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Calgary Flames players (that aren’t the big pending free agents) that could be on the move
1 month ago
2024 is going to be a transformative year for the Calgary Flames. Their roster is going to look a lot different on opening night next season than it does right now. A big reason for that is the inevitable trades of pending unrestricted free agents Elias Lindholm, Noah Hanifin, and Chris Tanev.
But are there other players the Flames could look to trade who aren’t the three big pending UFAs?
General manager Craig Conroy mentioned in his introductory press conference how important asset management is going to be.
From an asset management perspective, trading some non-pending UFAs might make sense.
Let’s take a look at some players who fit that description.
Markstrom is in the fourth of a six year deal he signed with the Flames in the fall of 2020. He’s been a solid Flame, particularly in the 2021-22 season when he finished second in Vezina Trophy voting.
Markstrom signed with the Flames because of the lucrative contract offer (obviously), but he also signed to have a chance to win. The Flames were a team built to win now when he signed with them. But that’s no longer the case. It’s clear the Flames are heading into a retool/rebuild and they’re not going to be a Stanley Cup contender anytime soon.
Now would be a great time to explore the trade market for Markstrom. He’s playing his best hockey since May 2022. His numbers aren’t great, but I think we would all agree that he has played good hockey this season. Now is the time to move him. Markstrom is a streaky goalie. When he is on his game, he is one of the best netminders in the NHL. And when he’s not, he is detrimental to his team.
His value likely won’t be any higher than it is right now.
He does have a full no-move clause. Conroy will have to work with him on where he wants to go. But there are a lot of good teams that are looking for help in net.
This will likely be a controversial topic among Flames fans over the coming months. Should the Flames trade Rasmus Andersson within the next couple years?
From a long-term perspective, it might make sense.
Andersson will be 30 years old on Oct. 27, 2026. The first year of his next contract. Do the Flames want to commit a seven- or eight-year contract extension to a 30-year-old defenceman when they will already have a lot of cap space tied up in veterans like Nazem Kadri, Jonathan Huberdeau, and MacKenzie Weegar?
The Flames are also building for the future. An Andersson trade would likely fetch them a huge return that they could use to help make them a great team 3-5 years from now, when they’ll hopefully be a true contender.
Between now and the NHL draft might be the best time to make a deal. Andersson is on a great contract for two more years after this season. He is the type of defenceman every contending team could use.
From an asset management perspective, trading Andersson between now and 2024 free agency might make a lot of sense for the Flames.
Similar to Andersson, Andrew Mangiapane is going to be a 29-year-old unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2025. Do the Flames want to sign a 29-year-old winger to a 6-8-year contract extension?
One thing to keep in mind is that the Flames are deep on the wings in their prospect system. They have Sam Honzek, Jakob Pelletier, Connor Zary, Martin Pospisil, Matt Coronato, Aydar Suniev, Adam Klapka, Rory Kerins, William Stromgren, Lucas Ciona. You get the picture.
Seeing all those wingers begs the question, “Do the Flames need Andrew Mangiapane long term?” If he was the 2021-22 version of himself every year, the answer might be yes. But he’s not that player. He is more of a 20-25 goal scorer rather than a 35-goal scorer. He is replaceable when you consider the amount of wingers they have in their prospect system.
The Flames could use the draft pick/picks in a Mangiapane return to select a centre of defencemen in the draft, which they desperately need more of in their farm system.
The Tyler Toffoli/Yegor Sharangovich trade is working out well for both the Devils and Flames.
The Flames signed Sharangovich to a two-year contact making him a 27-year-old UFA in 2025. The same argument could be made about Sharangovich as I just made for Mangiapane.
Do they Flames need Sharangovich long term with all the depth they have on the wings in their farm system?
I think the answer is yes. Sharangovich has been a good player who plays on both sides of special teams. He would be worth re-signing to a reasonable contract extension. But if he is looking for a 6-8-year deal, the Flames would be smart to shop him.
If a team makes a great offer, say a first-round pick or top prospect for Sharangovich, the Flames should seriously consider looking to make that kind of deal.
Greer has been a revelation for the Flames. The waiver wire pickup the day before the start of the regular season has exceeded everyone’s expectations. In 35 games he has scored six goals and 10 points. He’s also provided speed and physicality to the Flames lineup.
Greer has never produced at this level in the NHL before. Is this the new norm for Greer? Or is this him catching lightning in a bottle?
The Flames should start talking about a contract extension for Greer now. If he wants a one-year deal for one million dollars or less, then sign him. If he wants more than two years and more than $1 million a season, it might be a good idea to trade him.
The risk you run signing him to a multi year contract extension is what happened to the Flames when they signed Lance Bouma to a three-year deal coming off the best season of his life. He was bought out two seasons later and didn’t come close to replicating his production from the 2014-15 season.
The same might happen to Greer if Conroy isn’t careful.
We’ll keep this one short and sweet. if you can get any draft pick for Adam Ruzicka, take it.
The Ruzicka experiment hasn’t worked in Calgary. There is no natural fit for him in the Flames lineup. Moving on from him at this point might be best for the team and player.
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