Should Flames Be Buying At The NHL Trade Deadline?
The Calgary Flames are still an inconsistent squad as the NHL trade deadline approaches and shouldn’t trade major picks or prospects to pick up a significant piece for the playoff push.
It’s bargain or bust for the Calgary Flames.
With so much uncertainty surrounding the team this season, it makes little sense to dive deep into the NHL trade market. If you believe the Flames are underachieving, they’ve got enough games left to live up to that assessment without any major additions.
“We’re going to have to really buckle down the last month and a half or so and string together some wins,” said Flames defenceman Noah Hanifin after their latest disappointment — a 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. “When we play the way we know we can play, we know we’re a good hockey team in here.
“It’s just about coming together and making sure we’re doing that consistently and holding each other to that standard.”
Jakob Pelletier has internally filled the second-line winger need for now. He has potential but doesn’t really satisfy the Stanley Cup craving on paper. However, even if you believe someone like Timo Meier will instantly raise the level of play for struggling stars like Jonathan Huberdeau and Nazem Kadri (who has two goals and three points in his last eight games), the cost is too steep with no guarantee that adding one big-ticket player suddenly pushes the Flames out of their hamster wheel win-one-lose-one vortex.
The prospect pool the Flames would have to reach into to secure someone of note isn’t deep enough beyond the top handful, starting with Connor Zary and Matt Coronato. Goaltender Dustin Wolf and defenceman Jeremie Poirier are the other names that will be in demand in any top trade talks involving the Calgary Flames.
As will Pelletier.
So even if you ignore the fact the Flames aren’t financially in any position to add a big salary or additional term without some major maneuvering, the price they’d have to pay in picks and prospects to land a big fish would make Future Flames Fan miserable.
There was a lot of talk coming into this season about the Flames’ window to win being in the next couple of years. The additions of Kadri and Huberdeau, and MacKenzie Weegar on the back end, had plenty of people excited.
It hasn’t really worked out as planned, with all three newcomers characterized the same way you could label the franchise this season — inconsistent.
If the price is right, depth is always welcome. But Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving is probably better served to keep that 2023 first round pick — even if another GM gets to use it.