FlamesNation mailbag: making room for Matthew

Brad Treliving finished two big offseason tasks in signing Sam Bennett and David Rittich. Now he has one large one left in re-signing Matthew Tkachuk, and it’s going to be his toughest job yet.

Yes, that’s almost certainly happening. Michael Stone figured to be a sixth defenceman at best next season, and at $3.5M, that’s too much for a sixth defenceman. Saving $2.3M and making more room for Tkachuk is much more important and valuable for 2019-20 than what Stone could do next year with third pairing minutes.

No, I don’t think there is one.

With one year left at $3.5M, Stone’s contract isn’t deadly, and he does have some attributes that other teams value. But those other teams have the same problem as Calgary does: those attributes aren’t worth $3.5M. They may not even be worth $1.75M a  year, and they certainly aren’t worth paying an asset for.

NHL front offices may see value in Stone, but not with his current contract. Think of Troy Brouwer last year. The Flames’ much beleaguered right winger was unemployed for only three weeks after being bought out despite two awful seasons at an advanced age. A team still wanted him. The Flames didn’t forget to do their homework and find a trade partner, it’s that Brouwer was signed to a bad contract that overvalued his actual contributions to the team, thus making him untradeable with that contract.

Brouwer was an okay fourth line guy, and like okay third pairing defencemen, those are players who are worth something to NHL teams. Just not seven figures worth. Stone will probably be in the NHL next season, but for a figure under one million dollars. The Flames simply aren’t going to be able to trade Stone based on what he’s making now.

It is probably approaching that point where the Flames might have to fire sale their expendable yet desirable assets for whatever they can get.

The Nazem Kadri non-deal was too good to be true. It made sense for both sides and helped both teams solve each other’s problems. Those are lightning in a bottle, and it’s unlikely that the Flames find another trade partner that can make them a similar offer. I suppose the Flames keep trying to maximize TJ Brodie’s value, as he is well regarded around the NHL and could certainly fetch a premium return, but I would wonder when they just throw in the towel and accept what they can for him.

The Jason Zucker/Michael Frolik swap doesn’t seem like it’s happening, as it probably would’ve been done already after being nearly completed at trade deadline. The proposed Frolik + Bennett package only saves around ~$1.3M anyways, so the Flames aren’t even saving that much while losing two forwards. Bennett’s new deal is also extremely team friendly, as it comes at a reasonable cap hit and keeps him at RFA, so it’s unlikely they’re moving from that (as if signing a new contract wasn’t proof enough).

With their two big projected off-season trades already fizzling out, the Flames are probably going to offer Brodie and Frolik to the highest bidder. I think a move materializes closer to the end of August.

The only player outside of those three I could see other teams sniffing around would be Travis Hamonic. He’s a right-handed shot with a great contract who is playing some of his best hockey. With one year left on his deal, he can be a great, high-end rental for a team who thinks they can go deep in the playoffs next season.

In 98% of scenarios, I can’t see the Flames trading him. The Flames also happen to be a team who thinks they can go deep in the playoffs next season. Given that things mostly point to Brodie leaving town, it shows what Hamonic’s status is on the team. Even from the second pairing, his contributions are so beloved that the team is more willing to move their first pairing RHD before moving him.

The other two percent is a worst case scenario option. If the Flames are running out of time to sign Tkachuk, absolutely cannot move Brodie, and have a good deal in place, they will probably have to trade Hamonic. They’ll try their best to avoid that from happening, but it still remains within the realm of possibility.

I could also see Noah Hanifin attracting interest from teams, but the Flames aren’t going to consider a trade this early into his contract.

I would lean towards keeping Brodie over Frolik. The forwards are much deeper and there’s a better chance that a young player can replace Frolik next season. Bennett had flashes where it looked like he could be a top six forward alongside Mikael Backlund and Tkachuk. Even Austin Czarnik looked lethal for a bit on that line. Frolik is a handy defensive warrior, and I am going to hate to see him go, but the Flames are going to have to prepare for life without him whether that’s now or next season.

Brodie is much harder to move. He has his flaws, but he has been a high quality defenceman for the past few years. That’s not as easily replaceable as a second line winger. I love Rasmus Andersson, but there’s a nagging doubt that he may not just be ready yet for regular first pairing duty. He only just broke into the NHL this past season. The Flames are taking a huge risk by moving their tried-and-true first pairing RHD for a guy who has almost exclusively played on the third pairing. If that move fails, it’s going to have severe repercussions for the rest of the team.

(There’s also the issue that the Flames’ RHD depth behind Hamonic and Andersson is either Stone [likely gone] and Alexander Yelesin, who has not played in North America. Moving one of your three NHL RHDs is an issue when you generally need three to play the game of hockey.)

The team is also going to have to prepare for life without Brodie, but that transition is going to be harder to make than moving on from Frolik.

Not necessarily related to the 2019 off-season, but it’s a very interesting question.

The answer is unclear, because it will definitely depend on the situation. The team’s contention window is still open and Johnny Gaudreau is an important part of that. They’ll likely make the playoffs every year until his contract runs out. The Flames are in a great position to do something meaningful in the next few years, and that’s going to be largely because of Gaudreau.

Even if he is indeed set on leaving in 2021-22, the Flames probably aren’t going to trade him unless things get extremely bleak (i.e: Gaudreau is not enough to solve their inability to get over the playoff hump). 2021-22 could also possibly be Mark Giordano’s final NHL season, so the Flames are likely going to load up sometime in the next few years to really do some damage in the playoffs. If they’re preparing to lose two core pieces in one off-season, they’ll probably make the most of what they can between now and then.


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  • MDG1600

    Tibieri thinks the Flames have more depth to replace Frolik than Brodie??? …. Apparently he watches a different team than I do. Where is this depth on RW that he speaks of?

    • freethe flames

      Let’s remember that Frolik is a LHS who plays the RW. Dube has played some RW, Bennett has played RW, Tkachuk has played RW in junior, I suspect Mangiapane can as well, Czarnik and who is to say that Janko could not play RW. The real concern is that we now only have 2 known RHS in our forward grouping. The rest are likely starting in the AHL.

      • Trevy

        I would still buyout Stone and trade Brodie for the simple fact that Brodie only has one yr remaining and will most likely walk after this season. Might as well cash in and in return, look at Lovejoy or McQuaid as a third pairing RD. Both are veterans and more than capable plus cheap. This saves even more salary, you get an asset back from Brodie in the form of picks/prospects or a player and you bump Andersson up

        • freethe flames

          If you start the season with TJ and or FRolik you might be able to trade them for more at the TDL and you will have a much better idea of where Andersson and Yelesin are in their development.

          • Trevy

            Agree, but the whole idea is to create more cap space. Without trading at least one, I don’t think you have enough to sign both Mange and Tkachuk and have a little wiggle room leftover

          • b

            @freetheflames – the problem with a trade deadline move of either of them is with the hope Calgary is a contender again if other teams think they are worth trading for that’ll mean they’ve been an integral part of the team and removing them at that point leading up to a playoff run is unlikely to happen as it’ll mess with the team dynamics.

        • Luter 1

          Come playoff time you will be overjoyed having a Lovejoy or McQuaid over soft as pudding Brodie. He is not built for playoff hockey and as a vet showed no leadership in the playoffs.

  • redwhiteblack

    It is the same team that lost in 5 in the first round. They may also lose Frolic or Brodie to make room for Tkachuk, who didn’t do much in round 1. Little to no restoration of faith that this team can go deep.

      • Kevin R

        Yes we’re doomed. Forget playing the games, from 2nd overall to blow it up. Lets trade them all, maybe if we can get 10 1st rounders we can do this right. Lets pry Berube out of St louis, he’s a way better coach than Peter’s. Half the team that is under 25 has no chance of improving. Maybe the league should just award all the other teams wins for our scheduled games because we are doomed……………………………….

        • Theo/14

          I get what you are saying. Some refuse to believe it. Yes we have some young guys under 25 that will improve but the MAIN core as in Mony and Jonny are at there peak or close to it. More importantly neither of them this far into a career are going to turn into intense playoff big game players all of a sudden. It’s not there game. This is the same team as last year at best. Is the main goal not to win a Stanley cup? I am sorry but Jonny and Mony on the same team do not have what it takes. Trash away but it is true and you know it.

          • Brian McGrattan's Salute

            I reckon we’re one Tom Wilson type of player away from a good playoff run, so I am not concerned.

            I still think we will likely have a lesser team this year than last with these changes (i.e. moving Frolik), but lots will happen between now and when JGs contract ends.

          • LannyMac

            @Theo I have no doubt these boys love the money but I don’t think they are so vain that the quest for the holy grail is not more important. I believe watching the intensity of Juuso, Dube, Mang, and Raz and yes Johnny and Mony these athletes will get wiser and learn when and where to save energy in order to have the effort and attitude required in the playoffs. It takes a lot of grit and determination to get to the N (I’m guessing) and i’m also guessing it takes twice that effort to get to the top of the mountain. It is however disturbing that Mony Backs and Gio’s efforts came up so short when they should have been leading by example in April

    • withachance

      Teams do better or worse with the same personnel season after season all the time.

      How do you know that they wont go deep with the same roster? Tampa had the same roster last season and did worse. St.Louis is going to have the same roster – would you bet money that they repeat as cup champs?

      So what if they have the same roster as a Western Conference winning season? End of the day, you dont know jack about how the season is going to play out.

    • freethe flames

      Last years team had 3 versions: first 1/3 of the season a good team learning to play together,second third a quality team that looked like a clear contender, last third and playoffs(post all start break) a team that struggled to find it’s way. I am not sure who we are. How has this team changed? It is a year older and some guys should make significant progress this year, there is stability in the coaching staff so the learning curve should be less dramatic but the expectations should be higher sooner, and there will not be the “China” excuse. There have been minimal changes to the roster but I think they will miss Hathaway as a glue guy. Gone are the problem children of Smith and Neal but added are the unknown problems of Lucic and Talbot; can either redeem themselves here? The core of this group has faltered two years in a row post all star break and has faltered both seasons following making the playoffs; this concerns me.

      • CowboyBob

        This is a good comment. Something happened after the all star break, not sure what it was but it seemed like the team that came back was not the same team that left for the break. The big question is who are the real Calgary Flames. Some things to watch closely in my opinion. One – do not over pay Tkachuk, while there is good in his game the flaws are large. Two – does Johnny want to be here, if not maximize the return now. Three – has Monahan plateaued or can he get better. Fourth – can Peters learn from last year and make adjustments quicker. He seemed to have one game plan last year and an inability to adapt resulting in him being horribly out coached by Bednar.

        • CowboyBob

          Monahan may have plateaued as an offensive player 20 feet in front of the net, but for this team to do anything in the playoffs he has a lot more to develop to be a true number one centre. He has to be way better in his own end, way better away from the puck, way better on the boards. As it stands now he is not a true first line centre on a cup contender. He has to get better every year for the next three or four seasons, or we need to find another first line centre. I worry his upside will be hinder by the fact that he is a marginally better skater than Tkachuk. This really impacts him defensively, he is so weak on his edges other players simply spin away from him to open ice.

        • Camosack

          After the All-Star break, the bubble teams are playing for their jobs (coaches included). Flames did not correspondingly raise their game. In hindsight, we should have known at that point they were not contenders. I agree about JG; love the little guy, but he’s too valuable to let walk. Same goes for MT. He’s very good but not the Golden Boy some seem to want to believe in. As for Monahan, well, he’s always been invisible to me, except when he is set up in the slot. Mony gets a mulligan all the time because he scores. He’s not in the conversation with centers like Kopitar, O’Reilly, MacKinnon, McDavid, Getzlaf etc., who drive play and are highly visible. Monahan is not getting better. Lindy and Johnny drove that line. I like Mony just fine, but watch his play for heaven’s sake. Second line center.

          • Luter 1

            Agree on Mony, disagree on Johnny, if the little fart could have scored on half his breakaways that series might have gone 7, plus the Flames did nothing to halt the abuse the refs were letting go on him. Hopefully Lucic will have something to say about some of that

        • HOCKEY83

          Considering Monahan has gotten better every year he’s been in the league it’s odd to wonder if he’s plateaued. Even if he has…a point a game guy for 6.3 mil for the next four years is bonus.

          • oilcanboyd

            On a team that has 2 players making 22 million total, they couldn’t even make the playoffs and there are posters here claiming that our stars shortchanged the fans this season. OMG!

          • Luter 1

            He’s not terrible but a point a game guy during the season that gets eaten up by the other teams number one center does no bode well for playoff success. Did you watch the playoffs, he looked like he was skating in mud?

          • HOCKEY83

            Ya i watched the playoffs but the fact the flames aren’t paying 11 mil per to anyone on the team make me happier. The only way any of you get what you want as a first line center is to pay a guy 9 to 11 mil per. They only way the flames get that is if they get rid of everyone else.

    • cjc

      All teams can do is ice a consistently good team and hope for the best because there is so much unpredictability in the NHL. That’s why a team that was last place in January won the cup.

      Colorado may not have been as deep as Calgary, but they have arguably the best forward line in hockey and sometimes that’s all it takes. If they have another first round exit this year, then maybe it’s time to start looking at re-tooling.

      • Albertabeef

        That last place team as of January first had more points than any other team from January first till the end of the season. Prior to last season’s start St Louis was the team everyone was picking to win it all, guess they were right.

        • cjc

          “Prior to last season’s start St Louis was the team everyone was picking to win it all, guess they were right.”

          I call bs on that statement. Sure, there were some who thought they might contend, however I don’t think there were many people picking St. Louis to come out of the West, much less win the cup. Bodog had St. Louis as the 13th most likely team at 25-1 odds this time last year. So it was far from “everyone”.

  • Jimmyhaggis

    How ridiculous is this, having to basically give away a better than average player in, Brodie or Frolik, for a bag of pucks because our GM got burnt not once but twice signing 2 over the hill UFA, Neil and Brouwer. This is totally unacceptable. At the end of the day, we’re still going to be starting the season, less skilled than what we ended with.

    • HarveysFleaCollar

      Not a chance about being less skilled.

      Lucic > Hathaway
      Talbot > Smith
      Until a further date but not by much…

    • freethe flames

      How are we less skilled at this point? Hathaway as much as I liked him is not a skilled guy. Neal for Lucic is yet to be determined and Talbot for Smith is likely a saw off. Once we lose either Frolik or TJ then the argument can be made.

      • The Iggy complex

        Plus your bringing in valamaki who is a very exciting prospect and Dube was a monster in the AHL and will definitely be a big upgrade over Hathaway. Also we are months away from the start of the season. Lots can change

    • cjc

      For crissakes, it’s NEAL everyone.

      But you forgot to add Stone. That contract was an own-goal as well. Neal(Lucic)+Brouwer+Stone= 10.25 million in unnecessary cap obligations. Even if you subtract say 5 million for replacement players for the above, it would leave enough additional cap space to sign Tkachuk and Mangiapane, leave some wiggle room for injuries AND avoid the need to trade Brodie or Frolik.

      • Justthateasy

        CJ, you were talking about making correct decisions. Tre can’t be right all the time. So by signing MT to an elite contract are we or are we not making another huge irreversible decision?
        He has not earned it yet. He has earned a bridge.

        • cjc

          There is no question that he has earned whatever contract he is given. He’s one of the team’s top scorers, plays tough minutes, draws penalties. There is no reason to think the past 3 seasons are an anomaly.

          There is some merit to the bridge idea – it saves money now and assuming Tkachuk’s third contract is a full 8-year deal, at least they won’t end up paying for decline years after age 30. Tkachuk could also shoot for the moon at that point. From Tkachuk’s perspective it is a huge risk though – what if you have an injury or hit a patch of poor luck? You likely want the certainty a 5-plus year deal gives you (and if it is in the 5-6 year range, it means another payday, much like Auston Matthews will get).

          At the end of the day Treliving needs to keep costs down and Tkachuk needs to look after his own. The final result will end up somewhere in the middle. It’s not a question of Tkachuk worthiness.

          • cjc

            ETA: Tre gets paid to be right. Yes, every GM makes mistakes, but there are a few places where he seems to make the same mistake twice. There isn’t a lot of room for error if you want to piece together a great team.

    • HOCKEY83

      Well they had the room to do what they needed to do to be better this season. Next year they will be in the same boat as everyone else regarding cap issues.

      • Budgie

        Trevling has to put his ‘Thinking Cap On”-Trade Brodie, Trade Stone by retaining some salary if need be, Trade Frolik-get some draft picks-sign Tkachuk for long term at the 6.75 threshold we have for Gio, and Johnny–Tkachuk doesn’t deserve to be the highest paid Flame-he can share it-why wouldn’t he sign 6.75 for Ten ridiculous years-he gets huge security-the way he plays he could get hurt or lose some of his amazing speed-maybe Ottawa will throw him an offer sheet and get him to play with Brady-three first rounders and other goodies-not bad

  • cornwallroyals

    I still think the Flames trade Stone but retain approx. 2M in salary. This would make teams more open to trading for him. The bonus is no cap hit for next season. On the MT front, I think TRE already has an agreement in place and it is just a matter of clearing cap space. I’m sure MT’s camp realizes this so we should all chill out. It will get done.

  • drogon

    We’re not in cap hell, I see it more like a negotiating tactic. We’re under the cap by a fair amount. Many of our assets are expiring at the same time and most are being pushed out by younger better assets, it sounds like good assets management to me. BT is already planning for the 2021 Seattle expansion draft and the protection list.
    Internally, we only have 2 players left to be re-signed. So, now, BT has a pretty good idea of how much cap will be needed to do so.
    With the chaos going on in the NHL market, I see it as a great opportunity for BT to slightly improve our roster and make it more playoffs friendly.
    No need to wait for Tkachuk to sign.

  • Skylardog

    The mistakes have been monumental and extremely damaging. We are talking about trading NHL players for bags of pucks here because of a cap issue from signing bags of pucks to big contracts.

    We just traded for the worst contract in the NHL. I used to be able to say, “At least it isn’t the Lucic deal” now we own that one. We traded a 3rd line plug that MAY have had a bad season (I think Neal is done by the way), for a fourth line Lucic we know is done. And we have him for 4 more seasons. But somehow, the kool aid drinking faithful believe it was a good trade.

    We desperately need a scoring right winger and a top 6 center but there is no money.
    Now we hope Benny and his new contract makes him a second liner when we all know and talked about how it will not work out for him in that role.

    Yes, glad it has been a quiet summer, because Tre could have made a bigger mess than he has already. But man, it is Tre who made this mess. He ain’t getting us out of it.

    And for those who don’t want to hear this. When SJ, Vegas, Vancouver, StL, Nash, Dallas, Chicago, and Winn all pass us this season, and Arizona and Edm are on our tails or just ahead, we will miss the playoffs, and Tre will be looking for work. We finish 9th at best in the West.

    And what if Edmonton passes us and we get that third round pick? How bad has it gotten if that happens?

    I will take your hate right now, as long as you all apologize in late March when the writing is on the wall.

    And if we do miss the playoffs, with the mess the cap and roster will be in, the team will be blown up and a rebuild will be in the works. Conroy will have his work cut out for him.

    The window has closed. By the way, they were never as good as the standings said they were last season to begin with. The outlier was the December team, not the Feb and March team.

    • The Beej

      Agree that the Neal and Brouwer contracts were bad errors and predictable.

      In fact I posted last summer about how buying out brouwer was not ideal. If we hadnt bought out brouwer to sign Neal we would already have 1.75 more in cap space and a Brouwer we could now buyout with only 2 years of a cap hit. Instead we have 1.5m for 3 years and a contract at 5.25.

      I disagree with you on the Lucic trade though. It was an ok trade because of the cap savings and because Lucic is actually a better player than Neal.

      Sure the Lucic contract is bad but Neal is a worse player that will need top line deployment and minutes to bounce back. He was not going to get that here so he basically would have been sitting on the bench as there is nothing to Neal’s game other than scoring. He is a major boat anchor otherwise. Neal probably shouldnt be in the league if he cant score 20 goals as his negatives outweigh the positives. Even for the third line we need someone to help Janko and Bennett not drag them down.

      Whereas Lucic… if he is not scoring he still can play hockey and play defense. Everyone has been clamoring for size and grit. Well everyone in the league is afraid of Lucic.

      Am I skeptical Lucic can be a deterrent? Yup

      Do I think it was a great trade? No. But it was acceptable because anyone would take a 4th liner at 5.25m over a healthy scratch at 5.75.

      Have there been mistakes. For sure. Every GM has a signing or two they would take back but I dont think things are as dire as you make them out to be.

      Are we a bonafide 1st place team. Probably not. But with the improvements we can expect from our young players the window has definitely not closed. We havent dumped Brodie or Frolik yet so we still dont know what will happen there.

      Also one thing to consider if we do trade Brodie or Frolik for picks is that those picks can be used to bolster the roster at the deadline.

      To say that the window is closed because of the Neal contract is over exaggeration to say the least.

      You make some good points Skylar but you are being a little over dramatic.

    • The Fall

      Cant say i agree the window is closed, but… My biggest issue is these guys have lost 4 straight playoff games twice in recent memory, and only won two playoff games since that gimme of a first round series against VAN. Something is needed to move the needle.

    • LannyMac

      Very negative Dogman but it is a distinctive possibility. There needs to be some attitude changes from the pretty boys, and this team has more pretty boys than any other team in the league if the cup was called the shinny cup for a reason I would have put the house down on the flames. Some of the newer blood has to take big steps this year or I’m guessing I will be calling you a profit come early April. Careful Sky it is very easy to trip over the posters with their heads buried in the sand around here.

    • Luter 1

      Let the young guys flourish and you might be eating your words Dog. Neal gone is the best thing that could have happened and getting Lucic will not hurt this team, they needed a backbone and he might give them one. Doom and gloom over getting rid of Frolik and Brodie, is unwarranted as we have young guys ready to take on the roles. Brodie is not a playoff player so why wait around to see that replay. One more year seeing Mony doing nothing in the playoffs and I’d be looking for a blockbuster.

    • Budgie

      The core of the team is still intact-Smith gone, Talbot in-Neal gone-Lucic in–all pretty even-I hope we get that third rounder and Neal gets going. I doubt it after seeing him look a step behind-hey Lucic can play on 4th. line and get spot duty on different lines as a game progresses-someone needs a message to leave Johnny alone, I’d even put Lucic with Line no.1 for a shift or two. I don’t share your doom and gloom, Calgary finished 2nd. in the league, the same team should be able to be in the top ten and make the playoffs.; One good trade to get Cap Space and you’ll be like an agnostic/ dyslexic/ and stay up late wondering if there is a Dog

  • HarveysFleaCollar

    Stone has no value. He is over paid. I believe he was the worse signing by BT. Easily over looked because of his blood clot history and not being in the line up really last season. Buy him out. Count your losses and take the cap space.

    • TheBigChef

      It really was baffling–even at the time. There were numerous red flags at the time that the contract was likely going to end in a buyout. The real kicker though is not that he was signed for too much money or too long (which he was), it was that he was re-signed knowing we would have to give the Coyotes our 5th round pick! Even at the time I think our D- pipeline looked pretty good so was reasonably foreseeable he would get passed on the depth charts. Just poor asset management all around.

      • LannyMac

        @Flea so you knew a second round draft choice that was reputed to carry extra weight and had dedication issues was going to replace TJ in his first full year. Ya actually put me down to I said that also.

      • TheBigChef

        Why are you so sure? In the 14 games he did play he didn’t show he was anything more than a bottom pairing guy. Which is fine, but why would any team give up an asset in a trade for a bottom pairing guy who is getting paid like a top-4? Like the article says, he probably has value in the league still on a sub-$1m contract. But not at $3.5m. At that price, any team would be better off just bringing in a replacement level guy–like we did with Fantenberg for literally a quarter of the cap hit.

        • Skylardog

          Stone played with a raw rookie in the first games. He is far better than we here believe, but unmovable because of health. The problem was not signing Stone, it was signing Stone and trading for Hamonic. He stabalized Brodie on the second pairing, but somehow now is horrible. Yet he has the physicality we know this team needs.

          The problem is, Tre made him worthless by trading for Hamonic. If Hammy is not here, we need this guy. If Brodie goes, we need him.

          You don’t buy out assets, he can be traded at the TDL.

          It especially doesn’t make sense to buy him out when you STILL have to move Frolik or Brodie to get Tkachuk signed.

          • drogon

            @Skylardog… I agree, buyout is a last resort tool. The decision should not be taken lightly. I still see a serviceable asset in Stone for a portion of 2019-20.

          • Budgie

            Now to not lose with a buy-out then you have to play him-he has to regain his valueOther teams likely want Kyllington because he play on the ELC-I’d rather trade Stone and retain salary than lose Kyllington. Stone would be a serviceable asset if Calgary retained some of his salary-trade negotiations-get a draft pick, even a late round and retain up to one million-it might work-or maybe not.

  • Jobu

    RE: Johnny Trade

    Agreed. He gets dealt only if the flames are out of the playoff hunt that year. Given the teams current contracts, he would highly doubt us being out of the running.

    It will be interesting to see what the team looks like once hes gone.

  • Intercourse the Penguins

    Frolik was right. We need to get BIGGER and MEANER and he wrote his ticket out of town when he stated the obvious.JG is an asset to a team that can protect him. We cannot. Imagine him on , say, Colorado and what they would give to get him. With the exception of Ryan none of our tiny terrors is tradeable( which is why you do not hear their names bandied about in rumours). No one wants Doob or Mang or Czar or Lombo bcuz SMALL LOSES.

    • everton fc

      I disagree that teams wouldn`t want Dube or Mangiapane. Czarnik – agreed. Lomberg is still a minor leaguer. So he`s not worth being in the discussion.

    • Luter 1

      Some of those guys are good players but your right too many of them on the small side . Though Ryan heads the list because of his outrageous contract for a 30 something 4th liner that’s the coaches pet. Nice smaller player but worth max 2.5 mill.

  • Budgie

    Stone was solid until his injury, I am not sure what player people are discussing, he has value on the team or in a trade. Brodie has value too, with a surplus of defencemen a trade for draft picks or a prospect is likely. Stone isn’t trash, just buy him out-kick him out the door. The Flames can put Stone on LTIR to keep his Cap Hit from making them exceed the Upper Limit until they find a trade for Brodie, Frolik, or Stone. Tkachuk could get a multi year deal that pays more toward the end, or a bridge deal. Buy outs are a desperate move, the Canucks are paying Luongo 3 million a year to be retired for the next 3 years. Calgary has to move Brodie and/or Frolik, to give Mangiapanne and Tkachuk a contract. Stone can be depth and traded during the season.

    • TheBigChef

      There is a lot to unpack here, but for starters:
      –> Stone has no trade value at $3.5mm. If he did, he would be gone. He is turning 30 this year, has serious health concerns and only played 15 games last year, and provides limited offense. He has “some” value as a depth RHD on the Flames, but the cap relief of buying him out is much more valuable than what he would provide as a 7th D.
      –> You can’t just put a guy on LTIR because you want to. He came back from his blood clot issue around March last year and by all accounts is still healthy. Unless one of the guys on the team backs into him with their truck to put him back on LTIR, he is going to count against the cap at the start of the season.
      –> “Backloading” Tkachuks contract wouldn’t save any cap space and would solve no problems. However, a bridge deal might be a useful way to keep the cap hit down until we are not in cap hell–though will likely mean paying him much more on the next deal.
      –> Agree that buyouts suck, but right now we don’t have much other options as we need cap relief and no one is taking Stone.
      –> Luongo was not bought out. He was traded to Florida with salary retained. Vancouver got dinged on cap recapture penalties because he retired before the end of his contract, and Vancouver was still on the books for a lot of that money.

      • Kevin R

        In all honesty, Flames really cant be buying out players like Stone even though Stone would be a normal buyout candidate. I think he would be a good partner for Valamaki on that bottom pairing. Trade Brodie & Frolik & call it a day. Get cap space but at least get some asset back. Even if it’s underwhelming & the naysayers can whine about the returns. We also in all likelihood have a buyout coming in 2 years on that Lucic contract if he isnt willing to waive his NMC for the expansion draft.

        • TheBigChef

          As I said, a buyout is not ideal and is the result of poor asset management, but the cap space saved by buying him out is more valuable than whatever he is going to provide as a depth defenseman. And that’s even assuming he can still be as mediocre as he was before he missed 90% of last season. He only played 14 games last year. Who knows how effective he will even be?

          The buyout also means we *might* be able to bring Tkachuk and Mangiapane without dumping Frolik and Brodie just for cap room. Getting rid of Brodie and Frolik makes us worse without assets coming back. Getting rid of Stone does not.

          • Kevin R

            Well I think you may be putting too high a value on two bonafide NHL players but will be playing for another team in 1 year. Teams like Detroit & Ottawa have tons of cap space but they still have to be competitive because they do have fans shelling out $$$ to go to games. Frolik & Brodie will not only improve their team but are players that can be flipped at the TDL (unlikely these teams are playoff bound) for much more than what the acquisition costs are. These would be players that the Flames would possibly look at the TDL if the circumstances were right at next TDL. We just dont have the luxury of holding them until then.

          • WoodrowWilson

            I wasn’t attributing any value to them other than stating that getting rid of legitimate, decent NHL players without bringing any assets back does not make out team better.

            It’s always nice to assume there will be some Greater Fool bottom feeder out there who will take our hand-me-downs. That is rarely true. I don’t see Frolik as a fit on Detroit or Ottawa. Detroit has a full roster with its own bad contracts to worry about. Also don’t see him as a fit on a rebuilding team. He seems to me more a complementary player for a team looking to compete. If he were only making $2.5mm instead of $4.3 I don’t think anyone would be talking about getting rid of him.

          • The Beej

            One thing to consider: picks acquired for cap dumps (brodie and frolik potentially) can be used at trade deadlines and off seasons to bolster roster so it is not the end of the world.

            It might make us worse for opening night. But opening night doesnt really matter. April matters more.

        • cjc

          Lucic’s contract is virtually buyout proof because of the bonus structure – in the final 3 seasons of his contract, most of his salary is paid out in bonuses – those need to be paid regardless. A buyout would only save two thirds of the cap hit related to regular salary.

      • Budgie

        If Brodie is traded then Stone is insurance, if he is fit to play-otherwise if he can’t be moved before the start of the season he will likely be bought out. Calgary will have to negotiate with Tkachuk on living with the Cap, they may keep him by using a bridge deal and some promises on the future.
        Luongo was given a 12 year contract, right, the Canucks retained salary and didn’t buy him out, the effect is the same as buying out his remaining years. Some players will go on the Long Term Injured list to ride out the rest of their contract and not hurt a teams Cap Space. Trevling could offer Tkachuk a long term deal knowing it is risky just to sign the 12 year deals-anyway you shake it Calgary needs about 10 million in Cap Space. I like seeing young players come up anyways-Dube and Valamaki for sure. Trevling knows he has to make a trade and likely buy out Stone

    • HOCKEY83

      I agree Stone is absolutely not trash. He was the scapegoat 2 seasons ago when the entire team played like garbage and last season he did not play which turned brodie into the scapegoat for these people but Stone would have made an impact in the playoffs. He can’t be put on LTIR unless his blood clots come back (hope they don’t for his sake) he’s healthy right now. If he got bought out or waived he would get snapped up quickly. He can play D as well as anyone on the flames and he is way grittier than any Flames D. His fate was seasled here with too many young, lower salaried Dmen. Not every team is in that position. There are teams out there that could use him

  • Jobu

    If Tkachuk wants to win championships he needs to take a discount from his 8+ million ask.
    Best thing he could do for both the club and himself is come in on a short term contract (to get him to his UFA years) at or under the current team cap of 6.75

    He can ask for ridiculous money on his next contract for whichever city he wants to go to. That, plus if he wins a cup due to the extra cap usage on trade deadline acquisitions and re-upping the young studs then his value will be perceived even higher.

    That is Jobu’s sales pitch to you Mr. Tkachuk. Jobu does realize that taking a short term ding for a larger long term payout is a gamble, but whats 1.25 million to a 6 million dollar guy anyway? And just THINK OF THE CAP SPACE 5 years from now.

    • TheBigChef

      I agree that the best route for both player and team right now is probably a bridge to keep the cap hit down for a couple years then let him cash in later.

      In all honesty though, how close do you really think this team is to winning championships in that time frame? I am not convinced this is a championship roster.

      • Theo/14

        I agree that it’s the best deal for the team. Not so sure the Tkachuk family would agree it’s the best deal for them. All they have to do is look around the league at others coming off ELC and they are all getting paid!! Including chuckys good friend Marner.

        • WoodrowWilson

          I think the reason it would benefit Tkachuk is that (1) as was Jobu’s point, he would avoid making the team have to subtract from the current roster to fit him in, thereby giving him a better team to play with. Better team also likely means better opportunity to produce; (2) the salary cap is supposed to go up pretty significantly when the new US TV deal comes in, meaning he would get a much bigger payday on the next contract than he would if he signed for long term now, assuming he keeps producing like he has been; and (3) it might give him more flexibility on the next deal.

          There are obviously reasons he wouldn’t want to do it either–being that he gets less now, so he is taking on risk that something happens limiting his opportunity to cash in on the next deal. He could get injured or could have a bad season before the next contract comes up. It’s a little bit of betting on yourself but in Tkachuk’s case I can’t see him falling off a cliff so as long as he stays healthy I think he would be a prime candidate to get a much bigger deal the next time around.

        • Budgie

          Yes the trend is long term contracts for unproven young players, they must feel the Cap will go up greater than the relative Cap Hit if you go long term-years from now many teams may find they have made mistakes and stuck with a huge contract for an average player

  • super6646

    “In 98% of scenarios, I can’t see the Flames trading him. The Flames also happen to be a team who thinks they can go deep in the playoffs next season. Given that things mostly point to Brodie leaving town, it shows what Hamonic’s status is on the team. Even from the second pairing, his contributions are so beloved that the team is more willing to move their first pairing RHD before moving him.”

    That is seems a little bit of a little bit contradictory given how badly he played in the playoffs. Hope Tre doesn’t get blinded by “character” and give out a deal that could be an anchor and weaken our defense just because.

    • Budgie

      Hamonic didn’t play bad on purpose, he was bruised from blocking shots-I wish he’d take it easy on that-he was limping several times-Hamonic and Hanofin are a great pair to keep as the second pair-Gio and Andersson are 1, Valamaki and Kylington are 3

  • freethe flames

    At this point b/c of the lack of depth on the right side on D you can only afford to move one of Stone(via buyout) or Brodie; I don’t see a way to do both. Trading Frolik at a bargain price is likely going to the secondary move; BT may even have to eat some of the salary. A Stone($2.333) buyout and sending Gilles($.750m) and a forward(Quine $.735 or Czarnink $1m) to the minors will get the Flames very close to getting it done unless BT has to sign Tkachuk at over $8m. Time will tell.
    I keep reading that the Leafs are waiting to sign Marner until they get cap relief? Is it possible that Stone is in that same situation.

  • freethe flames

    Just a question for people: if by Thursday the Flames have not traded Frolik would people consider buying him out and saving $2m in cap space; buying both he and Stone out would create $4.33 in cap space.

    • cjc

      This would make no sense. I have a hard time believing that there isn’t a team that would take on Frolik in exchange for at least a fourth rounder. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that, but if it does then Treliving should be able to recoup something. Hell, he could waive Frolik and someone would claim him. No need to incur a cap hit for Frolik with a buyout.

    • LannyMac

      Sure would free up some cap space but now (haven’t done the math and couldn’t care to) the flames are paying x players a lot of dough to stay away. Maybe it then becomes smart to get rid of the common denominator

  • Mickey O'Reaves

    “I love Rasmus Andersson, but there’s a nagging doubt that he may not just be ready yet for regular first pairing duty.”

    To be honest, Rebar was bending over backwards to make excuses as to why Rasmus was playing with Gio last season in stretches: “Oh, T.J. is still hurt, he has a nagging foot injury…” Nope.

    Coach wanted/wants Rasmus playing with Giordano. I’ll bet so does Gio – a solid partner who has a concept of how to play defence, and won’t get pushed around.

    Rasmus Andersson is already showing solid leadership attributes on the ice as well. He’s going to have a big season with that absolute cannon of a shot of his thrown into his bag o’ tricks.