Flames Still Searching NHL Trade Market For Scoring Forward
The report from Elliotte Friedman on his 32 Thoughts segment on Saturday night wasn’t exactly new. Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving has been seeking another scoring forward since the summer.
Treliving has been open about this effort for months. But while there has never been a sense of hurry or urgency, you can bet a seven-game losing streak will bring sellers to your doorstep.
Friedman said a team to keep an eye on for movement is the St. Louis Blues. The Blues were likely kicking tires on a Matthew Tkachuk trade in July, so there might at least be some familiarity there.
One of the biggest problems for the Calgary Flames right now from a buying standpoint is they’ve watched a position of strength crumble early this season. Their vaunted defence has has struggled with injuries to stalwart Chris Tanev and fan favourite Michael Stone.
They lost Juuso Valimaki on waivers to the Arizona Coyotes.
And with Oliver Kylington out indefinitely to be with family, the team was cycling AHLers Nick DeSimone and Dennis Gilbert with Connor Mackey.
So while Tanev returned to the lineup on Saturday, dealing a defenceman isn’t really an option. And the forwards with any value are players the Flames are going to need to have any hope of a playoff run.
That means picks and prospects are the bargaining chips.
Connor Zary is quickly becoming the most attractive up front. Jakob Pelletier had a dud of a training camp and Matthew Phillips was passed up by all 31 teams when he hit waivers in early October.
Defenceman Jeremie Poirier looks like a potential blue-chipper, and college kid Matt Coronato turned heads in the junior tourney.
Of course, goaltender Dustin Wolf may be the most sought after of them all — but goaltenders are tricky. Even when they’re the best in the AHL.
While the search for help continues, internals like Adam Ruzicka have the opportunity to show they can fill the gap in the interim.
And maybe long-term.
After being scratched in 10 of the first 11 games this year, Ruzicka had a goal and an assist to help the Calgary Flames to a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of their late-night contest on Hockey Night in Canada.
He’s filling in nicely for the injured Jonathan Huberdeau.