With the NHL Draft just days away, free agency not far behind, and a flurry of trade rumors dominating the headlines, this is one of the best times of the year for those hockey fans who live to be an armchair GM. Big names have often moved during these wild draft weekends and this year promises to be no different with a few trades already completed.
Here's a look at the more important trades the Calgary Flames have made at various NHL Drafts starting with recent deals before spanning decades back.
June 26, 2015 (NHL Draft in Florida)
Calgary acquires: Dougie Hamilton
Boston acquires: 2015 1st Round Pick (Zachary Senyshyn), 2015 2nd Round Pick (Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson), 2015 2nd Round Pick (Jeremy Lauzon)
This is a deal that if the Calgary Flames become a dynasty, could be reflected on as one of the best trade steals made in draft history. After stocking up on a glut of selections, Brad Treliving swiftly stole a prize possession from Boston for not a whole lot. To top off this trade, the Flames still ended up with two solid prospects in the 2nd Round in Rasmus Andersson and Oliver Kylington.
June 28, 2014 (NHL Draft in Philadelphia)
Calgary acquires: Brandon Bollig
Chicago acquires: 2014 3rd Round Pick (Matheson Iacopelli)
This is a trade still loathed by Flames fans to this day as Bollig continues to dog the Flames with his salary cap hit and not quite NHL caliber play. If it's any consolation, Matheson Iacopelli hasn't turned into anything in the Blackhawks organization.
June 25, 2011 (NHL Draft in Minnesota)
Calgary acquires: Chris Butler, Paul Byron
Buffalo acquires: Robyn Regehr, Ales Kotalik, 2012 2nd Round Pick (Jake McCabe)
This trade was the beginning of the end for the Calgary Flames core from the mid to late 2000's and the core that led the team to the Stanley Cup in 2004. Long time Flames Robyn Regehr would spend a couple seasons in Buffalo before being dealt to the Los Angels Kings to finish out his career. Ales Kotalik wouldn't play another NHL game after this trade. On the Flames side, Chris Butler left in the 2014 offseason to join the Blues organization and has mainly played in the AHL since. Paul Byron was waived at the start of this season to make room for less skilled players to have a roster spot (still miss you Paul). In fact, Jake McCabe is the only player in this deal still affiliated with a team from this trade as he played his first full season in Buffalo in 2015-16. Would've been a decent trade had they not had to sacrifice the 2nd round pick.
June 27, 2009 (NHL Draft in Montreal)
Calgary acquires: Rights to Jay Bouwmeester
Florida acquires: Rights to Jordan Leopold, 2009 3rd Round Pick (Josh Birkholz)
Out of the four trades the Flames made at the draft in 2009, this one was the most intriguing as the Flames had acquired what was perceived to be a star in the NHL. Bouwmeester struggled to perform with the Flames and was eventually dealt to St. Louis in 2013.
June 20, 2008 (NHL Draft in Ottawa)
Calgary acquires: Mike Cammalleri, 2008 2nd Round Pick (Mitch Wahl)
Los Angeles acquires: 2008 1st Round Pick (Jake Gardiner), 2009 2nd Round Pick (Brian Dumoulin)
Looking back at this trade now, it's hard to declare a winner. Cammalleri would have a solid 08-09 season in Calgary posting 82 points in 81 games. However he left in free agency at the end of that season to join Montreal. Jake Gardiner has emerged with the Maple Leafs the last few seasons and Brian Dumoulin just helped the Penguins win the Stanley Cup. While neither player actually suited up for the Kings in their career, the quality of players they got in return gives them a slight edge on this trade.
June 24, 2006 (NHL Draft in Vancouver)
Calgary acquires: Alex Tanguay
Colorado acquires: Jordan Leopold, 2006 2nd Round Pick (Codey Burki), 2007 2nd Round Pick (Trevor Cann)
While this trade wasn't large so large compared to the others, it marked the first time Alex Tanguay would enter the Flames organization and would eventually be traded to Montreal on draft day two years later. It also marked the first of two times the Flames would trade Jordan Leopold on draft day as they also dealt him in 2009 (see above). The players chosen by the Avalanche currently play in the ECHL, and in Switzerland respectively so all in all it wasn't a bad trade by the Flames. Tanguay would score 81 points in 81 games in the 06-07 season for the Flames.
June 16, 1990 (NHL Draft in Vancouver)
Calgary acquires: 1990 1st Round Pick *11th overall (Trevor Kidd), 1990 2nd Round Pick *32nd Overall (Vesa Viitakoski)
New Jersey acquires: 1990 1st Round Pick *20th overall (Martin Brodeur), 1990 2nd Round Pick *24th overall (David Harlock), 1990 2nd Round Pick *29th overall (Chris Gotziaman)
If you're wondering to yourself "Hey, this trade just has draft picks in it" then I'd encourage you to look at the names involved in the trade. Essentially in 1990, there were three top goalie prospects heading into the draft in Kidd, Brodeur and Felix Potvin. The Flames chose to trade up and have their pick of the bunch and in hindsight they chose wrong. Imagine how differently the Flames could've been had they drafted future hall of famer Brodeur. The late 90's and early 2000's may have been completely different. Goes to show that the draft is almost a complete guess and the Flames guessed wrong. Brodeur was so close to being in a flaming "C" wow.
June 15, 1985 (NHL Draft in Toronto)
Calgary acquires: 1985 2nd Round Pick (Joe Nieuwendyck), 1987 2nd Round Pick (Stephane Matteau)
Minnesota North Stars acquire: Kent Nilsson, 1986 3rd Round Pick (Brad Turner)
At the time of this trade, the Flames were sending on of their best players away for draft picks. Nilsson had scored 562 points with the Flames franchise in just 425 games or a 1.3 point per game rate. Nilsson would spent a couple seasons in Minnesota putting up close to a point per game before heading to Edmonton for a few games then out of the NHL. The Flames would acquire Joe Nieuwendyck who became the face of the Flames before he would eventually be traded in 1995 in a similar deal to the Dallas Stars to acquire Jarome Iginla. It's just a big circle that keeps going!
Will the Flames make any big deals at the draft table this year in Buffalo? That remains to be seen, but the Flames have no shortage of big deals going down in the past and perhaps one will go down this year. The only constant for these deals is that it proves that drafting players is little more than a guessing game.