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Photo Credit: Mike Gould

FlamesNation Mailbag: preparing for a light week

The Calgary Flames will play one game this week. Well, probably, as we’re in a phase of the season where postponements have unfortunately become fairly common. While we wait to see what this week brings – there’s a pretty important city council meeting on Tuesday related to the arena – let’s dive right into the mailbag, friends.

Glen Gulutzan is currently an assistant coach with the Edmonton Oilers and with all the nervousness up Highway 2, we’ve gotten a few folks asking if he’s destined to lead the orange and blue crew soon.

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Honestly, I can’t really see it. Things didn’t go great for him in Calgary, but Gulutzan’s been a really good assistant coach in the various stops he’s made. He’s not a great bench manager, as we saw in Calgary, but he’s a smart tactical coach and a progressive thinker. He’s a great second in command, but I’m not sure if he’d be a great fit as a head coach for a team that’s hoping to win soon. (Even as an interim coach.)

The good news is the Flames have a first and two second round picks in the upcoming draft, which is supposed to be a good one. The bad news is that the Flames have a bunch of depth players in their system – players that could step into the NHL and be somewhat useful fourth line forwards or third pairing defenders – but they only have a handful of potential impact players there.

So if you’re, say, San Jose, and you have Timo Meier potentially going to unrestricted free agency and possibly available as a rental. So what are you going to ask the Flames for? It’s probably those three picks in 2022, prospects like Connor Zary, Matt Coronato, Jakob Pelletier and Dustin Wolf, and that might be it in terms of alluring assets.

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You want Meier? Sure! That’d be cool! But you’re probably losing three of the aforementioned assets and with the not a whole lot of higher end depth in the system, you’re really putting a lot of eggs in that basket. If you’re thinking “This is the year! Do it!” that’s fine, but if you’re making that decision to ante up fully, you’ve got to be able to own that decision.

To be extremely, extremely nice about it: Evander Kane is a talented player with an incredible amount of off-ice baggage. He’s made headlines, for good and bad reasons, everywhere that he’s gone.

I’m not sure if the good would outweigh the bad. I’m not sure if the calculus of pros versus cons is even remotely close on that one.

The longer the Flames wait to use their cap space, the more cap space they can cram until the limit. Right now, the Flames could add $2.766 million in cap hits for the remainder of the season and remain cap compliant. If they wait until the day of the trade deadline, that number jumps up to $7.6 million.

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While there’s a benefit to adding earlier – you get more time to have acquisitions to jell with the team – the financial benefits of waiting until the very last minute are what typically push contenders adding rentals to wait until deadline day.

Out of those three, probably Matthew Phillips. But don’t count out Eetu Tuulola, who’s got a heck of a shot and has been really productive for Stockton over the past month or so.

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