clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Trading for Steven Stamkos would be bad and wrong for the Flames

New, comments

A speculative Sportsnet article has got Flames fans talking and baulking. It probably won't happen, and it doesn't make sense anyway.

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, Mark Spector wrote on Sportsnet how Brad Treliving is looking to make some major moves to turn the ship around for the under-performing Flames. In particular, he offered this blockbuster:

No small trade is going to fix his Flames, who are entirely broken right now, and word is out that Treliving is willing to talk about a very big deal if he can find one. We even heard that his conversation with Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman was all about the Lightning’s obvious issues with signing soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Steven Stamkos.

The Flames would be willing to deal a top young player, perhaps Sam Bennett, to acquire Stamkos at this point. That’s risky but wise, in our opinion. But there’s one problem: This early in the proceedings (a full five months prior to the NHL trading deadline) the conversation from Tampa’s end would start with centre Sean Monahan, who we believe to be the most untradeable Flame.

We have no doubt that Treliving is asking about Stamkos — why wouldn’t he? — and he’s not the only GM interested. If everything was perfect in Tampa, Stamkos would be signed by now, and the fact he isn’t makes us wonder if Lightning GM Steve Yzerman is resigned to losing him, and as such, will try to trade the asset.

Now, I'm sure the idea of Steven Stamkos in a Flames uniform would appeal to many readers - hell, I'd love it myself. However, let me tell you why the above idea is both bad and wrong.

First and foremost, the main reason the Lightning would ever consider trading Stamkos is because he's a pending unrestricted free agent. A player of his abilities and track record would command a big price next summer, something the Flames already can't really afford, with several contracts needing renewals next year, and Mark Giordano's big raise kicking in.

Secondly, is Stamkos really the player that will fix everything that is wrong with the Flames? Will he seal the defence, make them hard to beat? Will he provide scoring across the top three lines, picking up players that he won't even ice with? Will he give the goalies confidence and improve their overall play? No, he will not.

Most importantly, the price that Tampa Bay would be looking for to acquire Stamkos would be akin to selling the farm. Spector says it himself - the Flames may be willing to offer Bennett, but the Lightning would want Monahan just for starters. Imagine what else they might have to give up. Bennett AND Monahan?  Johnny GaudreauT.J. Brodie? Oliver Kylington or Rasmus Andersson?

The run to the playoffs last year led a few people to maybe think the rebuild was over, and that the Flames were ahead of the curve. Those ideas may have been shot down by the poor start to the season, but what if somebody with Treliving's ear has told him that this move could lead to another playoff run? Would one good season, and the appeal of a second, be enough to convince Treliving to scratch the rebuild for the sake of a franchise player who, in all honesty, might only spend six months tops in Calgary?

You'd like to think not.

I'm not mad, I'd love to see Steven Stamkos in the red of the Flames - but only at the right time, for the right price, and in the right situation. Burning down a rebuild and selling the promising youth for a brief flicker of light today is just not worth it.

Maybe the Flames do need some kind of big trade or shake up to get going this year, but it has to make sense for the team and the future. Stamkos wouldn't fix this year's Flames all by himself. What he'd bring to the team wouldn't plaster over everything that's wrong. It just doesn't make sense.