The Calgary Flames have lots of cap space this offseason. Will they use a bundle of it on Alex Pietrangelo?
The Calgary Flames have not been shy to try and upgrade the right defence since Brad Treliving took over as the general manager. When Treliving was hired after the 2013-14 season, the Flames had an excellent top pairing in Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie but it fell off quickly after that.
Kris Russell and Dennis Wideman were the team’s second pairing and Chris Butler, Ladislav Smid, Shane O,Brien and Tyler Wotherspoon battled for bottom pairing minutes.
It wasn’t the deepest crop of defenders in the league. But Treliving did everything he could to make it better. A year after being hired, he traded a first round pick and two seconds for Dougie Hamilton. Two years later he traded the same package of picks to the New York Islanders for Travis Hamonic.
Along the way he also picked up Deryk Engelland and Michael Stone (a couple of times). He targeted skilled defencemen in the draft like Rasmus Andersson and Oliver Kylington. The once top heavy group became much deeper over the years. According to reports from hockey insiders, it sounds like Treliving might be gearing up for his biggest acquisition yet.
Pierre Lebrun of TSN was on the radio earlier this week and mentioned three teams as potential destinations for defenceman Alex Pietrangelo when he hits the open market on October 9th. Those three teams were the Vegas Golden Knights, Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames.
— NHL Watcher (@NHL_Watcher) September 22, 2020
The Flames could be losing Hamonic and Brodie to free agency in two weeks. They played a ton of minutes on the right side so someone is going to have to come in and help Andersson on the right side.
They could do a lot worse than add the best defenceman on the open market. Also, of the three teams Lebrun mentioned, the Flames are the only one with any cap space at all. The Leafs will have trouble fitting all their own guys in even after Tyson Barrie and Cody Ceci walk away as free agents. Vegas has been pinned up against the cap pretty much since their inception. They will be looking to move Marc-Andre Fleury’s monster contract if they get Robin Lehner signed.
If the Leafs trade away Alex Kerfoot, Andreas Johnsson, Travis Dermott and Ilya Mikheyev they might have space for Pietrangelo. If the Knights can find someone to take on all of Fleury’s $7 million, they could make room as well.
The Flames? Brodie and Hamonic combined to make $8.5 million last year. They could just hand that cash to Pietrangelo in the future and it wouldn’t affect their payroll at all.
These rumors can get a little out of hand when we get this close to free agency. However, of the teams mentioned, the only one that makes sense financially is the Calgary Flames. They are definitely preparing to make some sort of splash this offseason.
Want your voice heard? Join the Flame For Thought team!Write for us!
Will that be signing Alex Pietrangelo? We will have to wait a couple more weeks to find out for sure, but the dots are not that far apart here so they would be easy to connect. Who else has the cap space and ability to offer a chance to win?