So; there has been plenty of discussion about many different players the Calgary Flames should target, from Free Agency to this point; a lot of it centered around a first line center, a hole that has been very vacant since 1995. We've had quasi first line centers for the past 17 years, people like Olli Jokinen, Chris Drury and even Craig Conroy (none of which were real first line centers when they got to Calgary, some of which never proved to be more than 2nd, 3rd liners).
Calgary is a team that's slowly trying to recover from a deep bleeding, which had been in effect for the better part of the mid '00s into about 2010. Where our prospect pool was full of 3rd-4th line NHL talent, no major future stars, a high lack of picks as well as a team that continually got older and older without major young shakeups or inserts. Little to say the Flames have been the target of many jokes of the league since they missed the playoffs in the 09-10 season.
Although the team has somewhat recovered from another dark period in their time in regards to their prospect pool, their stars remain quite old as well as no soon-to-be top line center in the organization (Don't even bring up Jankowski, he's three years away from even smelling the air of the NHL, let alone being able to step into a first line role anytime soon). While young players such as TJ Brodie, Sven Bärtschi and John Gaudreau are not very far away from having a major impact on the team on the NHL level, the team still lacks a big strong center that the future can be built around.
On other threads, I've brought up the idea of trading for a top line center, with many people acknowledging it would be a good idea, there is also the idea that Calgary would up paying a kings ransom to do so. Here are a few trade targets that I believe could be obtained by the Flames with a price that won't set us back another 5 years.
Team : Player.
St. Louis Blues : Patrik Berglund
St. Louis is in the market for top pairing defencemen, a winger and upon the departure of Berglund, a center that can sure up the lineup. Berglund has all the tools to be a top line center in the NHL, but will play second fiddle in St. Louis because of their center depth; it could be a trade to benefit both organizations with no major loser.
Calgary has an abundance of wingers in the organization, from the NHL level down to its major prospects. We have a top pairing defencemen currently on the market as well as middle of the road centers that can be used to even up the price.
A trade along the lines of: Jay Bouwmeester, Mikael Backlund and Lee Stempniak for Patrik Berglund and any Salary dump the Blues feel like adding.
Colorado Avalanche : Matt Duchene/Paul Stastny
Once again we have a similar story of a player with first line potential playing, this time, third fiddle to two young centers. Matt Duchene has all the tools in the world to be one of the most dominant top line centers in the NHL, however, after a brilliant rookie and sophomore season the 21 year old took a step back with an injured campaign in 2011-2012.
On the other hand, Stastny might be on the move in Colorado as well; there is just as good of a chance as him falling to the third line center role as Duchene playing a larger role. He also commends the biggest salary out of the three centers, and has not been playing to full potential since the 09-'10 campaign.
Much like in the case of St. Louis, Colorado is still looking for a top six winger and similarly, a defencemen that has a higher capacity than the six they currently have (none of which bring any type of confidence).
Duchene would commend a first round pick, easily; or even the movement of Calgary's top prospect in Sven Bärtschi or TJ Brodie, whereas Stastny could probably be had for a similar deal to that of St. Louis.
Nashville Predators: Colin Wilson
Nashville might be on the verge of losing it all. If they manage to resign Weber (which many think they'll match the Philly offer sheet) there will still be a major hole left by Suter. Nashville is 13 million under the floor as of today, after signing Weber, they'll be about 5 million under the floor still.
Colin Wilson hasn't shown any major NHL first line potential just quite yet, however, with an increase in playing time and role, he surpassed his 2011-2012 campaign playing less games.
Nashville values him, quite a bit, he has shown all kinds of pedigree; and has had a similar route to the NHL as the aforementioned Suter. However, they have large holes they need to fix.
Once again, Jay Bouwmeester would have to be involved in the package or TJ Brodie. The rest I will not speculate because I'm not exactly certain if he's worth the first or a second or Mikael Backlund. He could probably be had the easiest of this list.
Philadelphia Flyers : Sean Couturier
14 years, 110 million dollars for a defencemen. 'Nuff said. Chris Pronger looks unlikely to suit up for Philly again, and they need major help on the blueline.
Much like many of the previous situations, this is a young player that, although has all the tools in the world to be able to be a top player in the NHL; it's unlikely he'll develop into that playing in Philly, behind the untradable Giroux and Schenn(even though he played on a higher line than Schenn, having traded for Schenn's brother, it seems unlikely Philly will ever move him), as well a swing center-fan favorite Danny Briere.
It is rumoured that Nashville asked for Schenn, Couturier as well as more for Shea Weber, which was too much. Although Bouwmeester is not even close to being Shea Weber, he would be a valuable asset for Philadelphia, and could merit Couturier with some addition on Calgary's part.
Sean Couturier + Cap Dump for Jay Bouwmeester, Mikael Backlund, 2014 First/Second (depends on Philly's need for a Dman, if they are very desperate, which it seems they are, then a draft pick may not even be necessary).
Honorable Mentions: Ryan Getzlaf, David Krajci and Joe Pavelski.
I think these three are possible targets, however, they'd cost quite a bit more (such as Boston's case where we'd have to start throwing around Jarome's name a bit more).
This thread is only down the middle, any other trades are not for here (we have a off-season thread somewhere behind the list of Fantasy Hockey threads, somewhere), what do you guys think: if you think my values are off, give me a decent trade (Don't just be like, duh not worth it. Pass) counter.
Also, these were the players I think could play well here, any others feel free to add; values, etc... Hope it was a good read, a lot of text here.
I personally would rather given Cammy a chance at center over moving our significant assets to try and improve our center depth. He had 16 points in 18 games as a centerman last year and while not being great at faceoffs 45.6%, he is known to do a large amount of training in the offseason I suspect that given the offseason to work on faceoffs he could be a viable #1 centerman.
Here are my 2 (or 5) cents regarding all your trade mentions:
I would LOVE this guy, he is still somewhat of project though in the sense that his biggest issue he faces is consistency. When this guy plays at a high level, the Matt Sundin comparisons are valid. He is a big body, that can skate, cycle, pass and score.
I really think the asking price would be Gio and possibly +. I think an offer of Gio, Backlund for Berglund and a 3rd gets a deal done. Thats what I think the asking price would be, go ahead and debate if its worth for the Flames to pay that. I'd probably pull the trigger.
Duchene: Probably the most impressive name on the list and most expensive to acquire. This kid has the tools to do it all. Possesses a skill set that is off the charts, fantastic skater, fantastic shot, elite playmaking skills. Had an off year last season, but many feel that was due to injuries. This kid has PPG potential and is someone you build your franchise around.
Asking price: I'm not sure Calgary has the assets to acquire him. If I were the GM of the Avs I would only consider moving him in a package for a top 5 player in the NHL which is unlikely to ever happen. Value wise, I think a deal of Baertschi, and a 1st is probably not far off. But that would be a hard trade to sell to the Avs fanbase.
Statsny: Statsny is a good, and still relatively young centre. He also is a player that hasn't performed to his contracts standards the last 2 seasons so that obviously impacts his value. Statsny is defensively reliable and a good 2-way centre. He has good offensive skills and instincts, but for whatever reason has really taken a step back the last 2 seasons.
Asking price: Despite his down play the last 2 years, I think the Avs still value him quite a bit. I think Bouwmeester and Backlund is more than fair and personally I would not offer anything more. If that deal was on the table, I think I would have to take it. It would be worth it to see if Statsny could get back to a high level playing here.
Colin Wilson: Wilson is the player I have watched the least out of anyone on that list due to the lack Preds games that are broadcasted. Wilson will be entering his 3rd full season for the Preds next year and has shown signs of improvement in all seasons. Again Wilson has good size, good skater, and good playmaking skills. The major question here is as Mio pointed out, will he be a 2nd or top line centre? He hasn't shown enough at the NHL level to say with certainty that he will be a legit #1C but he does have the skill set to become one.
Asking price: Jbo easily gets a deal done. Personally if we did this deal, I would offer Bouwmeester, Backlund for Blum and Wilson with minor tinkering if need be (ie. 3rd round pick). Depending on what happens with Weber, this may be the most realistic trade we could see.
Sean Couturier: I'll try to remain objective here, as I have a major man crush on this kid. If Couts doesn't get drowned on the 3rd and 4th line his whole career, he could end up being a Toews or Ron Francis type of player. His defensive game as a rookie is already off the charts and seeing him shut down Crosby in the playoffs this past season was an absolute thing of beauty. While he had modest numbers in his 1st season as a pro (13G, 14A) he exceeded expectations and stole a spot in training camp and never looked back. His offensive game will come with time, he has good size, excellent playmaking skills, and has a deadly shot. He will likely end up being a 70-80pt player in the right environment.
Asking price: This is the guy that I want Feaster to go out and get. He is the PERFECT compliment to someone like Sven, he has the size, defensive awareness and offensive ability to form a dynamic duo for many, many years. They could grow into stars together.
While Philly seems to claim he is untouchable, having Giroux, Schenn and Briere would mean he is the most available depending if the offer is right. Any offer would need to start with either Iggy or Gio. I've stated multiple times that if Holmgren would deal Couts for Iggy that I would make that deal. Due to Iggy's age and contract status, perhaps we add someone like Backlund with Iggy for Couturier and someone like Gus.
Gio would fit right in on the Flyers. I think an offer of Gio and Reinhart may be close in value and I would also make that deal.
Not going to offer any counters but just some thoughts on the OP.
Berglund is most likely to be seen as a #2C in St. Louis not because of Backes but because that's what he's been showing himself to be right now. This works against our favor in two ways:
1) St. Louis trading away Berglund would create a whole in the #2C.
2) We want a #1, not a #2 though Berglund would certainly be a sexy option.
Duchene/Statsny: While Duchene might be the better offensive choice, I like Stasney a lot more just because he's a much better two way guy than what a lot of HF will give him credit for. In a "realistic" dream, we get Statsny.
Duchene to Calgary is just rediculous to ponder. First off, I see Duchene being their miniture Sakic, spending his entire career with the Avs. He's only going to get better, trading him would make zero sense unless the likes of Malkin was the returning player. Secondly, why on earth would they trade him to a divisional foe? That could quickly come back to bite you in the rear. Imagine trading Baertschi to the Oilers. If any team was willing to trade their Tavares/Hall/Seguin/Duchene/Skinner/Kane/Toews I have no-doubt it would be to the opposite conference.