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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.

  • Nighteyes

    Everyone needs to relax, the off season has just barely begun and everyone thinks BT is a failure and hasn’t done anything. Give it some time, there’s a lot of moving parts.

    Also, I’m not sure about this obsession with needing toughness and grit. Colorado didn’t beat us because of toughness or grit, they had superior possession, speed and tenacity. Flames need to be better at hockey not being tough.

    • Budgie

      Look at all the top teams eliminated in the playoffs, Tampa, Calgary, and Toronto all need to fine tune. St Louis comes from the bottom to the top because of Binnington’s play and coaching, ex. Flame Berube. Never under estimate a hot goalie, Colorado beat us because of jump, checking, and a hot goalie. I agree with your comment.

        • Budgie

          Berube came out of nowhere, I remember the “Chief’ was the only player that stuck from the infamous Toronto trade, Riseborough traded with his old boss Cliff Fletcher and was fleeced, by Calgary’s old GM-I loved Riseborough as a player no disrespect

    • oilcanboyd

      Yep, it is still June on my calendar! Don’t get your panties in a knot. A lot of in-action caused by lots of teams being up against the cap or over the new cap.

    • Skylardog

      “Colorado didn’t beat us because of toughness or grit, they had superior possession, speed and tenacity. Flames need to be better at hockey not being tough.”

      This ^

      However I have a very different view on Tre. The moving parts have seized up.

      • Rockmorton65

        I would be more critical of Tre if there was a whirlwind of trades at the draft til now. But there hasn’t been anything.

        Between the uncertainty about what the cap was going to be and the logjam of RFA’s, its no wonder there hasn’t been more action.

        There also seems to have been a shift this offseason where cap space appears to have more value than draft picks. The Leafs had to give up a first to get rid of one year of Marleau. Nashville got peanuts for Subban. What chance does BT have in dumping four years of Neal?

        Once the free agents start signing, I think we’ll see the likes of Brodie & Frolik start moving. Unfortunately, with so many other possible options, Brodie & Frolik aren’t the most valuable commodities on the market. If we’re here in mid August with the same roster, I’ll join you in criticizing Tre.

  • MDG1600

    I don’t feel that Smiths’ playoff performance should erase the fact that he was a well below average goalie in the regular season. If the Flames had gone deeper in the playoffs I can’t imagine Smith was going maintain his strong play and he likely would have started to regress to what we saw in the regular season – the larger sample size rules. At 38, he is likely to be worse next year. Please don’t re-sign Smith. At least with Talbot a credible argument can be made that he can be better.

      • The Beej

        I dont know about that. I think Talbot is an option. Edmonton is not kind to the stats of any goaltender.

        Could see Talbot taking a big pay cut to play behind our defence for a year.

        Is there risk? Sure. But almost any other option is just as iffy. At least Talbot has had some above average seasons in recent memory.

        Think about it. Anybody we would bring in for a 1B role is gonna be iffy. Mrazek has had garbage seasons. Kinkaid… good and bad… Smith… iffy. There is no slam dunk in our price range. It is even tough to rank these guys. One of the toughest pieces of business for tre to be sure.

        I just like it because if Talbot turns out to be a Dubnyk.. could really stick it to Edm.

    • Budgie

      Smith could end up in Europe, he is a competitive guy, he stood up in the playoffs, he gained respect and he does pass up for breakouts slightly more than turn-overs. 38 yrs. old? Hard sell but he might lower his salary expectations.

    • wot96

      Smith has made good money and like every aging veteran without one. If he thinks the Flames are a contender then maybe he takes a low price in order to have a shot assuming he can’t get a better or similar offer from a team he thinks is a more likely future champion.

      The only reason to go with Smith is if he was prepared to take a truly low, low, number in order to stay with the Flames. I doubt he would unless there really are no other offers.

  • withachance

    Everyone needs to calm down. There’s 3 months until the puck drop, 2 months until pre-season and training camp. Trades and moves take time and there’s so many people involved.

    It’s not a video game just relax. Moves will be made when they’re made. The disappointing playoffs really made everyone forget about the best season this organization has had in 30 years…..

    If I didnt know better this team just missed the playoffs with a team full of plugs and is rebuilding. Jesus

    • Off the wall

      Isn’t that how we got into this mess? By relaxing in the playoffs?

      Besides, relaxing is overrated😉

      I won’t relax until we have a playoff team that can compete in the postseason…

      • withachance

        Mess? I wouldnt define this organization as a mess. Oilers are a mess. The Sens are a mess, so is that Arizona ownership situation. Florida’s been a mess for years, and who knows what Benning is doing over there in Vancouver.

        But the Flames are a mess??? Not even close imho

        • Off the wall

          I don’t define mess’ the same way you do Chance.
          If we don’t get a decent goalie, or get a top 6 RW, we’re not going to make the playoffs this year… scoff but see me (later) after the season is over.

          I define my thoughts based on postseason success. We haven’t had any since 2004.

          107 points didn’t make any difference in the playoffs!

          • withachance

            I think Rittich will this team’s starter and he’ll run with it. He just needs a chance for extended starts. I agree on the need for a top 6 player (center or RW).

            Cant agree on not making the playoffs if they dont make adjustments. They definitely wont make a playoff run but going from conference winners to 9th is way too knee-jerky for me.

            I just think the 4 bad games has really made people blind to the overall state of this team. We’ll see at the end of the season

          • Kevin R

            OTW I think in all fairness you need to broaden your scope of evaluation on the team. Then I guess 30 other teams suck & need to dismantle everything because of the lack of success in the post season

  • Jimmyhaggis

    The whole problem here is Tkachuk, let someone offer him 8.5 million, probably a team with lots of cap space, lousy team, get there 2 first rounders, second and third. I honestly don’t think he’s worth anymore than 7 million.
    Result is, lot’s of cap space to pickup a quality player and the future looks bright. I’d hate to see the Flames blow the budget on one player.

      • Jimmyhaggis

        Dzingel, Lee, Duchene, Nyquist. Point is, you also get 2 firsts, second and third. You sign Tkachuk for 8.5 million you may loose Bennett, your hands are tied.

        • withachance

          Duchene is getting 9M at least. Nyquist and Lee are both older and will command anywhere from 6 – 7M in the UFA market, so you get essentially 2M in savings to get a much older player that’s probably worse than Tkachuk. Dzingel is interesting but again, good not great.

          Only Duchene is better than Tkachuk and he’s monumentally more expensive than 7M

        • Kevin R

          If we get an offer sheet for only 8.5 for Tkachuk you match it & run. It wont cost you Bennett as there are lots of options for Tre to juggle the math before the season starts, including buyouts.

    • BendingCorners

      It would be better than that. consider an offer of 8.5×7=59.5.
      AAV for offer sheets is calculated on total$ / 5 (or less if the offer is for less than 5 years). 59.5 / 5 = 11.9 so the return would be 4 firsts.

  • SeanCharles

    Man I just want something to happen.

    This offseason has been frustrating so far with how stalled the trade market is.

    Jonesing for Frolik and Brodie trades at the very least.

  • Budgie

    Fact-Calgary finished 1st. in their Conference.
    Fact-Calgary was dominated by Colorado’s top line the playoffs
    Both Calgary and Colorado had solid goal-tending

    Calgary needs tweaking, not an overhaul-one Goaltender and one Forward that can score and be physical, like Hathaway but with more offense. Depth on Defense can see a trade that fills one of the holes, and another trade for a forward. Nevertheless, Dube can come up with Valamaki and the Flames are a very competitive team. If Neal and Frolik are traded without selling the farm Calgary has Cap Space for signing Tkachuk, Bennett, Hathaway, and Rittich.
    My only criticism is that Calgary tried to match top lines with Colorado when a shutdown checking line was needed. A two way forward with hitting power and size is needed. It is still a solid team with younger players, I think they will be a top team again next season.

      • Budgie

        In previous blogs I said it is time to trade Johnny or Sean, but in retrospect the salaries are upwards of 9 million for top scoring forwards, Gadreau and Monahan are a good value-personally I would like to see a trade of Gadreau if it netted a first rounder, a top prospect and a big forward who could score, like Calgary born Taylor Hall. It would likely be a straight across trade, but who knows, Hall and a prospect if they take Neal’s contract to.

  • Off the wall

    Frolik to New Jersey?
    I thought we were going to at least get a 3rd round pick for him? Now it’s a 4th…

    Am I the only Flames fan who wants Petr Mrazek?

  • Jobu

    If nothing gets done this off-season we wont be the only team in that department.

    The cap issues this off-season has created will hopefully smarten GM’s up and stop giving out overpays to players.