The Calgary Flames’ season is nearing that point which will determine whether they make the playoffs or suffer a more disappointing storyline. There is still some runway left, but the team needs to turn their season around quickly. There was renewed hope after the Flames walked away with two wins over the Montreal Canadiens, with Darryl Sutter finally behind the bench after his quarantine period.
However, general manager Brad Treliving has made it known that he is looking for a right-shot right-winger to add to the fold, and the next 10 games will solidify his position at the deadline and whether he makes a splash or stands pat to assess his team in the offseason.
Calgary should be looking for a player who is under contract next season or beyond to solidify their top-six, and the forwards listed below are known to be up for grabs, while others could be moved given their team’s situation.
The Anaheim Ducks forward had a slow start but has since heated up with 12 points in his last nine games. Sutter was consulting coach for the Ducks before taking the head coaching gig in the Stampede City, so he is familiar with Rakell and where he would fit in the lineup. The Swede hit TSN’s Frank Servalli’s trade bait list at number three leading up to the deadline.
Rakell would fit right into the top six on the right side and has one year left on his contract. The Flames would need to ship out some money in order to make this deal work, but it was rumoured that the Ducks were interested in Sam Bennett which would nearly solve the Flames’ cap issues.
Treliving is known for making frequent calls, and he might call about Rakell, but the price is reportedly high. If there are US teams in the mix, that might hinder the Flames’ chances of landing him given the border restrictions.
The Nashville Predators have had a rough start this season and could be looking to shake things up. Arvidsson is coming off a down year in 2019-20, and 2020-21 hasn’t been much better. The 27-year-old has just 12 points in 27 games playing on the Predators’ top line.
He has struggled to put the puck in the net with a disappointing 1.5% shooting -percentage (S%). However, he is due for a bushel of goals as his career S% sits at 11.4%, and he should return to near that percentage at some point this season. Arvidsson could also boost Calgary’s second power-play unit, which hasn’t scored at nearly the same pace as the first unit.
The price for Rakell could make the price to try and acquire Arvidsson much higher as he has three years left on his deal at a fairly team-friendly $4.75 million. The Flames have been rumoured to be making calls to the Predators, but who knows if anything will happen.
It’s another season of turmoil in Buffalo. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman mentioned that the Sabres are open for business, and they will listen to offers on most of their players. Reinhart would add skill to the Flames’ top-six and give them another Elias Lindholm-type option, who can play both center and right-wing. Reinhart has 19 points in 24 games this season and leads the Sabres with 11 goals.
The price for the Reinhart will likely be high but worth the investment if the Flames can make it work. Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams is likely listening on any and all offers, and the Flames should be looking to upgrade their top-six even at a steep cost. A trade of this magnitude and given the flat cap may be better suited to the offseason.
Ryan isn’t as ‘sexy’ an option as those listed above, but he is having a renaissance season with the Detroit Red Wings and could be a good add for cheap. The Red Wings have likely signed all their veteran forwards so they can sell them off at the deadline for draft picks. If the Flames can compete for a playoff berth by the deadline, Ryan would be a good player to add for depth during the final stretch of games.
Treliving has often talked about depth and given the season Ryan is having, would give the Flames’ middle-six a boost. Unlike the players listed above, he would be cheap in terms of his contract and the assets needed to acquire him.
Lindholm’s cousin could be added to the Flames’ fold for fairly cheap if Nashville is listening, and Jarnkrok could vastly improve the team’s defence. He has been one of the Predators’ best penalty-killers and a good defensive forward at five on five. He is the kind of player you could slot in alongside Mikael Backlund and Andrew Mangiapane to create a complete shutdown line.
In his six NHL seasons, Jarnkrok has scored north of 30 points in four, which would help the Flames’ depth scoring woes. He has eight points in 21 games this season, which equates to roughly 31 points in an 82-game season, right around his career average.
Friedman reported during Hockey Night in Canada‘s intermission on Saturday that Terry may be looking for a change of scenery after a disappointing start for the Ducks and himself. He has managed seven points in 22 games this season while playing on the top line. He hasn’t quite hit his potential, but at 23, he is a young and intriguing player.
Terry could be the Flames’ long-term right-wing solution as he is under contract for the next two seasons at just $1.45 million. He hasn’t been able to produce the points but has still been one of Anaheim’s better forwards in terms of Corsi for (CF%) and expected goals for (xGF%). He would come relatively cheap if teams know he wants out, so the Flames should be making calls.
4 Weeks to the Deadline
The Flames have a big few weeks ahead with their playoff hopes teetering, and they need to start stringing some wins together. The two wins over the Canadiens were a good start, but they will need to keep pressing to boost their playoff chances which will, in turn, determine the moves they make at the deadline.
The rumours have been swirling. Treliving is in the market for a right-winger, and Calgary could use the help to bolster their playoff standing. However, border restrictions may prevent Canadian teams from making trades, but the right player would be worth the mandated 14-day quarantine.
Brett is a freelance writer covering the Calgary Flames here at The Hockey Writers. He is an enthusiast of hockey stats and continues to learn every day about the sports analytics movement. Brett enjoys using both statistical analysis and the old-fashioned eye test in his writing to create the best content for readers. His work at THW has been featured on the Calgary Flames’ news feed for The Score and on Yardbarker. Brett is also part of THW’s Flames Faceoff YouTube/podcast show where he brings his opinions each week on the team’s current state of affairs.