Anton Babchuk (Photo: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE)

Calgary Flames, The Trade Deadline, And The Problems They Face

As the trade deadline draws closers, February 27th is just a short 3 weeks away, the rumors seem to be swirling about and not making much sense for the Calgary Flames.  On Friday, Darren Dreger was on TSN during the first intermission to discuss trade potentials involving the Flames.  He mentioned an idea involving the Flames making a deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets to pick up their newly acquired center, Jeff Carter.

Jay Bouwmeester (Photo: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE)

My first thought was “holy cow! How could the Flames ever afford his contract?”, but Dreger quickly followed it up with the comment of money being tied up with Jarome Iginla, Jay Bouwmeester, Mike Cammalleri, and Miikka Kiprusoff.  Glad to know Dreger isn’t forgetting about these massive contracts.  This season and next has Iginla with a $7 million cap hit, Bouwmeester’s contract doesn’t end until 2013-2014 and is a $6.68 million cap hit each season, newly acquired Cammalleri comes with a contract until 2013-2014 as well and a $6 million cap hit, and Kipprusoff rounds out the group with a contract ending in 2013-2014 with a $5.83 cap hit until then.

What Dreger failed to mention, and what will truly be the downfall of the Flames, is the inability to move any of these players.  With the right manipulation, yes the Flames can take on Carter’s $5.27 million cap hit until 2021-2022 if they really wanted to do so.  However, the Flames have those 5, plus an additional 7 players with NM or NT clauses in their contracts.

Even if the Flames wanted to do an equal swap with the Jackets, unload a contract and pick up

Carter’s, anyone worth any value is locked up with one of these clauses.  Take a look, in addition to those 5 mentioned, Alex Tanguay, Matt Stajan, Olli Jokinen, Curtis Glencross, Mark Giordano, Cory Sarich, and Anton Babchuk have NM or NT clauses.  Okay so not all of them are going to command a trade worthy of anything more than a bag of square pucks, I’m looking at you Sarich, but still a few of them could be packaged together, with a lower level guy for a player like Carter.

Another problem with picking up Carter or a contract equally lengthy?  It will be a burden to get rid of with or without a clause.  There are very few teams out there who could support a contract like Carter’s for so long.  If he or anyone else with a similar contract gets to Calgary and doesn’t mesh with the team, the playing style, OR if the team decides to go in another direction, the Flames are really in a bind to get rid of him.

So with that in mind, dear reader, what do you want to see happen at the trade deadline?  Do you expect to see something spectacular?  Or will the Flames maintain status quo?  I would like to here your opinions, either here in the comment section or on Twitter.

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Tags: Flames Jeff Carter NMC NTC

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