The Calgary Flames wrapped up the midpoint of their six-game home stand with a thrilling yet ultimately disappointing 4-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. Looking ahead, the Minnesota Wild, boasting a 3-0 record under new coach John Hynes, are set to face the Flames.
Minnesota’s recent success mirrors a pattern of mid-season turnarounds for the team. Last season, they struggled with a 9-9-2 record and a .500 points percentage. However, a key trade for Ryan Reaves, who had fallen out of favor with the New York Rangers, sparked a significant improvement. The Wild finished with a 37-16-9 record, a .669 winning percentage, and a 103-point finish.
The article raises the question of whether Reaves’ presence was the catalyst for Minnesota’s success or if the team was ready to turn things around independently. It also poses the idea of whether the Calgary Flames could benefit from a similar injection of personality and toughness, considering their current standing at 10-11-3.
The availability of players with Reaves’ characteristics is pondered, particularly given the cap space of Flames’ General Manager Craig Conroy. The focus then shifts to the possibility of acquiring Reaves from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto’s dissatisfaction with Reaves, evident in his one goal, zero assists, and a -10 even-strength goal differential in 17 games, could make him available.
Questions arise about Reaves’ career trajectory and whether he could bring the same attitude and presence to the Flames as he did with the Wild. Drawing parallels between Reaves’ start to this season and the previous one, the article highlights his improved performance after joining the Wild.
The discussion explores the potential for a trade agreement between Flames’ General Manager Brad Treliving and Toronto, considering Reaves’ contract situation. The market precedent set by the fifth-round pick exchanged for Reaves in the previous season is considered, along with the possibility of sweetening the deal or retaining salary to make it more appealing.
The fit of Reaves within the Flames is debated, particularly in addressing the team’s struggles and the need for a player with a reputation for uplifting teammates. The article recalls a recent team-toughness crisis for the Flames during the Heritage Classic, where a lackluster response to a challenge from the Oilers’ Evander Kane raised concerns.
In the broader context, the piece highlights Craig Conroy’s inclination towards trades that benefit both teams since becoming the Flames’ General Manager. The potential risk of acquiring Reaves and his contract is acknowledged, emphasizing the necessity for managers to take calculated risks in trades. The overarching theme revolves around the ongoing issue of toughness within the Flames and whether a player like Reaves could be the solution.