Trading for Brock Boeser is a worthwhile gamble for the Flames, if the price is right

Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
Friends, the Calgary Flames are a team that’s playing quite well of late, but need to score more goals. An hour to their west, one of their division rivals look to be potentially selling low on a player that has scored goals with regularity (but isn’t scoring a ton right now).
A trade for Vancouver Canucks forward Brock Boeser would be a worthwhile gamble for the Flames, as long as the price tag doesn’t get too steep.
So what’s going on? Well, on Monday’s edition of Donnie & Dhali – The Team on CHEK TV, Rick Dhaliwal laid out the situation as such:
“Two or three weeks ago, Boeser was dropped to the third line [and] off of PP1. And what agents will do, they’ll call the GM to discuss a player’s drop in ice time. I believe those calls led to both sides agreeing to a move, mutually.”
Dhaliwal, who’s quite connected in the Vancouver market, connected some dots related to the Flames and their potential interest in Boeser.
“Now, this is one thing I do know. The Calgary Flames are looking for a goal-scorer. I heard last night Calgary may have interest in Boeser. Not confirmed, but teams poke around, Donnie, trying to find the price and see if there’s a fit. Lots of former Canucks in the Calgary dressing room who could vouch for Boeser.”
Now, we know Flames general manager Brad Treliving talks to everybody about everything. But Boeser really seems like somebody that might be in the Flames’ wheelhouse.
  • He’s 25, turning 26 in February.
  • He’s a right shot winger.
  • He’s a past first-rounder, selected in 2015 – the Flames heavily scouted the potential first round group that year, then traded their pick to Boston for Dougie Hamilton.
  • He’s a career 0.364 goals per game player, good for 30 goals in an 82-game season.
  • He’s a career 0.790 points per game player, good for 65 points in an 82-game season.
(He hasn’t ever played an 82-game season due to a few recurring injuries.)
The Flames are a team that plays smart, sound structural hockey, but has lost a few games due to simply not scoring enough goals. Getting a guy on the right side of 30 who has scored a lot of goals in his career, consistently, would be helpful. He’s been a bit cold for the Canucks this season, with his shooting percentage dropping to 9.8% (below his career average of 13%), but he’s still managed to put up 15 points in 19 games.
In short: if Boeser is available, and intel suggests that he is, the Flames should seriously consider it.
But the devil’s in the details, and the math has to make sense.
For this season, the Flames have the ability to add about $1.8 million in cap hits and remain complaint at the end of the season. Since Boeser’s cap hit is $6.65 million, that means the Flames need to send something significant out the door to facilitate the trade from a cap perspective. (Milan Lucic was born in the Vancouver area, played junior for the Giants, and is on an expiring deal. Just sayin’.) Throw in a second or third-round pick and/or a good prospect, and the shape of a deal begins to form.
But beyond this season, there are challenges. The Flames have existing cap commitments of about $81.7 million between 17 players. It’s still not completely clear, but the 2023-24 salary cap could be either $1 million higher than this season (up to $83.5 million) or $4 million higher (up to $86.5 million).
Either way, adding $6.65 million of ongoing cap hits for the next couple seasons will cause some future cap challenges. If Boeser can bounce back and score some goals for the Flames, it might be worth it in the short term. And if he scores those goals and he can be the missing piece of the puzzle for this group, then the Flames can live with the inevitable cap pain.
Adding Boeser would be a gamble, but he could be worth it if the price isn’t too crazy.

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