It is officially NHL Trade Deadline day! After months of speculation, rumours, and mock trades there are just hours left before the bell will ring and rosters will be set for the rest of the season.
At the time of this writing, the Calgary Flames are the only team in the NHL that have not made a trade in the 2022–23 season. Whether that means the Flames will be the busiest, or quietest, team over the rest of the day remains to be seen.
One thing is for sure, there is bound to be some drama even if it is purely based on rumours.
Here is everything you need to know regarding the Flames as they enter the Trade Deadline:
Calgary’s salary cap
Per CapFriendly.com, the Flames have some room to work with today:
The Flames have just over $3.4M to work with in cap space, thanks to all of the moves made throughout the season, with an additional $2.5M potentially available should the Flames move Oliver Kylington to the long-term injured reserve. That would open up a total of $5.9M of potential space for the team to work with, should they not make any other associated moves.
They also only have 45 of the 50 allowable contracts on the books, so should they take on additional players on AHL deals they should have no problem worrying about moving a contract out.
Rumours associated with Calgary
The Flames have been in countless rumors over the last few weeks, with most of them relating to having absolutely no idea what the team is going to do. No one expected the Flames to be in this current position come the deadline, especially the entire organization. Therefore it makes it nearly impossible for Brad Treliving to know what decision is best.
That being said, they are easily the most intriguing team to watch today. This leads to many rumors that have been thrown around.
Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek on countless occasions over the last few weeks have wondered about a potential deal between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Flames. The likes of Tyler Toffoli, Elias Lindholm, and Mikael Backlund are noted to be players who could fit the bill for the Canes.
The price would be high for Carolina to acquire any of those three players, and with their recent moves of acquiring Jesse Puljujärvi and Shayne Gostisbehere, the cap space becomes an issue. It’s not done and dead, but if the Flames make a trade today, I would assume Carolina is one of those partners.
2024 unrestricted free agents
The Flames may not have to make a ton of decisions today, but they are going to have a number of them come the summer of 2024. Most of their roster, including Lindholm, Toffoli, Backlund, Chris Tanev, Noah Hanifin, Dillon Dube, and Nikita Zadorov will be on expiring deals as unrestricted free agents (UFAs).
There won’t be enough money to keep them all.
Elliotte Friedman noted an number of times on The Jeff Marek Show that if the team is looking to recoup a number of assets one of their 2024 UFAs could be the prized possessions. Two playoff runs for the players, in addition to low cap hits on every single player, would be their most tradable assets.
Some will go eventually, so why not now when prices are high?
For some reason, the Flames have made a call on Joel Edmundson.
No disrespect to the player, but this makes absolutely no sense. This would be worse case scenario for the team, and fans, today.
James van Riemsdyk
Elliotte Friedman and Chris Johnston have both on separate occasions discussed the possibility of the Flames inquiring on James Van Riemsdyk. When they were in the heat of the playoff race looking for scoring, it made a lot of sense.
Now not so much.
With top contenders looking for scoring help, the price of JVR is going to increase to a point the Flames should not entertain. If they had better positioning, this would have been a really good fit.
Chris Johnston also confirmed this morning that the Flames are no longer in a buying frame of mind.
Our own James Johnson threw out this tweet early on Thursday morning. We can’t dismiss a JJScoop when it comes our way.
Could a Nikita Zadorov/Logan Stanley trade work somehow for both teams?
Stanley is by no means a game-changing player, but he fits the Flames’ model—he’s big.
Don’t expect a lot from the Flames
The Flames are most likely going to be extremely quiet, even with last night’s loss to the Maple Leafs. The team, for some reason, still thinks that they have a chance at the playoffs and are going to ride that ship until it sinks.
Enjoy the madness!
Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire