It’s been far from the season the Calgary Flames had hoped for. They stumbled out of the gate and a mid-season coaching change to bring back Darryl Sutter to the organization hasn’t exactly played out they were wanting, either.
The team has gone a meager 5-8-0 under Sutter and with the trade deadline a week away, Calgary is far on the outside looking in. For the Flames, however, there’s a good opportunity to sell off some assets in the next week.
There was an all-star insider lineup on the DFO Rundown Podcast Monday as hosts Jason Gregor and Frank Seravalli were joined by Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger. Here’s what they had to say about the Flames:
Dreger: Well, I think you can start with the obvious and the obvious seems to be Sam Bennett. I mean, we’ve talked about Sam Bennett potentially being traded for the last three years at or around the trade deadline. And this year was amplified earlier in the season, did he request a trade or didn’t he? All those things. Beyond that, how do you move some of those contracts given the way that these guys are playing in a flat cap environment, you know, again on the clock now until April 12. And, you know, if you’re the ownership of the Calgary Flames, are you entrusting the management group that exists there to say, ‘okay, well, if there’s a fit for Sean Monahan, let’s make that move right now.’ You might as well keep your powder dry and do a full evaluation at the end of the season. I’m not saying that Brad Treliving you know, isn’t going to move some parts, you know, he might. My sense doing the Leafs and the Flames game on the weekend again on Monday is that it’s real quiet on the trade front around Calgary. And that borderline shocks me, how can it be from the way that this team has played to this point? So it’s either a determination by clubs around the NHL that they don’t like the Flames players, or they realize that you’re not getting Gaudreau, you’re not getting Monahan you’re definitely not getting Matthew Tkachuk, any of those bigger pieces in the season. So you might as well wait until the offseason. I think that that’s where you’re going to see the most meaningful change, you know, does it start in the front office with management and drift then deeper into the core of that team, so it may not be as busy a deadline in Calgary as some are anticipating.LeBrun: Yeah, I mean, David Rittich might be an interesting piece for a contender looking at some insurance in-goal is a sort of 1A/1B situation if you believe in the best of him, he’s a pending UFA so unless the Flames thought they were bringing him back, you know, he’s the probably the most obvious piece to move before Monday, but I’m totally with Dregs. And I’ve been saying this for a couple years. Frank knows this, that as much as we want the Trade Center to be fun and fireworks. The salary cap has forced the offseason to actually become the prime trading season when it comes to big hockey deals. You know, go all the way back to you know, Taylor Hall, go back to the Weber for Subban, all the fireworks deals, because of the stress of the cap, have happened in the offseason over the last decade plus and I suspect this offseason is going to be explosive, actually around the NHL, with the pressure of the Seattle Expansion Draft forcing a lot of interesting decisions. I just don’t know that we’re gonna see a big hockey deal before Monday. I think a lot of it will be your typical rentals or maybe players with the year and a half left, trying to fit it into a flat cap before Monday, but but I really feel the bigger deals are are coming in July.Seravalli: For all the reasons that you guys mentioned. I think you’re right that the chances are minimal that there’s a significant deal from Calgary. The one guy and Dregs hit on him is Sean Monahan that I just think that percentage is ticked up just a little bit. I think teams are curious about the ability to buy low as his production is down. And on top of that, the contract when he’s producing and he’s at his best, that’s a very, very reasonable contract around the league that’s somewhat easy to fit in, given where he is on the cap. So, you know, I think he’s the one guy that has some smaller, larger percentage than the rest.
You can listen to the full episode below.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]