The Calgary Flames are reportedly seeking a big trade, while the latest Columbus Blue Jackets rumor links them with the New Jersey Devils.
Flames pursuing Stamkos?
SPORTSNET: Mark Spector reports Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving is working the phones seeking a big trade to help his struggling club. Among his conversations was apparently one with Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman regarding soon-to-be UFA superstar Steven Stamkos. Spector claims Treliving would be willing to deal “a top young player, perhaps Sam Bennett, to acquire Stamkos at this point,” but it would likely take center Sean Monahan to complete that deal, and Monahan’s considered “the most untradeable Flame.”
The Flames aren’t the only GM interested in Stamkos, as Spector believes if everything was perfect between the Lightning and their captain, he would be re-signed by now. That’s prompting speculation that Yzerman is resigned to losing Stamkos and might trade him at some point this season.
Other Flames potentially on the trade block include defensemen Dennis Wideman and Kris Russell, pending UFA winger Jiri Hudler and forward Mason Raymond.
SI.COM: Allan Muir reported Treliving sent a message to his team yesterday by placing goalie Karri Ramo on waivers. As for a big trade, Muir notes there are limited options right now. “Anaheim? The team that knocked the Flames out of the playoffs last spring makes for an awkward partner. Columbus? Maybe, but is a package based around Cam Atkinson, a player who is rumored to be available, going to knock Calgary back on track?”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sure, Treliving could be making inquiries about Stamkos, and I wouldn’t be surprised if other GMs have done the same. But let’s be honest, that sort of blockbuster deal rarely happens in-season in today’s salary-cap world. Stamkos also has a full no-movement clause for this season, and I don’t see him waiving it to leave a Stanley Cup contender to join a struggling team that is still rebuilding this season.
I believe the main reason the Lightning and Stamkos haven’t reached an agreement on a new contract is largely due to his huge asking price (believed to be between $10.5 – $11 million annually). If the Bolts agree to pay him that much, they face significant difficulty re-signing other core players (Ben Bishop, Victor Hedman, Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Nikita Kucherov) within the next two years.
The Flames aren’t trading Monahan, or Johnny Gaudreau for that matter, and I have my doubts they’ll part with Bennett. Wideman is signed through 2016-17 at a cap hit of $5.25 million and carries a no-movement clause, while Raymond is also inked through 2016-17 and carries a partial NTC. Given the latter’s poor play, good luck moving him.
Among their veterans, their best trade assets are Hudler and Russell, who are UFAs after this season. Still, is Treliving going to find decent value this early in the season, especially given the limited number of potential trade partners available to him? The market could improve in another month or so, but by that point, it could be too late to help the Flames.
Jackets talking trade with the Devils?
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH’s Aaron Portzline reported via Twitter a source suggested the Columbus Blue Jackets and New Jersey Devils could be trade partners. Devils defenseman Adam Larsson is seen as the likely target by the Blue Jackets, while RW Cam Atkinson would be part of the return for the Devils.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Portzline made that post prior to the Jackets coaching change yesterday, so it remains to be seen if they’re still shopping for blueline depth. While I don’t doubt the Jackets and Devils could be talking trade, I don’t see the latter parting with Larsson, who significantly improved midway through last season and continues to play well. Atkinson could be a trade chip for the Jackets.