10.5M: PHI, NJD, OTT, COL, CLB.

      RFAs that are likely to be offer sheeted, if at all: Connor, Aho, Marner, Meier

      Tkachuk is unlikely to be offer sheeted, purely based on very little chatter around the team in terms of interest. WPG, TOR, SJS are more cap strapped, Aho are more apart in negotiations with CAR

    • Skylardog

      Tkachuk will not get offersheeted.
      Benny for a second ($4.?? or less)? Possible, but doubtful.

      As we talked about, guys that cost a 2nd and have potential may get an offersheet, that’s about it.

      Flames can’t play the game, nor the UFA game. No cash in Tre’s pockets to waste this summer. Thank goodness…

      • Baalzamon

        And to think I had so much hope the NHL was curbing its insane ways in the summer of 2015. That was the tamest free agent class in recent memory, and probably the one that provided the most value (and therefore the best). And what happened? The very next year was the summer where Brouwer, Lucic, Okposo, Backes, Eriksson, and Ladd were signed.

        Talk about relapse.

  • Chucky

    To state the obvious the Flames are spending $9.25 million of cap space on two guys who either cannot play or cannot play well enough to justify ice time. Until they solve the Neal and Stone problem thay are going to be up against the wall. Treliving needs to bite the bullet and clean up the mistakes of previous years to get this team ready for a playoff run.
    There are a lot of comments that indicate people think that Smith played well in the playoffs. His style of goaltending results in a lot of big rebounds and turnovers, this requires spectacular save after spectacular save. Effective rebound control on the first save makes goaltending a lot easier and results in less goals against.

    • freethe flames

      Buying these two out would increase the cap by $6.16+m. The only problem with this would be if you used the extra cap space to sign another dude or signing someone longer than 4 years. I hate to be against older players but beware older guys and term.

  • TheWheeze

    Lose Stone. Drop Huska. Get a good defensive assistant coach. We need a bruising defenseman. A Regher type. One who makes you pay the price. The Flames play a style that is too hesitant.

  • TKO

    Smith took a LOOOONG time last season to come around and get his game in shape. he was great in the playoffs, sure,but we can’t waste a 20 game segment for him to tighten his game