2. Calgary Flames
The Flames hold the second wild card spot in the West entering Monday, three points behind the first place Vancouver Canucks in the Pacific Division and with four teams within four points of them for that second wild card position. A minus-16 goal differential is a bit of red flag for looming correction, and a 4-5-1 run over their last 10 games going into Monday practically screams for general manager Brad Treliving to make a notable move or two heading into the deadline to try to solidify the team’s playoff positioning. It’s worth wondering if his job depends on it.
After finishing tied for second in the league in scoring last year (3.52 goals per game), Calgary is tied for 27th in the league in scoring this year (2.60 goals per game) entering Monday. Trade rumors have pointed to addressing that need for scoring punch, and the Flames have the draft pick capital as well as the cap space to add someone with little trouble. Kovalchuk will or may come cheaper than some others on both of those fronts, so he’s surely on Calgary’s radar and Eric Engels of Sportsnet has reported they indeed have interest.
Someone in that highly-contested Pacific will have to make a move to differentiate themselves. The Flames may very well be that team.