Calgary Flames

Evaluating the Calgary Flames’ acquisition of Ryan Carpenter

Trade Deadline Day was a busy one for the Calgary Flames. The organization saw the movement of three players in and out of the organization. Brad Richardson was claimed off waivers by Vancouver, the recently acquired Michael McNiven was sent to Ottawa for future considerations, and general manager Brad Treliving acquired the 31-year-old forward Ryan Carpenter from the Chicago Blackhawks.

Previously we included Carpenter as a depth forward target the Flames should consider at the deadline. Our opinion of him hasn’t changed much since. But let’s look at how he will actually fit into the Calgary Flames roster now that he’s officially with the team.

The deal for Carpenter

This trade was a pretty simple one especially compared to the main two other acquisitions the Flames have made. Carpenter simply cost the Flames their 2024 fifth-round pick. The Flames were rumoured to be going after multiple other depth pieces but with few draft assets left to trade after the Tyler Toffoli and Calle Jarnkrok trades, the price for Carpenter was one Brade Treliving could still meet.

Carpenter comes with an expiring $1 million cap hit. The Flames were able to make this cap hit work by waiving Richardson who was then taken by the Canucks as mentioned earlier. It seems as though the Flames were surprised Richardson got claimed on waivers, and whether or not they wanted to acquire Carpenter anyway, this acquisition helps fill Richardson’s spot.

Because the Stockton Heat are one of, if not the best team in the AHL this season, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to call up a centre like Adam Ruzicka or Glenn Gawdin just to play on the fourth line or sit in the press box. Those players will benefit much more from an extended run in Stockton and with the Flames all but guaranteed a playoff spot and even home ice, it was a smarter move to bring in Carpenter than fill that roster spot internally.

What does Carpenter bring to the roster?

Carpenter isn’t necessarily going to be the biggest boost to the Flames’ offence. But he will fit in great within the Darryl Sutter system. He’s big at 6’0″ tall, he’s known for killing penalties, he’s able to take and win faceoffs, and he’s also very strong on the defensive end. Additionally he has played in 26 playoff games throughout his career as a member of the Vegas Golden Knights and Chicago Blackhawks.

Carpenter was there when Vegas made it to the finals in 2018 which continues to add more playoff experience to this Flames roster. Everything in mind, it’s not to hard to see why the front office decided to bring him in.

Here are his stats so far this season:

Ryan Carpenter59381145.7338.24%44.52%40.94%

While Carpenter is well far from being a great player in the league—especially from an offensive perspective with only 11 total points this season—his underlying numbers are still alright for a depth player, especially one who played in Chicago this season.

His 11 points also look great in comparison to Brett Ritchie‘s one point, and Richardson’s four points.

Unfortunately unlike Toffoli and Jarnkrok previously, Carpenter isn’t going to be immediately as well connected in the locker room like they were. He did play with Nikita Zadorov in Chicago, though.

Where does Carpenter fit in with Calgary?

It seemed like the next move after acquiring Jarnkrok was destined to be for a depth defenceman that could slot in or exist as an injury replacement come the playoffs.

It seems that was not the case. So instead the Flames are going to need to find a way to fit Carpenter into what has turned into one of the deepest forward lineups in the NHL. Carpenter plays at centre, so the first place Sutter will likely consider playing him is as the fourth line centreman. While it seemed like Jarnkrok was destined to play on the third line at centre it now might make more sense to play Jarnkrok on the right-wing seeing as he plays both.

Recently Tkachuk was also moved to the second line so if we keep that in mind one possible lineup could look as follows:

Gaudreau – Lindholm – Toffoli
Mangiapane – Backlund – Tkachuk
Coleman – Monahan – Jarnkrok
Lucic – Carpenter – Dube

Luckily due to the immense depth this team currently has there are a ton of different ways Sutter will be able to try and work in Carpenter. Depending on his play, he might also be worth giving a look at the third line as opposed to Monahan.

Adam Ruzicka and Trevor Lewis will also provide Carpenter with some competition that will hopefully pressure him to play well, as all three will be fighting over the final spot on the lineup throughout the rest of the season.

Treliving has finally made the trades he needed to

With the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline now come and gone, the Flames won’t be making any more trades as they push forward to hopefully win a Stanley Cup. Treliving overall has had probably his best year when it comes to mid-season trading. We highlighted all three of his major acquisitions over the past few months, and even pitched the Flames to target all three players he acquired. You can find our previous trade coverage below:

Evaluating the Tyler Toffoli trade

Evaluating the Calle Jarnkrok trade

Ahead of tonight’s contest, the bookies have predicted a Flames favourite, with Betway Sports pricing the Calgary Flames at -175 and the San Jose Sharks at +310 to win the game in regulation, with an overtime decision being priced at +380.

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