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Sports Flames Trade Tiers: Who’s untouchable and who’s Calgary’s top trade chip?

13:40  14 february  2020
13:40  14 february  2020 Source:   sportsnet.ca

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Top Trade Chips . Mark Jankowski A long-term project for the Flames when they drafted him back in 2012, Jankowski seemed to pan out as hoped over the past couple seasons, putting up 31 goals and 57 points over the past two campaigns. He’ s got some hands, plays in the middle, and has some useful

Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford joins HC to discuss how the Jason Zucker trade came about with his old buddy, Wild GM Bill Guerin, and says they may still tinker, but he doesn’t see anything else major happening Flames Trade Tiers : Who ' s untouchable and who ' s Calgary ' s top trade chip ?

a hockey player in a blue suit skiing in the snow: sharks-brendon-dillon-battles-with-flames-sam-bennett© Josie Lepe/AP sharks-brendon-dillon-battles-with-flames-sam-bennett

With the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline drawing near, Sportsnet is breaking down what each Canadian club has to work with as they head toward Feb. 24. We’ve sorted each roster into Trade Tiers to hash out who’s safe, who’s available, and who’s likely on the move.

We’ve reached a pivotal point in the timeline of the Calgary Flames‘ current core.

After a few years of seemingly steady progress, culminating in a dominant campaign in 2018-19 and a subsequent disappointing post-season showing, it appears it’s make-or-break time for Johnny Gaudreau and Co.

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Flames Trade Tiers : Who ' s untouchable and who ' s Calgary ' s top trade chip ? Sonny Sachdeva. Not bad for a seventh-round pick, who beat the odds just to get here — although it says something about Engvall that he never viewed it that way.

Flames Trade Tiers : Who ' s untouchable and who ' s Calgary ' s top trade chip ? Plagued by injuries, Calgary Flames look to bolster defensive depth and scoring at NHL trade deadline. sportingnews.com - Sam Ficarro.

A tumultuous 2019-20 campaign hasn’t helped them much in that regard, but with the trade deadline a couple weeks away and the team still in a playoff position, the opportunity to hit their stride and go on a run is there for the taking. But the Flames need to hit that stride going into this home stretch, and with six losses over their uneven past 10, it’s not entirely clear if this current group is on the cusp of doing that.

General manager Brad Treliving has cap space at his disposal if he wishes to shake things up or bolster his current roster, having opened up a bit of space by dealing Michael Frolik to Buffalo. And, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, there’s reason to believe the Flames manager will be fairly active before Feb. 24.

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Flames Trade Tiers : Who ' s untouchable and who ' s Calgary ' s top trade chip ? Rutherford: Penguins may do more 'tinkering' after Zucker trade . 4 hours ago. How Maple Leafs' Pierre Engvall climbed from late pick to alluring NHLer.

“The 22 guys who make your team out of camp aren’t the guys you’re going to play with the whole year. Flames Trade Tiers : Who ' s untouchable and who ' s Calgary ' s top trade chip ? 4 hours ago.

So, should Treliving look to make a move to bring someone in, what does he have to work with? Here’s a look at how the current names on the roster appear to shake out:

Not Going Anywhere

Matthew Tkachuk

He’s the team’s emotional compass, likely the future captain, and tied for the scoring lead at age 22. A new deal inked in the off-season adds to his roots in Calgary, too. He’s quite simply the future of the franchise.

Johnny Gaudreau

Despite the chatter earlier in the season, he’s still the Flames’ most dynamic offensive weapon, and signed for a couple more years at a pretty reasonable sum. Back in November, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman went as far as to say he’d be astonished if Gaudreau was moved. Despite the personal down year, he’s still tied with Tkachuk for the Flames’ scoring lead.

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“Regardless of who ’ s in the lineup, we’re expected to win.” Flames Trade Tiers : Who ' s untouchable and who ' s Calgary ' s top trade chip ?

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Elias Lindholm

He brought a much-needed infusion of high-end skill when he came aboard last season, wherein he dominated to the tune of a career year. He’s only on the second year of a cheap, six-year extension with Calgary, and his versatility makes him one of the most important forwards of the bunch.

Sean Monahan

While he might not be the all-world thoroughbred No. 1 centre that the Flames could use, he’s still a consistent bet for 30-plus goals and has rounded out other aspects of his game to become a more complete piece. He’s the top pivot the club has at its disposal.

Mikael Backlund

One of the longest-tenured Flames, an important leader for the club, and he’s the most talented two-way player among the forward corps.

David Rittich

Big Save Dave has emerged as the club’s clear-cut No. 1 in net, is an unequivocal fan favourite, and costs next to nothing this season and next. The net’s all his for the time being.

Mark Giordano

The captain, the longest-tenured veteran, and a Norris-calibre defenceman. Nothing to see here.

(Likely) Not Going Anywhere

Noah Hanifin

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Flames Trade Tiers : Who ' s untouchable and who ' s Calgary ' s top trade chip ? Rutherford: Penguins may do more 'tinkering' after Zucker trade . 5 hours ago. How Maple Leafs' Pierre Engvall climbed from late pick to alluring NHLer.

And who ’ s logical to move? The problem is that their leading trade chips don’t quite have the same luster as they have in the last couple seasons, when the Red Wings What follows is an idea stolen from James Mirtle, who stole it from Eric Koreen. I’ve broken up the Red Wings’ roster into tiers , from

He’s averaging the second-most minutes on the team at 23 years old, contributing offensively, and signed on long term just a year ago. As we saw from how the narrative changed around Dougie Hamilton during his tenure in Calgary and eventual exit, nothing’s absolutely certain for most defenders not named Mark Giordano, but it would be a significant shock to see Hanifin moved.

Rasmus Andersson

Long considered a supremely important future piece for Calgary, he’s making good on that projection this season. He’s young, talented, and his future potential in Calgary is particularly important given the fact that the team’s No. 1 defender is 36 years old.

Juuso Valimaki

Perhaps the club’s top prospect moving forward, and his importance to the club’s future is similar to Andersson’s. If the Flames want to swing really, really big and pull of a blockbuster, maybe Valimaki’s name gets included, but that seems unlikely.

Cam Talbot

He’s put together a solid rebound campaign as the No. 2 in Calgary, and has even seemed the better of the two netminders at times. The Flames also don’t have an obvious-choice No. 3 ready to step up if they were to hear from a team desperate to shakeup their backup situation, so a move seems unlikely.

Milan Lucic

Finding a way to move on from Lucic and give that roster spot to a young, dynamic forward would be swell, but with aging legs and a $5.25-million cap hit for three more seasons after this one, it’ll be tough to find someone offering GM Treliving that out.

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Who ’ s untouchable ? By Nick Kosmider Feb 4, 2020 16. As the Nuggets burned to a 37-17 record before last season’ s trade deadline, president of basketball operations Tim Connelly and his staff decided to stand pat and evaluate what they had against the backdrop of the playoffs.

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Probably Safe, But It’s Possible

T.J. Brodie

We know that Brodie is a trade chip Treliving already tried to use once, with Brodie the piece said to have been offered to Toronto in the deal that would’ve sent Nazem Kadri to Calgary. And the 29-year-old is a pending UFA. But injuries to Giordano and Hamonic have made him infinitely more important to Calgary right now, and losing him probably has a bigger impact than whatever you can bring back in return.

Travis Hamonic

He’s injured at the moment, and not eligible to come off the injured reserve until Saturday, so he’s not the most attractive acquisition for opposing clubs. Also, once he is back, he’s in a similar situation as Brodie — the Flames need him more than what they’d potentially get in a trade for the veteran. He’s a pending UFA, too, but at the moment it looks more likely he’d re-sign in Calgary.

Derek Ryan

A useful, versatile piece for the Flames’ forward corps, chips in consistently enough on the scoreboard relative to his role, and remains one of Calgary’s top faceoff practitioners. The 33-year-old likely isn’t a target for other teams, but with Monahan, Lindholm and Backlund all capable of manning the middle of the ice, they could afford to lose him if need be.

Dillon Dube

The 21-year-old has shown flashes of high-end talent — particularly right after Geoff Ward took over the bench, and more recently during a three-point outing against Vancouver — and should be part of the Flames’ picture for a fair while.

Andrew Mangiapane

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Which Blackhawks are most likely on the trade block this month? You have a team that’ s right on the edge of the playoff picture, and playing its best hockey of the season in a Western Conference that doesn’t inspire much fear beyond the top two or three teams.

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See above — the 23-year-old’s put up some decent numbers in his second extended go-round in the big leagues and has at times been a lone bright spot when bigger names on the roster have fallen silent. He’d be an interesting trade chip, but more likely remains part of the long-term plan.

Tobias Rieder

A tough showing in Edmonton last year and limited production in Calgary this season evidence a far fall from his Coyotes days, meaning little interest from the opposition.

Zac Rinaldo

Same goes for Rinaldo, who’s endeared himself to the Flames with his rough-and-tumble ways but likely doesn’t offer enough for other GMs to inquire.

Michael Stone

At this point in his career, he also likely doesn’t bring enough to the table to entice other clubs, and injuries to other key names on the Flames’ blue line mean they need stopgap options with NHL experience.

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Could Be On The Move

Oliver Kylington

While he could be seen to be in a similar situation as Andersson and Valimaki, Friedman reported in November that the young blue-liner might be a potential trade chip for the Flames, given he may be looking for a bigger opportunity on a team with lesser blue-line depth.

Sam Bennett

After a half decade in Calgary, the highest draft pick in Calgary’s history still hasn’t lived up to the lofty expectations placed on him early in his Flames tenure. That he still doesn’t seem to have a clearly defined role or spot in the lineup leaves open the possibility for a move. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported in December that other clubs are interested, but that Treliving’s made it clear they aren’t parting with Bennett without an “impactful” return coming back to the Saddledome.

Top Trade Chips

Mark Jankowski

A long-term project for the Flames when they drafted him back in 2012, Jankowski seemed to pan out as hoped over the past couple seasons, putting up 31 goals and 57 points over the past two campaigns. He’s got some hands, plays in the middle, and has some useful size (clocking in at six-foot-four and 212 pounds). According to Friedman, other teams are interested in the 25-year-old, who could benefit from a fresh start.

First-round pick

The Flames have plenty of solid prospects in their pipeline and are already limited in terms of options of where to slot them into the lineup. Their core is young and their time is now. What they need is a bolstered roster and a deep run, meaning their 2020 first-round pick could be in play.

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