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The Calgary Flames are out of the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs. There are a lot of feelings going around. Let’s get into it!

To the mailbag!

General manager? Let’s go with six. Brad Treliving’s contract extension just began, and he’s managed to get the Flames into the playoffs in three of the past four seasons and four of the past six. The team’s in a better spot than they were in 2014.

Coach? Let’s go with eight. I wasn’t a huge fan of Geoff Ward’s lack of adjustments in the latter parts of the Dallas series – he was missing their best player, but he could’ve shuffled things up a bit – but given how quickly he righted the ship in the regular season it’s not inconceivable that he could be back. The playoff collapse hurts his case, though.

You can’t fire the whole team, and changing coaches is a nice way to wake up complacent players. That said, consider this: the Flames have been to the playoffs four times since Treliving has been GM and every time they’ve had a different coach. At a certain point, you have to shuffle the players.

I’m 50/50 on it. Financially, the Flames may lean towards Ward – they just wrote a big cheque for the arena and revenues are uncertain for awhile, so spending big money on a “name” coach that might not get better results seems iffy. Hockey-wise, if they swap him out that’s their fourth different coach in five seasons. It basically depends on whether Treliving thinks the Game 6 challenges Ward had are representative of a larger problem, or just a one-off mistake.

Here’s the thing: insanely good centers are rare and almost never come cheap. Nathan MacKinnon’s on a unicorn of a contract, but every other big-time consistently great difference-making center (a) is a result of a super-high pick and (b) is crazy expensive.

In a cap system, if you spend your cap space on a mega-good center, you’re gonna have big holes elsewhere. Case in point? Edmonton. They’ve struggled to surround Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl with a supporting cast because of cap allocation.

The Flames are consistently decent and picking in the middle of the first round. At that point, they’re drafting the best player available (regardless of position) and hoping they turn out, centers or otherwise.

I have no idea. There’s said to be interest on both sides, and they have seven weeks to work something out, but a lot of it depends on how much of a raise (if any) Brodie asks for.

It’s hard to say. Giordano will be given every opportunity to retire as a Flame and he’s insanely well-respected by his peers. That said, he’s also very focused on the success of his team and his assistant GM, Craig Conroy, famously handed his C to Jarome Iginla in 2003 – and then the Flames had a heck of a run. A transition in leadership with everybody sticking around with the team isn’t without precedent.

Mangiapane and Dube seem primed for a big 2020-21. As for a step back, it’s impossible to guess. (Maybe Giordano and Backlund based entirely on their age.)

It’s extremely unlikely that the Flames could trade Johnny Gaudreau and get somebody back with the same production. But their list of wingers who could use bigger roles (and raises) includes Matthew Tkachuk, Dillon Dube, Andrew Mangiapane, Sam Bennett, and perhaps potentially the likes of Jakob Pelletier and Emilio Pettersen.

The benefit of trading Gaudreau isn’t replacing Gaudreau with whatever they get back in the swap, it’s using the cap space that opens up to keep other core pieces and re-allocating his ice time to up-and-coming players so you can maximize their production and their value.

You probably get more for Gaudreau, and the Flames are organizationally lean at center. Once you get past Monahan and Bennett, if you think he’s a center), it’s 31-year-old Mikael Backlund and 33-year-old Derek Ryan and untested AHLers. Moving Gaudreau seems the smarter move from a team perspective.