The National Hockey League general managers recently met in Florida to discuss many hot issues on the ice, but several other conversations took place on the upcoming draft and potential trades we may see once the season is over. There seems to be one thing that most GMs are aware of: there will be significant changes in Calgary.
In his latest “31 Thoughts” column, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman reports the word out of the recent NHL general managers’ meetings is Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving will look to add a first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. While the Flames could attempt to address their need for another scoring forward in the offseason, there is that massive hurdle in their way. The Flames have already dealt away their first and second round picks in the 2018 draft, as well as their second and third round selections in 2019. When they landed defensemanTravis Hamonic last summer, they had to let go of their first round pick in the trade.
During a Friday morning radio hit on Toronto’s Sportsnet 590, Friedman went on to reveal more details about the upcoming changes in Calgary, and what it would take for the Flames to land the coveted first round pick they badly need.
"They don’t have a first-round pick this year from the Hamonic deal. I heard at the GM meetings that Calgary is looking to get it back. And if they’re trading for a first-round pick, it’s going to be a big piece. One of the guys I wonder about because he’s had a great year but he’s probably got some of the most value is going to be a guy like Dougie Hamilton. You know this is a league that loves defense. Calgary’s top prospects, they’ve got some really good defense prospects. I think he’s got 16 goals. I could see teams calling Calgary and saying, ‘What are you thinking about here.’
“I’m not saying they’ll do it, but I think they’ll at least be tempted to at least think about it.”
Hamilton could be a big name on the trade market, especially if the Washington Capitals end up signing pending free agent John Carlson. As Friedman notes, NHL teams are always looking for a quality defenseman, notably the Toronto Maple Leafs who are still on that quest. Hamilton has another three seasons left on his contract after this year wraps up, with a cap hit of $5.75 million. The 24-year-old blue liner has a modified no-trade clause, but it will not kick in until the final two seasons of that deal.
While pursuing a first-round pick could cost a lot to the Flames, it could be part of a larger deal where Calgary also tries to add some secondary scoring... There is also the question of a coaching change, but no matter what, there will be something new in Calgary next season.