FlamesNation Mailbag: Three weeks out
Photo credit:Mike Gould
By Ryan Pike1 year ago
Folks, we’re three weeks away from the National Hockey League trade deadline. The Calgary Flames bounced back from a not great outing in Vancouver with a much better performance against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.
With February closing out and March almost upon us, let’s dive into the mailbag!
It’s not impossible, though I’m sure the Flames would very much prefer to avoid it. Heck, the Flames would love to keep everybody – especially homegrown talents like Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, Andrew Mangiapane and Oliver Kylington, all of which will be getting raises this off-season.
But if your choices to open up cap space are trying to throw picks and prospects to another team to take on Milan Lucic or Sean Monahan, or giving up on a young player like Dillon Dube, suddenly it seems possible to get some good value for Mangiapane in the trade market and open up some space at the same time.
But I’m sure the Flames would prefer to avoid giving up any of their talented players, so we’ll see what creative solutions they can come up with.
Early on this season, the thought process was that Vegas and Edmonton would run away with it and there would be a lot of teams battling it out for the last divisional spot and maybe a wildcard berth. Well, the Flames have been better than expected, Vegas and Edmonton worse than expected, and ultimately aside from Seattle, everybody is a hot streak away from being in a playoff spot (or a cold streak away from being out).
In short: yeah, this is both arguably the weakest division in terms of having no terrifying teams, but it’s also a division where we’re going to see some spirited battles for virtually every playoff position between now and the end of April. Parity can be good and bad all at the same time.
Chris Johnston at the Toronto Star reported that the Flames were looking for a centre and a left-shot defender. We’ve heard a lot about defenders for the past several weeks, because it really fits what Brad Treliving always does at the deadline.
For forwards, it probably depends on prices and what Darryl Sutter (and Treliving) thinks of Adam Ruzicka as a centre in a playoff setting. Byron Froese and Glenn Gawdin are decent depth options, too, but they might want a bit more playoff experience up the middle.
The Flames don’t have a ton of cap space, though, so it probably all comes down to price.
It probably depends on how close Dustin Wolf is to being ready for NHL duty. By the time Vladar’s deal expires next summer, Wolf will have two full seasons of AHL experience under his belt. Will he have done enough at that level to push Vladar out? There’s really no reason to move Vladar until Wolf is ready, especially since Vladar probably won’t be all that expensive on his next deal because of his role as a backup goalie – he likely won’t have played a ton, which will keep his cap hit fairly low.
Tyler Parsons is on the season-opening injury reserve list. All that’s been shared is that he had a flare-up of a previous injury in the fall – unfortunately with his injury history that doesn’t narrow it down a ton. It doesn’t sound like he’ll be playing this season, which is a bad sign for a player who was limited to a single game last season.
He most likely won’t receive another qualifying offer at the end of the season.
Next week’s council meeting will have some action on the arena. The Event Centre Assessment Committee will be re-instituted, and we’ll get an update on the City appointing a third party to work with the Flames and other groups on potential deal structures (which, in turn, would be assessed by the committee).
We’ll see how much progress has been made since January.
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