I’ve decided to look back at all of the Flames most recent trades with every other NHL club, profiling the Central Division today. Click here for my profile on the Atlantic Division, and click here for my profile on the Metro Division. A couple conditions for this article is that I’ll only be doing the most recent trade that involved an NHLer and/or at least mid round picks. So there aren’t any pick swaps, or late round picks for fringe/AHL players included here.
February 24 2020: Flames acquire Eric Gustafsson for 2020 3rd Round Pick
The outcome of this trade really remains to be seen as Gustafsson only played seven games with the Flames prior to the league shutting down. If hockey returns this season and/or Gustafsson re-signs in the offseason then he could be really well utilized on the Flames going forward. If he ends up walking in free agency and doesn’t get a chance to play in the playoffs this year, then it would be an unfortunate waste of a pick. There were expectations from the Chicago side that they’d get more for him originally so a 3rd doesn’t feel great to them considering where he was at last offseason.
March 5 2014: Flames acquire 2014 2nd Round Pick for Reto Berra
On paper getting a 2nd round pick for Berra was a tremendous pull for the Flames, however using that pick on Hunter Smith really cancelled out the value of the trade. Berra would go on to serve as the Avs backup for the rest of 2013-14 and the following two seasons before being traded to the Panthers. The Flames went for size over skill with their pick and it blew up in their face as Smith had a couple of poor seasons in the AHL and EHCL before not being qualified as an RFA last summer. It hurts even more when you consider guys like Brandon Montour, Ryan Donato, and Christian Dvorak were picked within 5 spots after him. At least it looks like the Flames learned their lesson on drafting size for the sake of size, at least with their higher picks.
February 29 2016: Flames acquire Jyrki Jokipakka, Brett Pollock, and 2016 2nd Round Pick (Dillon Dube) for Kris Russell
As things currently sit, I call this trade a draw as the Stars got decent value with Russell as a rental while the Flames got pieces for their rebuild. The pick could’ve been a 1st as well had Dallas won their second round series against St. Louis. Despite that the Flames got a good piece of their future by drafting Dillon Dube and his development could swing this trade fully the Flames way. The Flames also got 56 games out of Jokipakka before trading him to Ottawa the next year.
February 29 2016: Flames acquire Niklas Backstrom and 2016 6th Round Pick (Matthew Phillips) for David Jones
Yet another solid trade made by Brad Treliving on Leap Day 2016 as the Flames picked up a goaltender and pick for an expiring UFA in Jones. At the time it was a meh trade although Backstrom did provide a few positive storylines late in what was a lost season. Jones would have 4 points in 22 games with the Wild as they were knocked out in the first round. The real add was the 6th round pick, likely an afterthought at the time, but that pick turned out to be Matthew Phillips who torched the AHL and looks ready to contend for an NHL spot as soon as next year.
February 28 2013: Flames acquire Brian McGrattan for Joe Piskula
These two teams haven’t really made any notable trades, so I figured I’d throw in a little love for Brian McGrattan while I had the chance. The Flames acquired Big Ern for the second time in his career after a 34 game stint in 2009-10. While he may not have been a highly skilled player, he added a lot of character to those early rebuild teams that were looking to find their way. He has also become a big part of the community in his retirement and deserves a lot of respect for the work he’s done helping players deal with addictions.
St. Louis Blues
June 24 2016: Flames acquire Brian Elliott for 2016 2nd Round Pick (Jordan Kyrou)
The Flames got one pretty solid season out of Elliott but he flamed out massively in the playoffs when the Flames were swept in four games by Anaheim Ducks. The Flames suffered four straight one-goal losses (minus an empty netter in Game 4) so even a couple of slightly better performances could’ve changed the story of the series. Instead the Flames decided to move on from Elliott and he has been with the Flyers ever since. Kyrou has looked like a promising prospect for St. Louis but has yet to fully lock at the NHL level, time will tell.
January 30 2012: Flames acquire Akim Aliu for John Negrin
Trade Winner: Flames
This has been the only trade between the teams since the Jets returned to Winnipeg. Pretty underwhelming stuff. Negrin would never suit up in the NHL again and Aliu would play just 7 games for the Flames. Flames win the trade by virtue of getting NHL games I guess?
Since the majority of these trades were rentals or minor swaps, there aren’t a lot of clear cut decisions on them. I don’t think you could say the Flames particularly won any of these swaps but outside of the Minnesota deal (which had a lot of luck to get Phillips) I don’t think they really lost any either. The Colorado trade will definitely sting the most as they got a lot of value for what they gave up, but squandered it with a bad draft in 2014.
by Michael MacGillivray