Calgary Flames

Predicting what a potential Dan Vladar trade will look like

The Calgary Flames have always had a goaltending problem since Miikka Kiprusoff retired from the NHL. From the rotating carousel, to underperforming starting goalies, the Flames have had it all. What they have not had in the past is three quality starting goaltenders that all are NHL ready (sorry Joni Ortio). However, entering 2023–24, Jacob Markstrom, Dan Vladar, and Dustin Wolf should all be playing in the NHL next season and getting significant starts.

There is only one crease.

Since Markstrom has a full NMC and a $6.0M cap hit, he isn’t going anywhere and you best believe the Flames aren’t trading their number one prospect in Wolf. Vladar suddenly and unfortunately is the odd man out.

Dan Vladar’s goalie type

Vladar has been a very solid NHL backup goaltender with the Flames, often showing some signs of brilliance at the starter level. Last season he tied a franchise record for consecutive standing points earned as a goaltender, but his stats were nothing flashy:

Now of course the Flames were not good last year—often as a result of goaltending. That being said he has the skillset and potential to be a starting goaltender if given the opportunity. Darryl Sutter never gave him a long enough leash to make it work, and with Wolf sitting in the wings it just never made sense long-term.

Some team will feel much more comfortable giving him the keys to the so-called kingdom.

The asset management point of view on Vladar

Vladar was a sneaky good pickup for the Flames back in the summer of 2021: The Flames traded a 2022 third-round pick to the Boston Bruins who they used to select Ben MacDonald.

The Boston Bruins similarly had an issue with three NHL calibre goaltenders and the Flames needed a backup. This was a smart add as Vladar was under contract for two seasons at a very, very cheap price of $750K a season. If the Flames can recoup their third-round pick or more, it will be a smooth decision.

The price teams should be paying for Vladar

The goaltending carousel is going to be wild this offseason, starting at the NHL Draft. It’s hard to say just how active teams are going to be. There are a ton of UFA goaltenders this season that teams could have for free, but they are going to be driven up in price. Vladar is just entering his newest contract that will pay him $2.2M a season; which is a number far more reasonable for contending teams.

Last season, Vitek Vanecek and a second-round pick went for a second-round pick and third-round pick. The Detroit Red Wings acquired Ville Husso for a third-round pick, and the Colorado Avalanche traded for Alexandar Georgiev for two third-rounders and a fifth. 

The results are varied here then. Is Vladar a better goaltender than those three? Potentially, but it isn’t exactly confirmed. He is still a bit of an unknown at the starter level, which was what Georgiev was last season. A team could be looking to pay up to get him. As rumoured, a second-round pick would make the most sense, if not more.

Teams to target and Vladar trade proposals

The obvious team that will be after Vladar are the Toronto Maple Leafs. Brad Treliving acquired him when he was in Calgary, and the team is looking to shore up its goaltending this season. The “known” quantity for Treliving may push him to try to acquire the netminder. 

Another team that would make sense are the Carolina Hurricanes, who appear to be linked to the Flames in almost every trade. They have Pyotr Kochetkov under contract for next year, but could be losing both Antti Raanta and Frederik Andersen in free agency. They love the tandem approach and have draft picks to trade.

Teams like the San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks, and Columbus Blue Jackets could be looking for netminding help, but may not be willing to part with a draft pick. 

The Pittsburgh Penguins are a team to keep an eye out for here though, they could lose Tristan Jarry to free agency and also face a salary cap crunch. The scouts would have seen a lot of Vladar when he was in Boston, so the link looks to be created here.

The best outcome on trading Vladar

The Maple Leafs have zero draft capital at their disposal in the range the Flames would be looking for so I dont think they can make it work.

Give me either #62 overall from Carolina or Pittsburgh sends over a 2024 second-rounder and New Jersey’s third-round pick this year. Let’s get greedy.

Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire

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