To some it seems like the Calgary Flames simply gave up in the last stretch of the regular calendar. The Flames broke down in March and let go of the chances to make the postseason for a second straight year. Yes, the Flames put up one of the league’s worst home records (16-20-4) and the acquisition of the summer, goalie Mike Smith did not manage to stay strong all year, due in part to several injuries.
But that's not all that went wrong. At the start of the season, general manager Brad Treliving took a huge gamble and signed veteran forward and future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr... and we all know it did not turn out so great for both camps. Now, Treliving must consider another move to acquire a scoring forward as Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun believes the Flames need to shop a core defenseman such as Dougie Hamilton or T.J. Brodie to bring in a scoring boost to Calgary.
"If the New Jersey Devils can turn Adam Larsson into Taylor Hall, surely the Calgary Flames can turn one of those two into a high-end, top-six forward," Francis writes as he recalls the trade that has turned the Devils into a Cup contender this spring.
Funny enough, one scoring forward has been on the trade block for most of the regular season, and despite many reports that he would be moved at the trade deadline, he remained with his club and still awaits a more precise decision on his future. We are talking about Montreal Canadiens Max Pacioretty who could provide the scoring punch the Flames desperately need.
While the Habs could need a boost down the back end - as we all know GM Marc Bergevin was lying about this year's defense being better than last season's - a transaction that could bring Hamilton on board seems unlikely. The 24-year-old blue liner is a right shot and the Habs can already count on Shea Weber and Jeff Petry on the right side. However, Brodie seems like a more likely trade candidate for Montreal, who could certainly use a stronger defender on the left side.
While Hamilton would most likely fetch a bigger return than Brodie, whose stock is likely down after struggling throughout this season, the latter could be a better option for the Habs. The 27-year-old defenseman has great offensive power, and also has two years remaining on his current deal.
"With his skating ability and offensive upside there isn’t a GM in the league doesn’t think that under his program the 27-year-old couldn’t be a top-20 point-getter amongst defencemen as he was two years ago while playing on the top duo with Giordano," adds Francis.
Pacioretty has been waiting long enough to be moved, and most pundits believe he has played his last game in a Canadiens uniform. Trade chatter has indicated that the Habs captain could be on the move at the NHL Draft, which could make even more sense for the Flames who could look to add some draft picks in a transaction. The Canadiens have loaded up on picks and might be interested in a blockbuster trade with the Flames heading to the draft in June.
It could be the right time to make this trade after all, but how will fans feel about the trade?