There are just four days left until the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline, and the Calgary Flames have been making a ton of noise leading up until that point.
Here is everything you need to know leading up to Monday’s deadline.
As mentioned, the Calgary Flames have made two big moves already this season. They traded for Tyler Toffoli back on February 14 for a top 10 protected 2022 first-round pick, a 2024 fifth-round pick, Tyler Pitlick, and Emil Heineman. The trade has worked wonders for the Flames, as Toffoli’s impact has been outstanding for the Flames in the last month.
To add to the fireworks, the Calgary Flames traded for Calle Jarnkrok and sent back a 2022 second-round pick, a 2023 third-round pick, and a 2024 seventh-round pick. The deal also was made due to Seattle retaining 50% of Jarnkrok’s $2M cap hit. We had a full breakdown of this acquisition this morning, so check out our full analysis and breakdown of where Jarnkrok could play for the team.
The team also made a smaller move for goaltender Michael McNiven, giving up basically nothing, but this doesn’t generate quite the same reaction as Jarnkrok or Toffoli does.
Calgary’s salary cap situation
With the acquisition of Jarnkrok and the subsequent assignment of Adam Ruzkica to the Stockton Heat, the Calgary Flames currently sit with $142,404 in cap space over the entire season, or prorated at the trade deadline to be $712,022. Ryan Pike over at FlamesNation did a complete breakdown of the cap implications after the Jarnkrok deal and we highly recommend you take a look to understand the full cap mechanics.
So what exactly can the Flames do under that salary cap? Not too much right now. Even with the league minimum salary being $750K, the Flames couldn’t add anyone at that price without subtracting from their roster, or assigning someone to the Heat. Ruzicka was the easy candidate, not requiring waivers, but the team could look to send Brett Ritchie or Brad Richardson down to ease their cap constraints. Ritchie would make morse sense, as his cap hit is $100,000 more and therefore would earn them slightly more relief.
Of course the other option is to trade someone, which unless it is Ritchie or Richardson, doesn’t make the most sense. The team is trying to add players without subtracting from their current roster, and therefore it would be counterintuitive to trade players for cap space right now. That of course is unless there is a potential game changing deal that could net the Flames a serious upgrade, but the chances of that happening are also small after the Jarnkrok deal.
Although the Flames have been busy, there is no clear indication they are done making moves. If anything, the team would surely like to add to their current depth to have NHL ready players to play in a post season run pending any injuries.
The move that makes the most sense now would be a depth NHL veteran defenceman. We previously identified some candidates that make sense for the Flames, with Justin Braun, Robert Hagg, Colin Miller, and Nick Leddy being close to the top of that list.
The Flames current six defencemen are deployed so well, and playing so cohesively, that a bigger trade to switch up the deployment now would be quite ridiculous. Michael Stone was able to come in and play on his offside when Oliver Kylington was injured, which does give them an option, but a depth left handed defenceman makes the most sense. The team could always recall Juuso Valimaki or Connor Mackey to play, but knowing Darryl Sutter the team will opt for someone with a bit more playoff history.
The team could always make an additional move on their forward, with some of our suggested targets still available, but it would have to come with an associated move of a forward. They currently have 14 forwards at the NHL level, with Ruzicka proving he can stay there as well. It’s not impossible, but less likely than a defender.
There are two current rumours surrounding the team that would be of interest.
- They are lurking in the weeds and could do more, or something bigger
- Sean Monahan could be on the trading block
The first rumour could have been in relation to Jarnrkok, which would make it not as prevalent, but the second one is far more intriguing. Monahan has struggled this season, and he is most likely in his last season as a Flame due to cap constraints this summer, but trading him now would be a true shock.
He is one of the longest tenured members of the organization, his ties to many players would put a rift in the chemistry, and his $6.375M cap hit would be hard to move now. Never say never, but this trade makes more sense at the NHL draft than in the next four days.
The next four days are bound to have many fireworks, as this time of year normally does, and some of it may follow the Flames. Stay tuned to The Win Column for all of your trade deadline news.
Photo by Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports via Reuters