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Flames to Sign Olympian and Stockton Heat D Cody Goloubef to an NHL Deal: Does This Signal Anything?

Is this a depth move in isolation, or a foretelling of future events?

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 15 Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Brad Treliving announced this afternoon that the Flames are signing Cody Goloubef to an NHL 2-way contract. Goloubef, who was a PTO at training camp, eventually signed an AHL deal with the Stockton Heat. In 34 games with the Heat this season, Goloubef had 7 goals and 10 assists, along with 52 penalty minutes.

Goloubef was recently on loan to the Canadian Olympic Team, where he picked up a Bronze medal this morning. Goloubef had 2 assists in 6 games.

Goloubef was drafted in the 2nd round in the 2008 draft. He has played 129 games, registering 23 points while averaging 15:25 a game. He has fared respectably, as a positive relative possession player on some pretty bad Columbus and Colorado teams.

Potential Implications Behind the Move?

Given that it is trade deadline season, it is the best time of the year to over-read into everything. With that in mind, here are a few different implications of this move.

A Potential Trade? - Michael Stone

Michael Stone should be moved. He is not great, he has never really been great, and the Flames should not have signed him to a 3-year deal at the end of last season.

Michael Stone is blocking the ascension of Rasmus Andersson to the NHL, by who all accounts, looks more than ready to come and play in the NHL. Further to that point, all indications are that he would come into the NHL and do a better job than Stone.

Stone has the worst stats among all of the regular 6 Calgary D by two relatively important metrics: points and relative possession. He is routinely victimized in his own end and his alleged offensive prowess has yielded just 4 points in 62 games.

However, he is one of those players where his reputation seems to exceed his results. While his cap-hit of $3.5M for 2 more seasons is certainly an overpayment, perhaps another team would be interested in making a similar mistake in attempts at shoring up their defensive depth.

Going a step even further into the blackhole of speculation: he also seems like a good peace-offering candidate to appease his brother, Mark Stone, into re-signing with the Senators organization that is currently being completely gutted by the lovable owner, Eugene Melnyk. The Flames have been linked to both Mike Hoffman and J.G. Pageau in trade rumours.

A Potential Trade? - Travis Hamonic

I highly doubt Travis Hamonic will be traded so quickly after the Flames paid an exorbitant price for him at last years draft. However, Hamonic would certainly have solid value on the trade market and there is an argument to be made that there is a more glaring need for offensive up front than defence on the backend, especially with Rasmus Andersson in waiting.

I see this as a very unlikely option.

A Potential Trade? - Rasmus Andersson

Rasmus Andersson is the most NHL ready of the big 4 of Flames defensive prospects, which also include Oliver Kylington, Juuso Valimaki and Adam Fox. With the Flames not owning any high picks in this upcoming draft, they would likely need to dig into this pool of prospects to make a move for offense up front.

Rasmus Andersson would likely be a very popular target for selling teams, as a young right-handed defenseman on his entry-level contract. Andersson has significant value, as he has consistently seen his stock grow since being drafted, improving his play yearly and earning a lot of praise from those in the know in both scouting and analytical realms.

The Boring Option - Further Depth

The Flames are still a team with playoff aspirations. Should Adam Fox remain in the NCAA at the end of the season, the Flames depth on the right-side moving forward is Hamilton, Hamonic, Stone and Rasmus Andersson. After that, it becomes a collection of left-shot D. Perhaps the Goloubef signing is just meant to provide further support behind those 4, should multiple injuries arise in what the Flames would be hoping for as an extended playoff run.

The Obscene Option

The Flames think Goloubef is a better option to come up should an injury occur than Rasmus Andersson. This is a terrible option. While I do not believe it to be true, I have been surprised before.

Conclusion

Normally a signing of an AHL D to a 2-way contract would not be so interesting. But given the current circumstances of the day, there are a few potential angles to this situation. We shall wait and see what happens these next couple of days.