Which teams have the Calgary Flames traded with the most (and least) often?

Photo credit:David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
4 months ago
The 2024 National Hockey League trade deadline arrives at 1 p.m. MT on Friday. As we get primed for all the moves leading up to the deadline, let’s dive into the history books a bit to see how the Calgary Flames have handled themselves in the trade market in their past.
Among the things we’re curious about: which teams have the Calgary Flames traded with the most and least often in franchise history?

The most common trade partners

Montreal Canadiens, 25
The Habs were the team that gave longtime Flames general manager Cliff Fletcher his start as a scout, and because Fletcher knew so many people within that organization, it makes a lot of sense that he made so many trades with the Bleu, Blanc et Rouge. (He made 11 trades with the Canadiens during his time with the Flames.)
A lot of significant trades have been made with the Habs in Flames history, including the acquisition of Doug Risebrough in 1982, the mid-game trade for Mike Cammalleri in 2012, and the Valentine’s Day 2022 swap for Tyler Toffoli.
St. Louis Blues, 23
Fletcher was the assistant GM of the Blues when he was recruited by Atlanta Flames owner Tom Cousins to run the hockey club in late 1971. Again, as with the Canadiens, his familiarity with the Blues organization likely led to many trades happening – Fletcher made 15 trades with the Blues as Flames GM.
Among the biggest swaps with the Blues involve deals that sent Joe Mullen, Doug Gilmour, Craig Conroy and Roman Turek to Calgary, and one that sent a young Brett Hull to the Blues.
Washington Capitals, 21
The Capitals were an expansion team added to the league a couple seasons after the Flames were, and because there’s been no animosity or rivalry between the clubs – and a couple Capitals GMs have been former Flames assistant GM David Poile and former Flames player Brian MacLellan – trades just seem to materialize between them every couple years.
Aside from the Flames acquiring Bill Clement from the Capitals in 1976, there really haven’t been any gigantic deals between the two teams.
Toronto Maple Leafs, 19
The Flames didn’t do any deals with Toronto while they were in Atlanta, but they’ve been regular trade partners off and on since 1980. Fletcher (and now Brad Treliving) have moved from Calgary to Toronto over the years, but it doesn’t seem to have caused the frequency of Flames/Leafs deals to accelerate.
Among the memorable deals between the two clubs have been the 10-piece trade that sent Doug Gilmour to Toronto, the 7-piece trade that sent Dion Phaneuf to Toronto, and their recent one-for-one swap that made Dryden Hunt a Flame.
Dallas Stars (and Minnesota North Stars), 19
In a similar manner as the Flames have worked with the Capitals, they seem to have done with the (North) Stars: a consistent flow of players back and forth via trade, most recently with Chris Tanev donning a green sweater in the Lone Star State.
Among the other important trades are ones that saw Kent Nilsson head to Minnesota in 1985 and obscure WHL player Jarome Iginla head to Calgary in 1995.

The least common trade partners

Nashville Predators 6
When he was GM of the Capitals, Poile made five trades with the Flames over 15 years. When he was GM of the Predators, Poile made six trades with the Flames over 26 years. The drop in trade frequency was probably explained by the league’s expansion, but it’s a bit odd.
The Flames have made few significant trades with the Preds, with the most memorable likely being their re acquisition of Brian McGrattan in 2013.
Edmonton Oilers, 3
The Flames have made three trades with Edmonton. None of the trades were particularly great for either side, and the swaps Darryl Sutter and Jay Feaster made with the Oilers were among the final moves they made as GMs with the club.
Minnesota Wild, 3
A pipeline of talent has operated between the Flames and Stars for decades. The same can’t be said for the team that replaced the North Stars in the Twin Cities, the Wild. Oddly enough, all three trades involved goaltenders coming to Calgary: Mike Vernon (in 2000), Jamie McLennan (in 2002) and Niklas Backstrom (in 2016).
Seattle Kraken, 2
The Flames have twice sent draft choices to Seattle in exchange for depth roster players: Tyler Pitlick in 2021 and Calle Jarnkrok in 2022. Considering how new Seattle is in the league, their placement on this list makes sense.
Vegas Golden Knights, 0
The Flames have never made a trade with Vegas. Vegas has only been in the league since 2017 so that makes a bit of sense. But the Flames have made multiple trades with several teams since the Golden Knights arrived – among them Chicago, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver – so it’s a bit odd they haven’t put one together with Vegas yet.
Any surprises on this list? Let us know in the comments!
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