LeBrun: Flames still looking at Ben Chiarot
Photo credit:David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike8 months ago
We’re just eight days out from the 2022 trade deadline, folks, and the Calgary Flames are well-positioned for playoff qualification and are still looking to upgrade their roster. Case in point: according to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun, they’re still in the hunt for Montreal Canadiens defender Ben Chiarot.
The Flames have been linked to Chiarot for months, and per reports from Frank Seravalli and Elliotte Friedman, Chiarot was part of trade discussions before the clubs pulled the trigger on a swap that sent Tyler Toffoli to Calgary on Valentine’s Day.
Per LeBrun, the Flames are balking at Montreal’s reported price tag for Chiarot. “My sense is the Habs have strong interest in Flames prospect Jakob Pelletier, the team’s 2019 first-round pick.” (As you can imagine, the Flames really like Pelletier, too, and likely aren’t in any hurry to move him.)
Chiarot, 30, is a pending unrestricted free agent defender who shoots left but can play either side of the blueline position. He carries a $3.5 million cap hit, so the Habs would likely have to retain salary in any trade with the Flames. He has 17 points in 53 games this season for Montreal.
Perhaps because Montreal has been bad this year, Chiarot is a below replacement level player based on Evolving-Hockey’s model. He’s actually below replacement in every aspect of their model: even strength offense and defense, special teams, and drawing penalties.
Heck, he’s actually been below replacement in each of the past three seasons, though he’s been above replacement defensively until this season. Perhaps that’s the logic: the Flames could slot him in as playoff-ready shutdown assistance if somebody goes down, or perhaps to supplement their existing shutdown expertise.
The trade deadline is 1 p.m. MT next Monday, Mar. 21.
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