It’s trade deadline day!
Let’s head to the mailbag!
As of this morning, the Flames are six points behind Montreal for the last playoff spot in the (Scotia NHL) North Division, and the Habs have three games in hand. The best chance the Flames have is that they have five games remaining against the blue, blanc et rouge.
That said, the Flames have more pathways to missing the post-season than making it. If the Habs go just .500 over their remaining 18 games, the Flames must rack up 24 points over their remaining 15 games. For a team that’s been sub-.500 over 41 games, it’s probably not realistic to expect them to go on an .800 run, even with a somewhat favourable schedule.
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The Athletic has the Flames with a 4% chance of making the playoffs. It’s possible, but not probable.
I did some asking around this week and last word was all systems go, full speed ahead. The plan is for a formal ground-breaking in August, and we should see formal plans for the facility sometime in the next month (or so).
You can make an argument that Oliver Kylington may be the most alluring player the Flames leave unprotected because of his untapped potential. The guy is good. How good? No clue, because he’s only played 93 games.
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Sam Bennett? His limitations are well-established. Mark Giordano? We know what he is. But Kylington could be a goldmine for a Seattle Kraken club looking for guys with potential, and who will have the ability to let younger players with some warts play a ton to find their groove – something the Flames, with all their playoff aspirations, really haven’t been able to do with many of their youngsters.
But aside from expansion? It might be a bit of grind for Kylington, especially considering Juuso Valimaki’s been scratched frequently under Sutter so far.
If Ryan gets traded, the market value is probably a fourth or fifth round pick.
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Everything we’ve heard from Johnny Gaudreau and his camp is he loves being in Calgary and playing for the Flames. It carries a lot of weight with him that the Flames drafted him, were supportive of his development while he was in college, and were really enthusiastic about getting him signed out of college. 29 other teams didn’t do that for him.
If the Flames are doing a full tear-down, or even a moderate one, it doesn’t make much sense to hold onto Gaudreau. If they’re gonna try a “rebuild on the fly,” maybe he could be a beneficial piece of the puzzle. But a lot of that will probably be determined by how this season finishes and the organization’s trajectory headed into the off-season.