Today's Flames panel is on what the Flames should do at the deadline. And what they will do?
What they should do
I know I am going to get slammed for this, but I truly believe that they should sell, and invest more of the future. Build on the assets they have now. I just do not see them beating out LA this season or Vancouver.
So what does selling involve?
We really need to get his influence out of the dressing room, the problem is we may have trouble finding a home on him. I have been told that the Flames will find him a home.
Simply put, the Flames are not going to re-sign him. Ortio is on a one-way contract next season, and Hiller is locked up for one year. Making Ramo the odd man out. The Flames should send him packing.
This is where I am going to get in trouble with my readers. I feel that the Flames should try to get younger on defense. Send Wideman to a contender. Again, I know I will get flamed for this, but that is life.
Generally, I think the Flames should try to continue to rebuild for the future, and not simply going all out for the playoff push for one year.
What the Flames Will do?
I suspect they will do a little tinkering, for some reason they really don't care what I think! <Sigh> I suspect the Flames will make three moves at the deadline.
Pick up additional top 6 forward
The best option: Chris Stewart
The Buffalo Sabers power forward would be perfect fit. His size would help the Flames with some gritty goals. He needs a new environment, and the Flames may very well fit the bill. He can get the job done.
Go after another 4 or 5 number defence-man.
(Preferably a young one, to replace or improve our last pairing.)
Not having the best year in Philly. But I still believe that he can be a solid defenseman in the Flames roster. Not as much pressure. He might very well thrive in the Flames dressing room. A solid upgrade if he becomes available at the deadline.
If the Jackets are serious about taking offers, the Flames should call. James is a solid defenseman. He has some offensive skills to add on the rushing to the ends. He is a solid addition.
Of course, the last transaction is that they will trade Glencross.
The Flames may very well have some trouble finding a him a home. The problem is there so many sellers, that teams may very well find other suiters. His rep is not exactly solid, and why would teams take him when they can find another forward with less baggage?
I am sure that the Flames will be able to trade him, I am just worried that we will won't get as much as they want. I have no doubt that he will be traded for a draft pick.
What should the Flames do at the trade deadline?
I am a believer in going for it. In the NHL today it is extremely difficult to make the playoffs any given year. Look at the Kings, they barely make it into the playoffs, but dominate the playoffs once they get in. I am not saying we can compare ourselves to the Kings, but making it in can lead to magical rides. The puck was in.
I would like to see Treliving add to help this current Flames group. I know, I know do not mortgage the future for a rental player. I am not suggesting we trade the likes of Bennett, Monahan or Gaudreau to bring in a player like Evander Kane, who went to Buffalo. But this team needs help if you want to see playoff hockey at the Saddledome this spring. And not just Hitmen playoff hockey.
The Flames in my opinion need to upgrade on Engelland and Diaz/Smid pairing. Bringing in a capable #4 d-man is ideal. But with the current prices, I am not sure that will be possible without mortgaging the future, which I already said we should not do. But if a move makes sense that brings in a Wisniewski or Andrew Ference; I would be in favor. Both Wisniewski and Ference have another year left on their deal and would not be classified as rentals. "Siedenberg" to throw out another name that could potentially be available.
Another area for me is the face off issue. Granted this a significant issue that one center cannot fix. Having a future of Bennett-Monahan-Backlund up the middle is appetizing, so I would not spend a lot now to bring in a temporary center, like Vermette. So maybe this is something we do not address and Granlund, Colborne, Jooris and Stajan rotate behind Monahan and Backlund for the remainder of the season. I would suggest a guy like Letestu or McClement to provide some depth and experience down the stretch.
Another area I want addressed is a right handed sniper. I know I am asking for a lot here. Lupul or Kessel would cost too much and can Lupul even stay healthy for 10 straight games? Maybe more realistic is a guy like Cam Atkinson; but he would not be my first choice.
What do I think the Flames WILL do?
Order a round of coffee, talk about the Canadian Dollar and how it will affect the NHL salary cap. Call to see if Freddie Modin is still skating. Every five minutes Brian Burke comes over the intercom "trade deadline is the day GM's make the most mistakes".
I think we may be in for a quiet day. If Glencross is still around on Monday, we may see Brad Treliving move him for a third round pick. Or maybe he deals him to a playoff team for their disgruntled forward, who knows. But besides Glencross I am not so sure the Flames will be active. It is an easy sell for Treliving to address the media and say "this group has worked hard, and deserves to stay together. We are not going to jeopardize the future, the prices were too high for our appetite".
My only glimmer of hope is that news leaked that the Flames were heavily interested in Tyler Myers and Cody Franson. Treliving didn't want to spend what it was going to take to acquire those guys, but he was interested. This has me to believe that upgrading the d-core is on Treliving's mind.
I don't think we will see a Reto Berra for a second round pick type of move this year.