Darryl Stutter’s system has had a significant impact on the Calgary Flames. The 2021–22 season has been successful, and the team has become more consistent than they were just a season ago. If you are a fan, you have little to nothing to worry about in terms of the playoff picture right now.
However, the Flames haven’t been getting much offence from outside their top stars; there are some concerns about the lack of secondary scoring of the team. This was particularly evident during their four-game losing streak late last year.
You’d agree that some trading would benefit the team and help them become a stronger overall team. The general manager, Brad Treliving, should consider bolstering the team’s forward group with a scoring forward before the trade deadline.
While it’s solely up to the general manager to make the final decisions, here are a few suggestions of trade targets that could improve the secondary scoring of the Flames.
Tomas Hertl, Centre, San Jose Sharks
Tomas Hertl has been consistently linked with the Flames this fall. In fact, this impressive player has been in the news for possible trades since the season started. He currently plays for San Jose, and he’s in his final year of a four-year contract worth $5.625 million per season. He’s been a huge asset to the Sharks and would be a big addition to any team who traded for him.
Tomas Hertl might have expressed his desire to stay with the Sharks, but contract extension talks have not been underway. As it stands, San Jose has two options; they either ship him off now before his contract expires and get some returns, or risk losing him for nothing when the season ends. For a middling team like the Sharks, the first option seems more likely.
The 28-year-old has been impressive so far, with 22 goals and 38 points in 46 games this season. Tomas Hertl would make a massive boost to the Flames’ top-six.
Filip Forsberg, Left Wing, Nashville Predators
Filip Forsberg has been an impressive goal scorer since the 2014–15 season and would provide a massive boost to the Flame’s chances of secondary scoring.
So far in the 2021–22 season, Forsberg has been at his best, racking up 24 goals and 38 points in just 33 games. He’s a long-time Nashville Predator and his contract is worth $6 million. His contract will run out at the end of the season and he’ll become a free agent.
The only caveat to a potential Forsberg trade is the success of the Nashville Predators this season. Their fighting for top spot in the conference and may be completely unwilling to part with their best forward.
Forsberg is one player that most managers want to have on their teams. The Flames will surely benefit from adding him to their team, but it may cost too much to get him.
Rickard Rakell, Left Wing, Anaheim Ducks
Another player involved in trade rumours is Anaheim Ducks forward Rickard Rakell. Except for some injury setbacks the 28-year-old has had in recent years, Rakell still stands solid in his game and is one of the best left-wingers on a surprisingly good Ducks team.
Because of health issues, his play has been inconsistent, but he’s still scored 10 goals and 20 points in 38 games this season. Rakell’s six-year contract has a cap hit of $3.80 million and will expire at the end of the season.
The Ducks may decide against letting Rakell go because the team is doing well, but Rakell might be on the move should the Ducks start to fall on the standings and the right offer is on the table. The Flames might clinch that opening and get him on their team.
Phil Kessel, Right Wing, Arizona Coyotes
Phil Kessel may not be the outstanding player he used to be when he played for both the Pittsburgh Penguins and Toronto Maple Leafs, but he’s still capable of putting the puck in the back of the net, a skill the Flames are looking for.
Kessel currently plays for the Arizona Coyotes, and many teams are making inquiries about possible trades for the two-time Stanley Cup Champion. The Coyotes have been at the bottom of the standings the entire season; they only have 11 wins in 46 games, and have already started shipping out their highest value assets including Christian Dvorak in the offseason. Kessel could be the next one to go.
The bottom line with Kessel is that he will increase the Flames’ ability to score. The 34-year-old right-winger was terrific two seasons ago where he scored 20 goals and 43 points in 56 games. Like Rakell, Kessel is in the final year of his contract and has a cap hit of $6.8 million. For the fans, predictions and betting becomes a bit easier. The Coyotes would need to retain a hefty portion of his salary to make the money work, but it is doable.
Treliving has quite an array of options to choose from. Although other players are out there to choose from, some of the listed options would be an excellent pick for the team. And with the trade deadline set for March 21, he has plenty of time to decide that.