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Hockeybuzz’s “Eklund” recently posted the Calgary Flames were rumored once again in the market for a “top six forward”, claiming he’d heard Dallas’ Brad Richards and Florida’s Stephen Weiss as possible candidates.
If the Flames are shopping for a top six forward they’ll have to dump considerable cap space to afford Richards or Weiss. The former will earn $7.8 million next season, the latter $3.1 million.
Assuming either guy was available – from what I’ve heard, they’re not – the Flames only have $650K remaining in available cap space committed to 22 players.
Even allowing for the off-season rule allowing teams to spend over the cap in the off-season by up to ten percent provided they’re under it by the start of the upcoming season, moving enough salary to afford either Richards or Weiss would be a tough order.
Richards (who carries a “no-trade” clause and from my sources enjoys playing in Dallas) is clearly not an option for the Flames. Even if Richards were willing to accept a trade to Calgary (he won’t) they couldn’t possibly free up enough cap space to take on his whopping great salary with harming their depth elsewhere in the lineup.
Weiss admittedly would be a more affordable option, but if the Panthers trade him their first line center becomes aging Steven Reinprecht while the inexperienced Shawn Matthias becomes their second line center.
Oh, and Weiss also has a full “no-movement” clause, meaning unless he asks out he’s going to be playing for the Panthers next season.
Another point is the Flames still have to re-sign RFA defenseman Ian White, who is headed to arbitration. Even if they were to use White as trade bait it still wouldn’t be enough to entice the Stars to part with Richards or the Panthers to move Weiss.
Finally, one must remember the Stars and Panthers are “budget teams”, which have lower self-imposed caps than the league’s $59.4 million and won’t be keen to take back much salary in any trade, let alone rumored ones for high-salaries talent.
If the Flames are shopping for more offensive depth they’ll have to look for more affordable and easier to move options than Richards and Weiss.
About the Author: B.D. Gallof is a published writer and hockey blogger. He writes about Hockey, NY Islanders & the NY Islanders venue situation for CBS New York. BD has been written up in Sports Illustrated, TSN.ca, the NY Times Slapshots blog, Yahoo's Sports and SportsBusiness Journal. He has been a featured blogger for The Huffington Post, as well as owner, lead writer, and managing editor at HockeyIndependent.com.