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It's no secret the Calgary Flames need to add more scoring punch this off-season.
Despite possessing high-end talent, mostly only rivalled by playoff teams, the Flames finished 27th in goals this season. Only Detroit, Montreal, Arizona and Buffalo, all of whom finished bottom-5 in the NHL, scored fewer than the Flames.
They don't have many guys capable of filling the net with any regularity and that became crystal clear while Matthew Tkachuk and Sean Monahan were out down the stretch. The offense completely disappeared.
Since the Flames don't have a lot of money to spend in free agency, nor much draft capital to use in a trade, it seems safe to assume they'll use their strength – organizational depth on defense – to help address their scoring woes.
Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun suggested
T.J. Brodie or Dougie Hamilton, in particular, stand out as potential trade candidates.
Not a massive shakeup, but a significant swap that will address the two major shortcomings of the club – offensive depth and their lack of emotional engagement.
To do that, they’ll have to part ways with one of their core defencemen.
Either Dougie Hamilton or T.J. Brodie should be on the move.
I'm 50% with Francis here. I agree they'll likely have to trade one of the core defensemen on the roster.
Juuso Valimaki, Rasmus Andersson and Adam Fox, among others, have shown a lot of promise but teams generally don't part with established scorers for guys who *could* be good in the NHL. They want certainty that they *are* good. Goal scoring talent is too hard to come by to give away.
It also makes little sense for a team short on draft picks, and cap space, to part with young players who are nearly ready to step in and contribute at very low costs.
Where Francis loses me is throwing Dougie Hamilton into the mix. He is a big, durable, smooth-skating defenseman who drives play and produces at a high clip. He has 94 points over the last two seasons. He is a one-man shooting gallery. He just finished tied for 1st among defensemen in goals.
By all accounts he is one of the most important, and productive, players on the Flames and trading him for a forward would probably leave the Flames spinning their wheels. Sure, they improve up front but they lose one of the most capable offensive defenders in the league while doing so.
Brodie stands out as the right choice to me. By his standards, he had a down year. In saying that, he still produced at a 36 point pace for a team that couldn't score while averaging more than 23:30 for the fifth consecutive season.
Defenders who can a) skate; b) play a lot of minutes and; c) chip in offensively are *always* attractive to teams, especially when they carry $4.65 million cap hits.
Brodie can get the Flames the scoring help they want and still leave them with enough talent on defense to be comfortable moving forward.
Hamilton is great, Mark Giordano is the captain, and I don't think Travis Hamonic gets the Flames what they need. If the Flames are going to part with one of the core four on defense, I think Brodie makes the most sense.
We'll see if Brad Treliving feels the same way.
Calgary Flames 2017-18 season awards
Setting the table for the 2018 off-season
On the possibility of trading into the 1st round