The Flames are believed to be looking to move one of their defensemen, reports Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe. The back end has long been viewed as a strength in Calgary but they are projected to finish the season less than $1MM under the salary cap which doesn’t give them a lot of wiggle room to work with if they want to add to the team between now and the trade deadline.
Calgary came into the year with rookie Juuso Valimaki surprising many by earning a spot on the roster while sophomore Rasmus Andersson has played in all but three games so far as well. Injuries to Valimaki (lower body) and Michael Stone (blood clot) have pressed Oliver Kylington into action and he has held his own in limited minutes.
As a result, the Flames have an impressive surplus to deal with. Assuming that captain Mark Giordano and offseason acquisition Noah Hanifin are off the table, veterans T.J. Brodie ($4.65MM) and Travis Hamonic ($3.86MM) make sense as impact trade targets for teams. Both players are on below-market contracts and are signed through 2019-20 so they aren’t pure rentals. Accordingly, they would each yield a significant return if they were to part with one.
Alternatively, GM Brad Treliving could also be convinced to part with one of his younger defenders. While that wouldn’t achieve the salary cap savings that they could certainly use, any move like that would likely bring in a quality young forward that could help supplement their secondary scoring.
With how the likes of Valimaki and Andersson have performed, Calgary has an opportunity to cash in on an organizational surplus that many teams could certainly stand to benefit from. With Hamonic and Brodie set to become unrestricted free agents in 2020, it’s likely that they’d have been looking to deal from that depth no later than the 2019 offseason. Instead, it appears they’re willing to make that type of move within the next couple of months.