Calgary Flames

CapFriendly Friday: Evaluating Armchair GM trade proposals

Hello friends, and welcome back to another addition of CapFriendly Friday! If you are new to this series, welcome and let’s catch you up quick! CapFriendly Fridays are chance for us to look at some proposals on CapFriendly’s Armchair GM interactive feature. The tool which allows you to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make whatever moves you feel necessary. As you can imagine, some of these trade proposals get us thinking. Some come with reason, and others are just straight up bonkers and would cause a GM to be fired in an instant.

If you missed our last CapFriendly Friday, you can get get caught up and see proposals that were wild and also a few that had tons of merit. We will be sticking with the same format of mixed proposals for this week. So, sit back, relax, grab a snack, and let’s have some laughs as we explore these trade proposals.

Detroit and Calgary swapping a haul and a half

Our first deal sees the Flames trade Rasmus Andersson, Nazem Kadri, and Oliver Kylington to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for David Perron, Lawson Crouse (who this user acquired from Arizona in a separate deal), a bunch of other players and draft picks.

One question. Why? There’s just… so much going on. Neither Brad Treliving nor Steve Yzerman would be so bold as to end their general manager careers with this head scratcher. This one just hurts my brain about as much as the trade conditions on the first-round pick in the Sean Monahan trade. Let’s move on to something that isn’t as crazy. My head hurts.

Calgary trades Andersson to Montreal for Hoffman and a prospect

Our next deal involves another trade between the Canadiens and Flames. Rasmus Andersson is dealt for Mike Hoffman and prospect Logan Mailloux. This one hurts me as well, as Andersson has really come into his own with 50 points in 82 games (0.61 P/GP) last year. Andersson has four years left on a very team-friendly $4.55M average annual value (AAV) deal.

Hoffman on the other hand isn’t the player he used to be, only putting up 15 goals and 35 points in 67 games (0.52 P/GP) last year with the Canadiens. Hoffman is a black hole defensively and the fit under Darryl Sutter would be questionable at best.

Moving over to Mailloux, a very questionable draft pick by the Habs at the 2021 NHL Draft. Mailloux has a terrible history with both personal issues and injury issues, and I have absolutely no reason to want him anywhere close to Calgary. Trading a very good defenceman in Andersson for that package would be incredibly poor and would cause chaos around the Flames fanbase.

Calgary trades Lindholm to Colorado for a futures package

Our next deal sees the Flames trade Elias Lindholm (21% retention) to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Alex Newhook, three first-rounders, and a fourth-round pick.

Newhook is a first-round pick from 2019 who just finished his first full season with the Avalanche, posting 33 points in 71 games (0.46 P/GP). Getting a recent first-round pick turned NHL player, three other first-round selections, and the extra fourth-round pick would be insane value for the last two seasons of Lindholm’s contract. But, giving the Avalanche a supreme Kadri replacement would mean those first-round picks would undoubtedly be late picks. Realistically, they’d likely end up in the 25th–32nd overall selection range.

This would be an absolute haul for the Flames if things went wrong this offseason, but it went really well for Calgary instead, and they would be in no position to deal Lindholm as they are in win-now mode. Had the Tkachuk return been low, Kadri not signed, and a retool taking place, this trade makes a ton of sense from a Flames perspective.

However, Calgary did fantastic on the Tkachuk return and landed Kadri, projecting them to remain a playoff team. Trading your number one centre who was a Selke candidate for a bunch of futures while you are in a win-now mode would not make any sense, but the value for Lindholm is certainly there.

Calgary trades Valimaki to the Rangers for Gauthier

This deal is definitely not the most exciting on this list, but I think it makes the most sense. The trade sees Calgary trade their 2017 first-round pick in Valimaki to the Rangers in exchange for a 2016 first-rounder in Gauthier. Neither player has fit in perfectly with their current club, so a swap of the two makes sense from a change of scenery perspective.

Valimaki has seen 24, 49, and 9 games of NHL action in the past three seasons, while Gauthier has mustered 12, 30, and 49. Gauthier’s games played numbers have increased, but his point totals are still lacklustre, and the two players have very similar point per game rates in their NHL careers (Valimaki 0.195 P/GP vs Gauthier 0.188 P/GP).

The want for Gauthier doesn’t come from his point totals, but his physical and forechecking game that could make him a good bottom six-player in the NHL. Given his large frame of 6’4″, 227 lbs, there is certainly some things to work with.

Given the amount of young defencemen in the Rangers system already, they probably reject this deal, but it does make sense from a change of scenery perspective. Maybe there is another deal that is similar to this one for the Flames, like Martin Kaut in Colorado or Brett Leason in Washington?

Calgary receives Tarasenko for Toffoli, a prospect, and two draft picks

I wanted to include this proposal because it certainly got me thinking, and hopefully you as well. Calgary acquires Vladimir Tarasenko, who has one year left at a $7.5M cap hit and is coming off a rebound season of 82 points in 75 games (1.10 P/GP) with the Blues. The right wing has been a solid offensive creator for many years with the Blues. Tarasenko did request a trade last offseason and was reportedly open to being dealt this offseason, but he does have a full no-trade clause and would have to approve the destination.

In exchange for Tarasenko, the Flames give up Tyler Toffoli, whom they just recently traded for and had 49 points in 74 games (0.66 P/GP) split between the Canadiens and Flames. Along with Toffoli, the Flames also give up newly-acquired prospect Cole Schwindt and two draft picks.

From an asset standpoint, trading Toffoli, who has another year under contract compared to Tarasenko, and three other assets doesn’t really make sense. But from a win-now perspective, Tarasenko is certainly the better player as he is more prevalent offensively and has the accolades of a pure scorer.

If Calgary wants to throw all their chips into the middle and go Cup or bust, this trade does make lots of sense, as you are getting the better right winger. However, keeping Toffoli at his $4.25M cap hit beyond this year and the other assets is more appealing to me. Compared that to likely losing Tarasenko after the season, which would be a quick burn of assets.

Toffoli is currently penciled with Huberdeau and Lindholm, so one would expect his point totals to increase, while Tarasenko could regress from his career season in 2021–22.

This proposal is a good one to think about because it varies depending on the way you look at it. Are the Flames getting the better player in this deal? Very likely. But is giving up those extra assets for a player likely to regress from his career high worth it? Maybe not. Losing that extra year of Toffoli at a reasonable cap hit would also hurt if Tarasenko were to walk in free agency after this season.

Gearing up for the season

As the NHL prepares for the 2022–23 season, there may still be some trades left among GMs. It’s not entirely out of the question as there’s always more tweaking to do, but for the Flames, they’re likely off the trade market. They have the group they want to compete with and trading away players at this point has risks of losing the locker room too.

This new group needs time to bond and gel as a team and making a big addition at the price of a big subtraction is not ideal. Instead, expect the Flames to be busy on the free agent market if they are to continue tweaking.

Trades or no trades, the action is just about to begin.

Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire

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