The Calgary Flames are in perfect position to sell assets given recent NHL trades
Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
9 months ago
Trade deadline season is a fun time in all professional sports, but due to the salary cap in the National Hockey League specifically, there have been times when deadline season has been a total wash. However, the 2023 trade deadline season has been an absolute blast for fans around the league.
Unfortunately for Calgary Flames fans, they have had to watch as other teams make moves to move away from players or acquire them to make a run at a Stanley Cup. They’re one of only two teams that have yet to make a move. Bo Horvat was traded to the New York Islanders; Vladimir Tarasenko and Ryan O’Reilly were traded from the St. Louis Blues to the New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs, respectively. Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway were moved to the Boston Bruins.
New trades keep flowing in, too. Timo Meier is headed to New Jersey, Tanner Jeannot is going to Tampa Bay, Jake McCabe and Sam Lafferty are going up north to Toronto, Patrick Kane is going to New York, and Mattias Ekholm is going to Edmonton. It feels as if the river will run dry by the actual trade deadline.
So, this begs the question, where should Brad Treliving and his staff go from here, given what has been happening across the league and where they sit in the standings?
Calgary’s situation is interesting but could also be used to their advantage. They have plenty of players with one year of term left after this season at reasonable prices, which means that if they were to sell off the assets, they could get some decent hauls back, whether it’s picks, prospects, or in most cases, would be both. We heard on The Jeff Marek Show that they might be working on a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes, and a name like Elias Lindholm has also been thrown around on Twitter regarding those rumors.
Considering what the teams around the Flames are doing in the trade market (the Nashville Predators selling off Jeannot, Ekholm, and Nino Niederreiter for players and draft picks with reportedly more to come) and the same with St. Louis, as I pointed out earlier, there is plenty of reason to give serious consideration to moving even just a couple of players that only have one year left on their deal.
According to MoneyPuck, Calgary’s playoff chances are still above average at 63.6 percent. With the Winnipeg Jets continuing to falter, the Flames could realistically see the second wild-card spot. Of course, that reality also hinges on things going right in the net, which has been their biggest problem so far outside of their inconsistency as a team in general. Even in their best games, their goalies have not done the job. So even if Treliving and his crew were to buy assets on the market to try and earn a playoff appearance, it wouldn’t address the actual need.
The time to decide on the future of the team is dwindling. There are many things to consider, so it’s understandable that the front office for this team has wanted to take its time. However, considering the current trade market and the leverage the Flames could have over the return for their moveable pieces, there should be tons of in-house discussion about where to go from here.
The kind of return the Predators got for Jeannot is extreme, but that was an example of a Cup contender overpaying for an asset they believe will be beneficial down the line. If a contender with a hole in their lineup or a position in which they want to upgrade came calling and asked for a Lindholm or Noah Hanifin, or Tyler Toffoli (just as examples), I would be inclined to have my ears wide open if I were in the general manager position because the Flames might be able to take serious advantage, especially of teams in the arms race that is the Eastern Conference.
In the end, the deadline is approaching fast, and the Flames have yet to make any moves. No one wants to be a seller and miss the playoffs, but if there was a time to move away from even a couple of players, it would be now. The market is off the rails, and Calgary should take a serious look at taking advantage.
THE DAILY FACEOFF TRADE DEADLINE SHOW
Join us on March 3rd for the Daily Faceoff Live: Trade Deadline edition as Frank Seravalli and the panel break down all of the latest rumours, news, and rumblings from around the NHL. The show will be live on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter from 10 AM – 2 PM MT to keep you up to date on all things trade deadline no matter where you’re watching from.
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