The 2024 Calgary Flames trade deadline primer: contracts, clauses and cap space

Photo credit:@NHLFlames on Twitter
Ryan Pike
1 month ago
The National Hockey League’s 2023-24 trade deadline is today (Friday) at 1 p.m. MT. After that point, players added to a team’s reserve list are not eligible to play in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Calgary Flames remain in the hunt, but have the odds against them to qualify for a playoff spot.
Here are the various constraints the Flames are working within heading into the deadline.

The standings

The Flames are 9th in the Western Conference by points percentage, with a 31-26-5 record, 67 points, and a .540 points percentage. They’re six points behind Vegas for the first wild card spot (with a game in hand) and eight points behind Nashville for the second wild card spot (with two games in hand). (To have the same points percentage as Nashville, the Flames would need to have 5.7 more points.)
Whatever way you want to slice it, they’re about four to six points out of a playoff spot.

Roster and contract limit

As of Friday, the 23-man roster limit is lifted (but teams need to remain salary cap compliant). Teams are also constrained by the NHL’s rule regarding 50 active contracts.
Right now, the Flames are using 23 roster spots:
  • Goalies (2): Jacob Markstrom and Dan Vladar
  • Defensemen (8): Rasmus Andersson, Joel Hanley, Dennis Gilbert, MacKenzie Weegar, Oliver Kylington, Daniil Miromanov, Jordan Oesterle and Brayden Pachal
  • Forwards (13): Jonathan Huberdeau, Mikael Backlund, Dryden Hunt, Yegor Sharangovich, Blake Coleman, Kevin Rooney, Jakob Pelletier, Matt Coronato, Walker Duehr, Martin Pospisil, Andrew Mangiapane, Nazem Kadri and Andrei Kuzmenko
On the injury reserve list are A.J. Greer and Connor Zary. Dillon Dube is on the non-roster list. Greer and Zary both count against the salary cap, but Dube does not.
The Flames have 45 players under active contracts – this doesn’t include Samuel Honzek, whose deal don’t start until next season. To be eligible to play in the NHL’s post-season, a player needs to be on the Flames’ reserve list – either under contract, or the Flames have to own their NHL rights – as of the trade deadline.

No-trade and no-move clauses

Four players have active no-move clauses: Jonathan Huberdeau, Nazem Kadri, Mikael Backlund and Jacob Markstrom
Four players have active no-trade clauses of various kinds:
  • Andrew Mangiapane has an 8-team no-trade list
  • Andrei Kuzmenko has a 12-team no-trade list
  • Blake Coleman has a full no-trade
  • MacKenzie Weegar has a full no-trade
These players can be traded, but would have to agree (in writing) to waive their no-move or no-trade clauses for the trade to be processed by the league.

Waivers and the recall limit

Two Flames on the active roster are waiver exempt right now and can be moved to and from the AHL as needed:
  • Jakob Pelletier
  • Matt Coronato
Walker Duehr cleared waivers back on Jan. 18 and hasn’t spent 30 days on the NHL roster since then, so he is also exempt. Jordan Oesterle was placed on waivers on Thursday. If he clears on Friday at noon MT, he (and Duehr) can also be moved to and from the AHL as needed. (Connor Zary is waiver exempt, but since he’s on the injury reserve list he can’t be assigned to the AHL, even on paper.)
After the trade deadline, the Flames can only call up an AHL player four times under non-emergency conditions – “emergency conditions” means you don’t have enough healthy bodies to fill an NHL lineup (e.g., fewer than two goaltenders, six defenders or 12 forwards). If a player is brought up under emergency conditions and the team decides to keep them up after the emergency, that would use up a recall. Bringing up the same player four times under non-emergency conditions would wipe out all four recalls.

The AHL roster

For an NHL player to be eligible to be assigned to the AHL at any point before the end of the season, they have to be on an AHL team’s roster as of the trade deadline. For the Flames, Pelletier, Coronato and Duehr are waiver exempt and eligible to be assigned to the Wranglers on Friday, while Oesterle would also be eligible if he clears waivers at noon MT.
However, the Flames can’t send all four down to the AHL. They’re carrying 23 players on their active roster and they’re required to maintain an active roster of at least 20 players at all times. If the Flames send any of those four to the AHL before the deadline and then call them back up afterwards, they would count against the Flames’ four post-deadline recalls.

The salary cap

The cap ceiling is $83.5 million. The Flames have $79.477 million in cap hits on their roster right now – between their active roster, their injury reserve list, and retaining salary on the Chris Tanev and Noah Hanifin trades.
Between their long-term injury relief and previous days cap savings, the Flames can add about $6.975 in full-year cap hits and remain cap compliant at the end of the season.

Pending free agents

Finally, the Flames have a few players on expiring contracts of various kinds:
  • Unrestricted free agents (10): Kevin Rooney, Oliver Kylington, Jordan Oesterle, Dennis Gilbert, A.J. Greer, Ben Jones (Group VI), Brady Lyle (Group VI), Colton Poolman, Mark Pysyk, Oscar Dansk
  • Restricted free agents (8): Jakob Pelletier, Dillon Dube, Cole Schwindt, Adam Klapka, Riley Damiani, Yan Kuznetsov, Ilya Solovyov, Dustin Wolf

Draft picks

The Flames have picks in the next three drafts in the following rounds – we’ve made a few simplifying assumptions:
  • 2024: 1st, 1st (VAN), 2nd, 2nd (DAL), 3rd, 3rd (VGK), 4th, 4th (NJD or VAN), 5th (CGY or CHI), 6th
  • 2025: 1st (own or FLA), 2nd, 3rd,  5th, 6th, 7th
  • 2026: 1st, 1st (VGK), 2nd, 3rd, 3rd (VAN), 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, plus potentially a 3rd from DAL if they make the 2024 Stanley Cup Final
(We have a painfully detailed breakdown of the Flames’ various draft picks on the site from Friday morning.)
If the season were to end on Friday morning, by points percentage the Flames would be allocated the 14th overall pick in the 2024 NHL Draft, prior to the draft lottery proceedings.
Get ready for the Daily Faceoff Live Trade Deadline Show, coming to you on March 8th LIVE from 11 AM to 3 PM EST!! Join Tyler Yaremchuk, Frank Seravalli and friends for 4 hours of non-stop action as they dive deep into the heart of the trade deadline. They will be breaking down every trade, discussing the impact on teams, predicting the playoff picture, and giving you the inside scoop on all the wheeling and dealing happening around the league. Tune in live on March 8th from 11 AM to 3 PM EST for the The Daily Faceoff Live Trade Deadline special you won’t want to miss!

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