Calgary Flames

32 Thoughts: Impact of Zadorov trade request, Oliver Wahlstrom, and Calgary’s trade approach

In today’s edition of 32 Thoughts: The Podcast, Elliotte Friedman touched on several interesting Calgary Flames-related topics, including potential trades, the impact of Nikita Zadorov‘s trade request, interest intensifying for Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev, hesitation to trade with the Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs, and Craig Conroy‘s approach changing recently in regards to trading unrestricted free agents.

Here’s the breakdown.

Oliver Wahlstrom could be a trade target

Friedman isn’t actually confirming that the Flames have had conversations with the Islanders regarding Oliver Wahlstrom or any potential trades, but with how the Flames have been giving some of their younger guys the opportunity to play up in the lineup this season, it would not be a surprise if they decided to target a player like Wahlstrom.

I also think they’re in on some of these defencemen maybe from Calgary. Somebody hinted to me without confirming it … they thought Calgary was one of the teams on the Islanders’ radar. I think he’s (Lou Lamoriello) definitely looking out there. If you look at the Flames, they traded for Sharangovich, their young guys like Zary looks like a player, Pospisil’s been pretty good, they look like they have some young players here. One of the guys I wonder about if they’re going to be a factor in all this, is going to be [Oliver] Wahlstrom and simply because I can see the player saying “you know, If I’m not going to get the opportunity here, I have to get it somewhere else.” And I can see a team like Calgary, that picked up a player like Sharangovich, possibly being interested in someone like that. I’m not saying it’s going to be him, but that’s the kind of player I could look at Calgary having interest in if they’re the fit.

Elliotte Friedman, 32 Thoughts: The Podcast

He would certainly fit the bill of someone that the Flames would like to bring in—they can get a young player going who has not really be given the best chance to succeed in the NHL thus far in his career.

Wahlstrom is still just 23 years old, he is no longer a prospect by any means, but he is still young enough to where the Flames might be able to get something out of him that can help them long term. He has had very few chances to play up in the Islanders lineup since they drafted him back in the summer of 2018. He was drafted to hopefully be a prolific goal scorer and that has just not been there thus far.

He is a right-handed shot, something the Flames don’t have a ton of, and he could be the pure goal scorer (if he pops) that the Flames need. He has just 63 points in 171 career games, and has just two points in 10 games this year, not exactly the big piece you would want coming back for one of your top defencemen at the deadline. I wonder if the Flames will just look at picks or prospects, or will they look for someone to play in their lineup right away.

Zadorov’s trade request was not received well

The reports that the Flames did not know about the Zadorov trade request until Dan Milstein’s tweets seem to be true. Both the Flames management and players seemed taken aback by the request made so publicly on Twitter, and that wasn’t well received in the room.

The Zadorov thing really hit them hard last week. I heard there were some pretty upset players. Obviously Zadorov was very frustrated and that’s why the agent sent out the tweets, but that doesn’t mean that everybody knows the situation. It’s clear that the feeling there was that the Flames were taken aback by this, too. Zadorov kind of denied that, he felt that he made it very clear, but not everyone in the organization feels the same way. Not everybody is on the same page.

Craig Conroy was a really good player because he’s a really emotional guy. If you’re Craig Conroy and you see it play out that way, I think for a couple minutes there, maybe a day, you’re angry, you’re like “get this freaking guy out of here.” That’s what kind of happens. But then the GM in you, let’s calm down and work this out.

You also hear that there was as much, if not more conversation already around Tanev and Hanifin. Zadorov got pushed into the forefront because of the tweets on Friday night, but I do believe there was a lot of poking around on the other two guys. It’s going to be interesting to see how they all get prioritized, who goes first, do any of them go together, and where this all ends up.

Elliotte Friedman, 32 Thoughts: The Podcast

It’s not great timing for the Flames to be on a 4–1–1 streak while the interest for three of their blueliners intensifies. Clearly, there is a lot of interest in all three.

Calgary is hesitant to trade with Vancouver or Toronto

Conventional wisdom says to always maximize your value and get the best return possible. But apparently the Flames are not too keen on trading with Vancouver or Toronto, and both have interest in their players.

I don’t think Calgary wants to trade with Vancouver. My opinion on this is if they give you the best deal, then you should look towards that deal. But Vancouver knows if they don’t make this trade now, they can always circle back on these players in the summer. I think Tanev would be very interested in Vancouver, and I think the same for Zadorov. So Vancouver knows if it’s not know they can wait. But they’re having a good year and maybe you want to strike while the iron’s hot.

Toronto I think the same thing. It’s not the same, they’re not in the division. If you’re in Calgary, how are your fans going to feel if Chris Tanev, or Zadorov, or both are going to be the kind of missing pieces for the Maple Leafs? I think they would want one of Toronto’s good, young players.

You can’t receive compensation for whether a player re-signs or not. Does Calgary look at these teams warily because they will want to re-sign them and ask for more up front?

I think there’s a lot more teams in there than we realize (on Calgary’s defencemen).

Elliotte Friedman, 32 Thoughts: The Podcast

It’s good to hear that the market for the defenders is very large. This will hopefully help increase the price on all of them individually, but the most interesting note to me is the one about compensation. If there is the belief that some or all of these players will sign extensions with the teams they could be traded to, it makes a ton of sense for the Flames to allow them to speak with those teams about an extension well in advance.

That would stretch the timeline for trades but likely help increase the value coming back. If Calgary is interested in some of Toronto’s young players, Nick Robertson, Fraser Minten, and Easton Cowan should all be on the table. Could be a solid return if Toronto believes these are the missing pieces they’re looking for.

The trade timeline has accelerated

The Flames did not appear to be actively shopping their UFAs before, but now it looks like they are. At the very least, they are gauging interest and looking into what teams are willing to part with as initial offers.

I think the Flames asked teams, if you’re willing to do this, and if you’re willing to do this for Tanev too, tell me what we’re talking about here. I think that has happened. The Flames are deciding what they like. They are determined to do this on their own schedule, but it’s advanced in the sense that they’ve asked.

Elliotte Friedman, 32 Thoughts: The Podcast

There are a lot of players to trade, and trades take time. If Conroy is serious about this, he needs to start looking into things seriously right away and he clearly is.

Flames news is not going away

The Flames will continue to be the most interesting team in the league both on and off the ice for quite some time. Never a dull moment.

Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire

Alex Russo

Contributor for the Win Column CGY | 1/3 of The Burning Leaf Podcast
Back to top button