Question 2: You are Calgary Flames GM for a day. What (realistic) trade would you execute right now?
Gary Pearson: I would love to see the Flames get J.T. Miller from the Canucks. Not sure who we’d have to give up to get him, but his character would help massively going into the playoffs. He’ll also chip in with some secondary scoring and would complement Coleman brilliantly.
Greg Admundsen: There are a couple of areas I think the Flames should target for improvement at the trade deadline. Their lack of secondary scoring and weaker bottom six became very apparent during their Dec/Jan dry spell. Tying into picking Kylinton as their first half MVP, I also think they are one injury in the top four away from having a difficult time with their defense corps. There are some signs that we could see an uptick from some of the middle six, like Sean Monahan and Dillon Dube, but it would be beneficial to push one of the current fourth line wingers out of the starting lineup and add some scoring at the same time. The Flames have just over $5M in projected deadline cap space according to CapFriendly and there aren’t any really enticing pending UFA defencemen, so I would make a middle six forward the primary target.
I did a trade proposal post on the Puck Luck Analytics blog earlier in the season that included Arturri Lehkonen heading to Calgary and I still like that idea, although I’d change up the return going to Montreal. Lehkonen is defensively responsible and has the lowest 5v5 xGA/60 among Canadiens forwards this season. It’s actually well below the 25th percentile league wide despite the train wreck that the Habs’ season has been so I think he’d fit in well with Sutter’s system. He’s producing offense this season as well, with 5v5 P/60 around the 75th percentile and should provide some secondary scoring in the middle six. He also comes at a very reasonable $2.3M cap hit, which leaves some cap space to improve depth on defense.
The Puck Luck Analytics model values Lehkonen at over $4M this season, so the return for Montreal won’t be insignificant. Loosely following the valuation techniques I use with the Puck Luck model, we’re looking at a combination of a high draft pick and one or more prospects. I’d start with a second round pick and a prospect like Jakob Pelletier or Rory Kerins and expect to add another prospect or pick to get it done.
Matthew Wilson: If I could make one trade right now for the betterment of the team, it would be for Jared McCann of the Seattle Kraken. He’s the embodiment of what the Flames so desperately need – a bona fide second line scorer. And a centre at that. With Mangiapane and Coleman on his wings, McCann would center an elite play driving line that can help take some of the pressure off of line 1. Combined with his career above-average shooting percentage, McCann would be a sure hit for Brad Treliving before or on the trade deadline that would check off a box the Flames need to be a real threat come playoff time.
Benjamin J. Prokopy: It is the worst kept secret in the entire NHL that the Calgary Flames need secondary scoring. My target addresses that need, but may be a little long on imagination and short on practicality. Phil Kessel. Kessel is not what you’d call a prototypical Sutter player. However, though his 5 goals this year don’t show it, he is capable of generating offence.
To be clear, this deal is a pure rental deal. As such, Arizona would need to retain a healthy portion of Kessel’s $6.8M cap hit. But given that he is in the last year of his contract, that should not be an issue. I also like Kessel because I believe he’ll have a high ROI. His production has fallen off over the last 3 years. So I don’t believe he’d come at a great cost. Perhaps one 2nd rounder and a 3rd down the road. If the Coyotes ask for prospects, I do not think we’d need to part with a Pelletier. Valimaki comes to mind.
Great thoughts from a great group fans. Looking forward to the back half, boys.