What to expect from the Calgary Flames before the trade deadline
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike1 year ago
The 2022 National Hockey League trade deadline is today at 1 p.m. MT. The Calgary Flames are perched atop the Pacific Division standings and still have some roster and cap flexibility.
Here’s what we’re expecting from the Flames before the league office calls “pencils down” at 1 p.m.
With Brad Richardson on waivers, the Flames have up to $1.512 million in cap space available – that is, they can add up to $1.512 million in full-year cap hits (e.g., not pro-rated) and remain cap compliant. Presuming Richardson clears waivers at noon MT, the Flames will have the ability to send him to the AHL’s Stockton Heat any time in the next 30 days… but the main reason he’s on waivers is to provide cap flexibility in the event they make a trade.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, the Flames have made three recent trades:
- Tyler Toffoli was added from Montreal in exchange for Tyler Pitlick, prospect Emil Heineman, a 2022 first-round pick (top 10 protected) and a 2023 fifth-round pick
- Michael McNiven was added from Montreal in exchange for future considerations
- Calle Jarnkrok was added at 50% salary retained from Seattle in exchange for a 2022 second-round pick (originally Florida’s), a 2023 third-round pick and a 2024 seventh-round pick
Based on the team’s cap situation, Brad Treliving’s tendencies at prior trade deadlines, and the team’s general needs, we’re expecting the Flames to explore adding a depth defender. (We’ve heard similar from folks as varied as Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli and The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun of late.)
Cap-wise, the Flames would be able to accommodate a “depth defender” with a salary cap hit of up to $3 million (at 50% salary retained). Given the upcoming cap decisions they have to make – Johnny Gaudreau is a pending unrestricted free agent and Andrew Mangiapane, Matthew Tkachuk and Oliver Kylington are pending restricted free agents – it would be challenging for the Flames to fit in anybody with term remaining on their contracts beyond this season.
Don’t count out the Flames making a more significant “hockey trade,” though. The Flames were reportedly in on Mark Giordano (before he went to Toronto), Ben Chiarot (before he went to Florida) and Hampus Lindholm (before he went to Boston). Seravalli has also been touting the possibility of Sean Monahan being moved if the deal makes sense, which would provide the cap wiggle room in the short term to add a more significant piece (and the cap wiggle room beyond this season to re-up the Flames’ key pending free agents).
Also, don’t rule out the Flames making a minor league deal or two. Their American Hockey League affiliate, the Stockton Heat, is in the middle of their best season in their existence (and the best season a Flames minor league has had in roughly 20 years). The developmental benefits of a lengthy AHL playoff run may tempt the Flames to send Brad Pascall’s crew in Stockton a little bit of help for their stretch drive – and remember, the Flames may be stealing a player or two from the Heat over the next few months, so added depth would be a big plus for all involved.
So fill up your coffee, grab some snacks, and hang out with us (and our friends at Daily Faceoff, Sportsnet and other outlets) as we await the final moves for the 32 NHL clubs before the music stops at 1 p.m. MT. Beware: trades are required to be filed with the NHL’s Central Registry by the deadline, but trade calls often take place hours after the actual deadline. Today could take awhile.
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