Snow has fallen. It’s chilly outside. The Calgary Flames have three days off this week. It must be the holiday season! Let’s climb into the holiday mailbag!

For those joining us late, New York Rangers prospect Lias Andersson has requested a trade. Andersson, 21, is a left shot Swedish forward who has played 66 NHL games and 74 AHL games to date. He’s not a finished product and his production thus far in North America has been modest: 0.14 points per game in the NHL and 0.53 points per game in the AHL. For contrast, Matthew Phillips is also 21 and has 0.74 points per game over 92 AHL games.

Now, Andersson’s camp’s argument – and probably the Rangers, too, if it came down to trade talks – is that Andersson hasn’t gotten a chance to play in a ton of high leverage offensive spots in the NHL. (That glosses over his lack of offensive production in the AHL, but we digress…) Offering a fourth line center who may be on waivers soon for a prospect that still has some tread on the tires probably won’t cut it.

What might cut it? A second or third round pick – like when the Flames punted on Sven Baertschi years back – or one of the Flames’ secondary prospects. But we pose the question: when the Flames (a) don’t have forward spots to try out Phillips or Glenn Gawdin in the NHL and (b) have a challenging time giving the likes of Sam Bennett and Dillon Dube consistent top six minutes, what would the point be of trading for a player coming from the exact same situation?

The Flames don’t need more left shot forwards in their early 20s. They need right shot forwards and defensemen of either stripe.

Travis Hamonic and TJ Brodie are pending UFAs. If both of them walk, barring the Flames getting their lefty defenders to play the right side, the Flames don’t have a ton of internal options? Their only right shot defender outside the NHL right now is Alexander Yelesin, who is in his first AHL season and has played zero NHL games.

On the free agency side, it looks iffy as well. The blue-chippers are guys like Alex Pietrangelo, who will be too damn expensive for the Flames. Beyond him? Maybe they could slightly overpay to lure in somebody like Tyson Barrie or Sami Vatanen. Beyond them? Justin Schultz, Mike Green, Zach Bogosian, Cody Ceci, Chris Tanev, Justin Braun and Radko Gudas are out there, but all are either aging or flawed, or both. Not sure you want to throw them into the top four.

With a free agency class like this, it’s no small wonder that Hamonic’s camp is reportedly wanting to wait for awhile to talk turkey. If they go to market, they’re probably gonna get compensated handsomely. Based on his charitable endeavours here, I can’t imagine Hamonic is in a hurry to get outta town. But hockey is a business, and even if he’s willing to take a hometown discount to stay in Calgary it makes a ton of sense for his agent to find out exactly what the free agency price would be (and how big a discount he would be taking to stay).

Let’s do this!

  • Rudolph = Johnny Gaudreau
  • Dasher = Matthew Tkachuk
  • Dancer = David Rittich
  • Prancer = Sean Monahan
  • Vixen = Elias Lindholm
  • Comet = Mark Giordano
  • Cupid = TJ Brodie
  • Donner = Mikael Backlund
  • Blitzen = Rasmus Andersson

It’s heavily skewed towards Swedes and the power play, but so are the Flames.