The trade deadline is over and done with! The Calgary Flames have won 40 games this season, the most recent being an absolute wild game against the Edmonton Oilers.
With 17 games to go in the regular season, let’s delve into the mailbag!
Our colleague at Daily Faceoff, Frank Seravalli, seems convinced that the Flames could get some value for Sean Monahan from a team that thinks they can salvage his value. He’s not too far removed from being a 30 goal scorer pretty consistently, but he might need a surgery-free summer and a team with a different depth chart in order to do it. If Frank’s right, perhaps the Flames won’t have to offer a sweetener.
Milan Lucic has a no-move and a multi-team no-trade clause on his current deal. He’s also impossible to buy out – you don’t gain very much space at all. So he’s probably a Flame for the duration of his contract.
The common phrasing is the first round is the toughest one to get through, and we’ve seen countless really strong Flames squads get tripped up in the opening series over the years. With that in mind, the two likely wildcard teams – Nashville and Dallas – scare me a little bit.
They both play structured, physical styles, can clog up the middle of the ice like nobody’s business, and they have key veterans in key positions that can tilt games. Nashville’s goaltending is better than Dallas’ so they might have a slightly better chance of getting hot and stealing a series, but either one of those teams will be a tough match-up for the Flames in the opening series.
If Lucic retires, his contract comes off the books. Given that he’s got some guaranteed money coming his way (his deal has a bunch of signing bonuses), I don’t see him doing that and leaving money on the table.
The Flames would be eligible to sign Monahan to an extension as of July 13, but the cap hit of the extension wouldn’t start until the extension kicks in (to begin the 2023-24 season).
The big thing the entire upcoming off-season hinges on is re-signing Johnny Gaudreau. Once he signs, you figure out what you need to do to make the money work for the rest of the team. (Granted, whatever you give Gaudreau is probably going to be used as leverage by Matthew Tkachuk’s camp for his negotiations for a long-term deal… because why wouldn’t they use it? It’s a comparable player on the same team.)
In terms of the Sean Monahan of it all: Gaudreau is an adult and has had teammates and friends leave for other places before. He’s a smart guy and pretty savvy when it comes to the league, so while it would probably suck to see Monahan depart, I think Gaudreau can grasp the ins and outs of hockey’s business side. I don’t think it would seriously impact Gaudreau’s desire to stay or go. And whatever happens with Monahan is probably decided after Gaudreau’s deal is done.
(This is all assuming that Gaudreau re-signs, by the way.)
To play in the NHL’s playoffs, a player has to be property of their team – either as an unsigned prospect or under a contract – prior to the trade deadline. The AHL has a similar rule, except rotating around their Mar. 28 trade deadline. If Matt Coronato signed – disclaimer: we’re not expecting this – then he could play in the NHL playoffs because he’s already Flames property. (I’m not as clear on the AHL mechanisms, but usually college players who sign amateur try-out deals with AHL teams have to do so before the AHL trade deadline.)
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