The Calgary Flames should explore trading Rasmus Andersson (but only if the price is right)

Photo credit:© Brett Holmes-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Munnich
16 days ago
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We’re less than a month away from the draft in Las Vegas where we will start to see NHL clubs making trades to improve their team next season and beyond. One of the players who should be on the trading block is Calgary Flames defenceman Rasmus Andersson if the Flames are able to acquire another pick in the top half of the first round of the 2024 draft.
That’s the key. You’re only looking to trade a guy like Andersson if it means you’re adding a potential franchise altering player from the 2024 draft class. If it’s for anything less than that, then you’re not doing the deal.
Let’s get into some reasons as to why this could make sense for the Flames.

Andersson’s age and next contract

As we all know, the Flames are in the middle of a re-tool. This is a period of time where the Flames should be doing everything in their power to build a legitimate Stanley Cup contender for the future.
The Flames are a long way from being that. If everything goes right, they’re at least four or five years away from being a true contender.
With that in mind, what type of player will Andersson be when the Flames are contenders again? What is his contract going to look like?
Andersson will be in his early to mid-thirties by the time the Flames are good again. He would have signed a seven- or eight-year contract extension making at least eight million dollars a year.
Will that be the best allocation of cap space for the Flames at that time? Craig Conroy has to be very careful with how he spends his cap space because of the contracts already handed out to Jonathan Huberdeau, Nazem Kadri and MacKenzie Weegar. Plus, they need to save cap space for their young players who will be making an impact between now and 2027-2029.

Getting draft picks now will expedite the Flames re-tool

The Calgary Flames goal is to have a competitive team by the time the new arena which is projected to open for the 2027-28 season.
That’s a quick timeline to turn around a re-tooling team.
If they want to be competitive for the 2027-28 season, they will need to select multiple franchise altering players in the 2024 and 2025 drafts. And the best way to do that is by making multiple picks in the top 10-14 selections. I believe a player like Rasmus Andersson, along with some draft picks can get the Flames another pick in the top 10-14.
Why wait to trade him a year or two from now? That’s just going to delay your re-tool.

Teams are looking to make changes

We are in store for the most active NHL off-season we’ve seen in years. The cap is going up. And there are a ton of teams who are going to be interested in making their team better who own a pick in the top 14.
Three of those teams are Utah, Ottawa, and Seattle.
Pick 6: Utah has a new owner and is in a new city. They’re going to want to make a few big time moves to generate excitement and get back in playoff contention. They have no defencemen under contract as of June 2nd. They have lots of draft picks. Rasmus Andersson would be a great fit in Salt Lake City.
Pick 7: Ottawa is in a similar position to Utah. They have a new owner, GM and head coach. The Sens haven’t made the playoffs in seven years. They are going to shake up their roster. Andersson could be a great start especially if the Sens move on from a guy like Jakob Chychrun or Thomas Chabot.
Pick 8: Seattle needs to take a step forward and get back in the playoffs to stay relevant in the Pacific Northwest. They only have two defencemen signed beyond next season. Their only top pairing d-man is Vince Dunn. They need help on the back end. They could use their pick to get help to win now.
Those three teams don’t need to pick in the top 10 this year. They need to acquire players to help them win next season. Rasmus Andersson can do just that.

Minimal trade protection

Rasmus Andersson is one of the few veteran players on the Flames who don’t have a full no-trade or no-move clause, as his deal only includes a six team no-trade list that kicks in on July 1. The only full time NHL players on the Flames who are 25 and older and don’t have trade protection are Andersson, Yegor Sharangovich, and Daniil Miromanov.
That makes moving Andersson a lot more appealing and easier for Conroy and the Flames.

The Flames defensive prospects

Craig Conroy has done a good job stock piling defencemen over the last year to add to an already decent group of prospects.
The Flames have Hunter Brzustewicz, Jeremie Poirier, Etienne Morin, Artem Grushnikov, Iyla Solovyov, and Yan Kuznetsov. At least two of those players are going to be regulars in the Flames lineup come 2027. Brzustewicz might be a top four d-man by then.
On top of that, Conroy is going to draft at least one defenceman in the 2024 draft. There is going to need to be space on the Flames blueline for those players 4-5 years from now.
The Flames can add to their d-core in the future via trade and free agency. Having Andersson as part of your team in 2027 or 2028 is not a necessity.
If the Flames are serious about re-tooling and building for the future and putting a contender on the ice in a few years, then they should explore trading Rasmus Andersson if it means getting another pick in the top half of the first round. It would be a tough pill to swallow to trade someone like Andersson. He has been a great member of the Flames and been a great representative of our community. But the Flames are in a spot where they need to draft as much elite talent as possible. And Andersson is at the age where he is expendable based off where the Flames are as an organization.

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