The Flames are in a very strange spot, sitting on the playoff bubble and having a look at the post season for the first time in a very long time. It’s strange not only due to the amount of time since they have had this kind of look but strange because of how they might have to approach this trade deadline.
The issue for the Flames is that they have a few players that could be bait and have needs in a few areas as well. However making a simple player for draft pick swap unrealistic and not really wanted based on their rebuild. Here’s a list of the few that could go and potential return:
Recently they have been showcasing Ortio and this seems very much an audition for the big show should they trade Ramo. They need wins from the back up in order to get into the playoffs so want to be 100% sure Ortio can handle the load. Ramo is somewhat a fan favorite for some reason, he is a solid goalie most nights and for a while at the beginning of the season clearly played above Hiller. His ceiling still has room to be hit and is a stronger goalie than you might have seen traded recently. Based on recent trades and Ramo’s ability he could garner a 2nd or 3rd round pick.
Glencross is the antithesis of what the Flames issue is. He can be a physical goal scorer, a guy you like to have on your team for the playoffs. The issue is that this season he seemingly has lost a step, and is not sniping like he used to. On the plus side his production is very good anyway in terms of points. Currently he is hobbled with a groin injury but could, when healthy, get a 1st or 2nd round pick. I’m basing that on Perron, who had worse stats when traded, creating a trade expectation. The issue with Glencross is that the Flames have a glut of pretty strong LW players and could really use a physical scoring RW version of Glencross, they could also use a decent shut down D, bumping Diaz or Engelland into the press box.
In today’s NHL with the cap a hockey trade is the hardest trade to make but with the Flames cap room and willingness to spend it could mean that they would be willing to take salary in order to facilitate a trade. Keep in mind Glencross is still very inexpensive as far as scoring wingers go (2.5 million cap hit). Trading a guy like Loui Eriksson to the Flames would free up the equivalent of 2 million in salary for the Bruins for statistically similar players. Glencross might accept Boston as a destination to waive his no trade clause.
Of course the Flames do have a ton of players that the fans would love to see traded such as Engellend, Bollig, Diaz etc. If an offer comes in, they would take it but it is highly unlikely given how poorly they’ve played this year.
The Flames have been rumoured to be in on Ryan O’Reilly. Realistically his overlying stats don’t really justify his price tag and at some point that price tag will be important to the Flames. Remember one day Geaudreau, Monahan, Bennett, Granlund, Beartschi etc will all be coming up in short order to each other and will need to have room to afford to keep all of them. In addition ROR will require a 1st rounder back, would the Flames and should the Flames trade theirs? No. Not yet.
The interesting thing about this years trade deadline is that the Flames can really only afford hockey moves and not to take losses on draft picks because the reality is that they still have a ton or room to grow. They also need to improve in order to push into the playoffs. The only play that might make some sense is taking prospects where the Flames have depth and accepting salary in return so teams can make specific trades work. It will be very complex and I think if they pull it off, it will be in the days leading up to the deadline instead of the deadline itself.