10 best (and worst) Flames trades of the 2010s

From the beginning of 2010 until the end of 2019, the Calgary Flames made 64 trades with other hockey clubs. Of course, not all trades are of equal value and quality. Let’s look back at the best and the worst of the many swaps the Flames made over the past decade.

What makes a trade good or bad?

When we look at trades, there are a few ways to evaluate. The primary questions asked are “What was the trade trying to accomplish?” and “Did the Flames get value for their assets?” If a draft pick is involved, we’re ignoring how the drafting team used the pick and focusing on the pick itself as a trade chip.

The 10 worst trades

For the curious, seven of the worst trades were by Jay Feaster, the other three were by Brad Treliving.

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10. 2015 fourth round pick to San Jose for T.J. Galiardi (July 2, 2013)

At the time, Galiardi was coming off a 14 point lockout-shortened 2012-13 season with the Sharks, where he was the team’s ninth-leading scorer. He had been qualified, but the Flames traded a fourth rounder to the Sharks for his services. Galiardi had 17 points with the Flames and never really seemed to click, and wasn’t qualified when the season was over. A fourth rounder for one season of a middle six forward is a bit rich.

9. 2020 fourth round pick to Los Angeles for Oscar Fantenberg (February 25, 2019)

Fantenberg was a depth defender for the Kings and a pending unrestricted free agent. The Flames sent a conditional pick that ended up being a fourth rounder to the Kings for what amounted to six weeks of Fantenberg’s services.

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8. Alex Tanguay and Cory Sarich to Colorado for Shane O’Brien and David Jones (June 27, 2013)

Tanguay and Sarich were part of the old guard Flames and with the departure of Jarome Iginla, it made sense to move them to open up spots for younger players and get some futures or cap space. Getting O’Brien and Jones met precisely zero of those objectives (and the trade got worse when the club bought out O’Brien).

7. 2014 third round pick to Chicago for Brandon Bollig (June 28, 2014)

The good news is the Flames got a former Stanley Cup champion. The bad news is Bollig was already an expensive depth player when he arrived in Calgary, and that was before he began to slide down the depth chart.

6. Jyrki Jokipakka and 2017 second round pick to Ottawa for Curtis Lazar and Michael Kostka (March 1, 2017)

A second round pick (in a good draft) for a player that had one assist in 33 games that season.

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5. Jay Bouwmeester to St. Louis for Mark Cundari, Reto Berra and 2013 first round pick (April 1, 2013)

A 30 minute a night defenseman (with a year left on his contract) for an AHL depth defenseman, a Swiss goaltender and a late first round pick.

4. Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust to NY Rangers for Ales Kotalik and Chris Higgins (February 1, 2010)

This one was weird. The Flames had already traded Prust away to get Jokinen, then cashed out on Jokinen to get Kotalik and Higgins. The Flames gave up the two best players in the trade and acquired a pair of bodies they immediately soured on.

3. Robyn Regehr, Ales Kotalik and 2012 second round pick to Buffalo for Chris Butler and Paul Byron (June 25, 2011)

The previous trade fed into this one. Regehr was getting on in years (but was still quite useful) and the Flames were preparing to sign Tanguay to a contract extension. But to do that, the Flames would need to move out cap space in the form of Regehr and Kotalik. To get the Sabres to take on Kotalik’s awful contract, they sent them a second round pick as a sweetener (and likely accepted the meager return in the trade as the price of doing business). Just poor asset management all around.

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2. Jarome Iginla to Pittsburgh for Kenny Agostino, Ben Hanowski and 2013 first round pick (March 28, 2013)

Granted, Iginla was 35 and on an expiring contract with no-trade protection. That said, two middling college prospects and a late first rounder is a pittance.

1. Dion Phaneuf, Keith Aulie and Fredrik Sjostrom to Toronto for Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman, Ian White and Jamal Mayers (January 31, 2010)

The crown jewel of poor trading. Phaneuf, still factoring into the Norris balloting, jettisoned from the Flames mid-season (along with a good AHL defender in Aulie and a strong penalty killer in Sjostrom) in exchange for Stajan and three spare parts. That the Flames couldn’t turn Phaneuf into any type of picks or prospects – or even wait until the trade deadline or the NHL Draft to get a bidding war going – was horrendous.

The 10 best trades

Three of the best trades were by Feaster, the other seven were by Treliving.

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10. 2016 second round pick to St. Louis for Brian Elliott (June 24, 2016)

Looking for goaltending help, the Flames sent a second rounder to the Blues and picked up the final year of Brian Elliott’s contact. They made the playoffs, so all things considered it was a pretty decent swap for both sides.

9. Daymond Langkow to Phoenix for Lee Stempniak (August 29, 2011)

With Langkow getting on in years and battling injuries, the Flames grabbed Stempniak from the Coyotes. It was, at worst, a lateral move, and the Flames got two and a half seasons out of Stempniak before sending him out of town for a draft pick.

8. 2014 fifth round pick to St. Louis for Kris Russell (July 5, 2013)

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Fifth round picks almost never make the NHL. So it was pretty savvy trading that saw the Flames net Russell, who played nearly 200 games for the club before being traded himself.

7. Rene Bourque, Patrick Holland and 2013 second round pick to Montreal for Mike Cammalleri, Karri Ramo and 2012 fifth round pick (January 12, 2012)

On one hand, yeah, the Flames traded away a second round pick. On the other hand, they turned a cost-controlled asset (Bourque was signed through 2016) who had begun to struggle with injuries and inconsistency into a more productive forward (Cammalleri) and a goaltender (Ramo) who played three seasons and helped to win a playoff round. Both sides got value here.

6. Jiri Hudler to Florida for 2016 second round pick and 2018 fourth round pick (February 27, 2016)

Hudler was a pending free agent and the Flames turned him into two future assets.

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5. Kris Russell to Dallas for Jyrki Jokipakka, Brett Pollock and 2016 second round pick (February 29, 2016)

Russell was a pending free agent and the Flames turned him into three future assets. (It’s noteworthy that the Flames getting the second rounders in this trade and the Hudler trade made it possible for them to trade for Elliott in the first place.)

4. Curtis Glencross to Washington for 2015 second round pick and 2015 third round pick (March 1, 2015)

Glencross was a pending free agent and the Flames turned him into two future assets.

3. Tim Erixon and 2011 fourth round pick to NY Rangers for Roman Horak and two 2011 second round picks (June 1, 2011)

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Had Erixon merely re-entered the NHL Draft, the Flames would’ve received a second round pick. Instead, the Rangers got the kid they wanted and the Flames got useful depth in Horak plus another second round pick.

2. 2015 first round pick and two 2015 second round picks to Boston for Dougie Hamilton (June 26, 2015)

This trade was the culmination of a few asset accumulation swaps (including the Glencross trade). The Flames were able to use their first two rounds worth of picks, plus the Washington second round pick, to grab a top four defender. For reference it took Rasmus Andersson, drafted with a second round pick from another trade, until midway through 2018-19 to become a top four defender.

1. Dougie Hamilton, Adam Fox and Micheal Ferland to Carolina for Noah Hanifin and Elias Lindholm (June 23, 2018)

The genius in this trade was in the asset management. If you accept that (a) Fox wasn’t going to sign and the Flames knew it and (b) they weren’t going to be able to afford Ferland when he became a free agent a year after the trade, then this trade is the remaining controllable years for Hamilton and Ferland at the time (a combined four) for the controllable years for Hanifin and Lindholm (a combined eight). The Flames were able to sign Hanifin and Lindholm for a combined 12 seasons, but that involved eating into UFA seasons – the value here was in the long-term asset and cap management.