Flames & Senators Make Great Trade Partners to Address Needs

The Calgary Flames continue to keep their eyes open and phones working in search of a winger to bolster their team while the Ottawa Senators are in dire need of defensive help. With something to offer each other in what should be a win-win situation, the Flames and Senators would be great trading partners this season.

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The trade I am proposing is a defenceman from Calgary, Oliver Kylington in particular, in exchange for Alex Formenton from the Senators. There are many reasons this would work out for each team, so let’s get into it.

Senators Need Defence, Flames Need to Move Defence

The Flames have already had nine defencemen play at least four games for them this season, and Kylington’s name isn’t even a part of that list. The team has their regulars that include Noah Hanifin, Rasmus Andersson, MacKenzie Weegar, Nikita Zadorov, and Chris Tanev, they have Michael Stone on the injured reserve, and have gotten ga.mes from Connor Mackey, Nick DeSimone, and Dennis Gilbert. This also doesn’t include Nick Meloche who is in the American Hockey League (AHL) and suited up for 50 games with the San Jose Sharks last season.

Oliver Kylington Calgary Flames
Oliver Kylington, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Seeing as the Flames have more than enough defencemen, all on one-way deals too, this is why they’ve been a topic of conversation surrounding trade chatter. Seeing as the team is also near the salary cap and would like to add at least one forward to help offensively, the most logical trade is to move a defender who eats up a bit of cap space and isn’t necessarily needed.

Kylington hasn’t played a game yet this season and is out for personal reasons. That may make things tricky for the time being, considering the organization doesn’t know when he is coming back to the team. On the other hand, he is signed for $2.5 million average annual value (AAV) through next season, so his trade value is higher. After a breakout season in 2021-22, his trade value couldn’t be higher and the Flames have more than enough talent on their back end filling in his role.

For a Senators team that has only Thomas Chabot and Jake Sanderson signed past this season and are in dire need of defensive help, Kylington would be a great fit. He adds scoring from the blue line (nine goals and 34 points last season) and is an option on the power play. He was extremely effective last season at plus-34 and with his regular defence partner Tanev, had a goals for percent (GF%) of 61.96 and an expected goals for percent (xGF%) of 56.86, per Natural Stat Trick. Both of those stats for their defence pairing led the team and the Senators need more scoring opportunities than their opponents.

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Kylington can play both sides of the ice even though he’s a left-handed defenceman. The Senators need a defender who can play the right side more than the left and would like some more skill and commitment from their back end. It is a season where expectations are much higher than previous years and the team should be competing for a playoff spot. They happen to have an unsigned restricted free agent (RFA) in Formenton readily available to be used as trade bait in order to upgrade.

Formenton Likely Done in Ottawa

If nothing has transpired between the Senators and Formenton by now, the last RFA in the NHL is likely on his way out and won’t play another game for the team. He has a lot of skill and will definitely play again in the NHL, but the destination is still the question. With a trade like this, the Senators get rid of the question mark surrounding their roster and add a defence while the Flames add a very speedy, young, top-nine forward who can put up points.

Alex Formenton Ottawa Senators
Alex Formenton, Ottawa Senators (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Formenton is just 23 years old and solidified his role in the NHL in his first full season in 2021-22 by scoring 18 goals and 32 points. He isn’t yet in his prime and could realistically become a regular 20-goal scorer. He also plays with an edge and along with being one of the fastest players in the league, which is an area the Flames need to add to, he plays the body. The winger put up over 100 hits last season and isn’t afraid to back down from an altercation while also providing great work on the penalty kill. Coach Darryl Sutter would surely love for the Flames to add this type of player to the lineup as he could be a part of the future and thrive in Calgary.

Related: 4 Scoring Forwards the Flames Should Target in a Trade

Money wouldn’t be an issue for either side and both the Flames and Senators would get the player they need to help fill a needed role on their teams. Both could use the boost and neither are being utilized on their current teams at the moment.