The 2017-2018 National Hockey League season is already over for a number of teams across the National Hockey League and many of those teams are going to be scrambling during the offseason to try and shore up the problems that they believe caused them to fail to make the playoffs. That is especially true for the teams that failed to live up to the expectations they had set out for themselves prior to the start of this current season.
One of those teams is going to be the Calgary Flames, a team that has already made moves to provide a major shake up to their roster. The Flames pulled off quite a coup this month when they managed to pry head coach Bill Peters away from the Carolina Hurricanes and convince him to join their organization instead. It doesn't sound like they will be done there however.
The Flames newest head coach announced during his introductory press conference that he would be looking to keep Flames stars Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan together. After that announcement many believes that the Flames will look to get a quality winger to play alongside the Flames two top stars, and Flames insider Eric Francis believes that the organization will likely look to part ways with one of their franchise defensemen in order to bolster their offense.
Not a massive shakeup, but a significant swap that will address the two major shortcomings of the club – offensive depth and their lack of emotional engagement.
To do that, they’ll have to part ways with one of their core defencemen.
Either Dougie Hamilton or T.J. Brodie should be on the move.
The Flames gave up a ton to acquire Hamilton from the Boston Bruins, but they would also very likely be able to get a ton back in exchnage for the young defenseman, At just 24 years of age and 6'6 210 lbs Hamilton would likely fetch quite the return in an NHL trade market that is sorely lacking in defenseman, and no doubt there would be no shortage of teams willing to offer a package that includes players and picks for him. That would have an added benefit for the Flames who have no picks in the first three rounds of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman also touched on the possibility of the Flames making a move for a winger.
“And I think now one of the most interesting things to watch in Calgary was Peters said today that he plans to keep Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau together," said Friedman as per Fanrag's Chris Nichols. "I’m curious to see what the Calgary Flames do for a winger on that line with those two forwards.”
So who could that winger be? Well we know for a fact that the Flames already tried to get that type of player before the trade deadline thanks to comments made by TSN insider Pierre LeBrun.
“And I do know for a fact there were discussions between Calgary and Ottawa on Mike Hoffman, as there were also conversations between Calgary and Montreal on Max Pacioretty – among others,” said LeBrun on March 13. “But whatever the reason is, and we can only assume that the ask was so high from both the Senators and the Habs that the Flames were hoping it would come down at the last moment and never did. I don’t know."
There's a belief that the Ottawa Senators have cooled off a bit on the idea of trading Hoffman, one of their better goal scorers and a true sniper. The Habs in the other hand however have been consistently mentioned in trade rumors and there remains a belief that Pacioretty, the Canadiens captain, will be traded by the time the draft has come and gone.
The Canadiens unquestionably need help on their blue line and there's no doubt that Hamilton would be a major acquisition for the Canadiens, but the questions becomes whether or not they would be willing to pay the price the Flames are likely to demand.