The Flames have been one of the most active teams so far this season. They traded Daymond Langkow for Lee Stempniak before the year started; in November, they added Blake Comeau via waivers; and in January they traded Brendan Mikkelson for Blair Jones, and Rene Bourque (and parts) for both Mike Cammalleri and the NHL rights to goaltender Karri Ramo. It would be going too far to suggest that the Flames have completely remade their roster, but with Comeau and Jones they added a couple of players in their twenties who hadn't shown a lot with their old teams, but would be given new opportunities, and in Cammalleri they acquired a more expensive player than Rene Bourque, but reduced their commitment in terms of years.
I liked these moves, but even with the changes, the club is very close to where I expected them to be before the season, namely, the playoff bubble. The Flames are sitting in a three-way tie for eighth in the Western Conference as we approach the deadline, which means that they both have a chance to make the playoffs, but not much chance at going deep. Should they stand pat, or are there moves out there that make sense for the Flames?
First up is the salary chart. Those who've read here before know that I like to use the chart below as a cap space guideline. The Flames have consistently spent to the cap, so we'll be using the $64.3M figure for their budget. Here's the chart: