Calgary Flames Out Of Phil Kessel Trade Discussions


The Calgary Flames have found their way into the rumour mill as much as any team in the National Hockey League over the past few weeks. Rumours and trade suggestions and ideas being thrown out by the league’s hockey insiders all seemed to point fingers directly at the Flames.

There was the Milan Lucic rumour that was started by Scott Cullen of TSN who suggested the team may be willing to move a few of their top prospects to get a rugger winger. Then there was Elliotte Friedman stating the Flames are the most aggressive team in the market place right now and also wondering if they would be a perfect fit for Phil Kessel.

Well, today Friedman has poured cold water on the Kessel rumours, stating on Sportsnet 960 in Calgary this morning that Calgary will not be in on the Toronto Maple Leafs right winger.

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“I heard yesterday that Calgary will not be doing a Kessel deal. It would be a big surprise if they did.” Friedman said.

Friedman was also quoted last week as saying that the Flames are the most aggressive team in the league right now. This means that even though they will not be adding Kessel, they are still in the market looking for upgrades to last season’s roster.

Kessel is an electrifying winger and one of the best goal scorers in the entire league. He would be a big help to the Flames lineup, but his contract and asking price are just far too much for the Flames to absorb right now.

Oct 30, 2013; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Wisconsin native is set to earn $8 million against the salary cap for each of the next seven seasons. With the Flames needing to sign Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Mark Giordano and possibly leading scorer Jiri Hudler to contract extensions next season and Sam Bennett a year later, taking on such a large salary is too risky for a young team.

If the Flames were on the cusp of winning a Stanley Cup, being aggressive and giving up young prospects and draft picks for Kessel would be a wise move. The reality is, Calgary has a long way to go and a few more years of building before they enter contender status, so sitting out of a Kessel deal is the right move by the team.

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