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With the NHL trade deadline fast approaching, and Canadian hockey fans everywhere stockpiling the beer and getting the work-escape plans ready, I thought that I would analyze each Canadian teams game plan for trade deadline day, highlighting each teams needs, possible trade bait, and what players they could be targeting. Today, I will begin with the Calgary Flames. Friday: Edmonton Oilers. Saturday: Montreal Canadians. Sunday: Ottawa Senators. Monday: Toronto Maple Leafs. Tuesday: Vancouver Canucks

Calgary Flames:

Needs:
Number One Centre: While Daymond Langkow has performed well beyond what was expected of him, he is still not a legitimate number one centre. Part of the reason he has done so well is because he plays on a line with Jerome Iginla, who could also greatly benefit from having a top centre to feed him the puck. Acquiring a top centre would allow Langkow to play on the second line with Alex Tanguay, creating two solid scoring lines, making it harder for opposing teams to stop the Flames from scoring.

Top-Six Right Winger: After Jerome Iginla, there is a steep drop-off in the talent at the right wing. Currently Owen Nolan plays on right wing, but he is more suited for a third or fourth line role at this stage of his career. The Flames top line has potted 78 goals this season. The second line? 35 goals. A second-line sniper would be of great benefit to the Flames and would give playmaker, Alex Tanguay someone to feed the puck to.

Trade Bait:
Dustin Boyd: Once considered one of the Flames better prospects, Boyd has struggled in the Flames line-up this season, putting up 4 goals and 8 points in 33 games with a -9 rating. He still is young though at the age of 21 and would be an attractive prospect to rebuilding teams.

Stephane Yelle/Craig Conroy: If the Flames acquire a top centre, look for Yelle or Conroy, both pending UFAs, to be on the way out. Sutter will not trade Lombardi, as he has his best years ahead of him and has shown flashes of becoming a top centre. Also, Langkow has been a valuable contributor this season and while he is a UFA, Sutter hopes to retain him. Both Yelle and Conroy would be good additions for teams seeking experienced centre for their third or fourth line. Yelle would be the more affordable choice, at a 1.4 million cap hit compared to Conroys 2.5 million.

Possible Target Players:
Mats Sundin: While he has insisted that he will not waive his NTC, Sundin would be a huge addition to the Flames line-up. However, with the exception of Mikael Backlund and Leland Irving, both of whom are likely untouchables, the Flames lack the big name prospects that would be need to bring Sundin to Calgary.

Michael Ryder: Has found himself in Guy Carbonneaus doghouse, often playing on the fourth line or sitting in the press box. He could use a change of scenery, away from the heavy eyes of the public in Montreal and would fit the role as a second line sniper. It likely would not take too much to get him away from the Habs, possibly Dustin Boyd and Stephane Yelle.

Summary:
The Flames should be one of the quieter Canadian teams on the deadline day, as Sutter will be reluctent to move any of his prospects or draft picks. They have roughly 2.4 million in cap room, enough to add a solid forward. Any player Sutter does pick-up on deadline day will have to be a pending UFA as the Flames cap will be tight next season, with 44.8 million committed to 13 players. Rumour mills have been throwing around Tanguays name but I doubt he will be moved until the off-season because if the Flames are serious about challenging this season, they will need his offense and playmaking skills. Your best bet would be that Sutter brings in a second or third line forward for a mid-level prospect and a mid-level pick.
Filed Under:   Leafs   Sens   Canucks   Oilers   Canadians   Flames   NHL  
February 14, 2008 5:15 PM ET | Delete
good analysis. I think that Ryder could be had for less... there's no way the Habs figure to get equal value for a huge underperformer... what you might even see would be one of the Habs extra d-men (Dandenault, Gorges) packaged with Ryder if Boyd were to go the other way.
February 14, 2008 9:01 PM ET | Delete
I'm going to have to disagree with several portions of this post. Dustin Boyd is still considered Calgary's top prospect and he's the only one of ours in the lineup. Overall, Calgary does not have a deep prospect pool. Another thing I couldn't help but notice was that you omitted Kristian Huselius and Alex Tanguay from the trade bait. These two are probably Calgary's best trade bait right now, considering it's virtually impossible to keep both of them for next year since Huselius is pending UFA. Also, why would Leland Irving be an untouchable when we have Kiprusoff under contract for six more years at $5.8 million per, with a no movement clause.
February 15, 2008 9:06 AM ET | Delete
A-Mar is right Ryder is underacheiving that pakcage u got there is glorious for us, I would jsut take Boyd and not Yelle, we would give you a D but not Gorges be in th form of Bouillon or Dandenault. B ut then we would want a non UFA not Yelle or a draft pick.
February 15, 2008 4:35 PM ET | Delete
boyd for ryder, lol. keep dreaming fellas. anyways, i agree with skasper, it doesn't seem like you watch to many flames games. tanguay is number one trade bait, just for the fact that he hasn't come close to living up to his 5 million salary. why would we trade yelle? he is great at what he does and is cheap and is a sutter type player. we would never get proper value back. I believe conroy is under contract for one more year, but no team would want him, colassal waste bring him back imo. Florida would never do it, but a tanguay/boyd or what ever prospect they would want for jokinen, would be a great gift to the flames
February 20, 2008 3:07 PM ET | Delete
Boyd has been dissapointing offensively, but he's still got a a ways to go before he lives up to his "top prospect" tag. I do thikn he's worth packaging up for another player; ie: Ryder. I think Sutter will make at least one semi-big move on trade-day (or before). I think the push to get Jokinen may happen, but I honestly don't think Tanguay would be a part of that deal. Maybe Lombardi, prospect, and a pick. And, I might add, I think it'd be worth it.Huselius may also be a surprise player to move out of Cow-town. He's so streaky and I think his trade-bait status is fluctuating. I thik he could be apart of a packged deal for someone as well. I don't think the Flames will win the Sundin sweeps, but all is well; we can't afford the picks/prospects anyway.In my opinion.... Yelle, Nilson, Primeau, Eriksson, Hale, Warrener, Huselius, Lombardi, Smith,
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