The Calgary Flames have bounced back after a down year in 2020. The team is currently sitting in first place in the Pacific Division. Red hot under new head coach Daryl Sutter, they have won 8 of their last 10 and 12 of their last 15 games. Led by the play of their top line, Johnny Gaudreau is currently leading the group, with 68 points in 53 games. Along with this, Matthew Tkachuk has chipped in 27 goals in one of the best years of the young winger’s career. Providing a backbone for the group in goal, number one netminder Jacob Markstrom has been outstanding in his second year with the franchise. The 32-year-old has recorded a .925 save percentage and a 2.17 goals-against average across 43 starts.
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Current Record: 32-14-7
Division Standings: First in the Pacific
Buyers or Sellers: Buyers
Chiarot has quickly generated a lot of interest on the market over the last month and a half. The 30-year-old defenseman is set to hit unrestricted free agency at the season’s end. Enjoying an up and down year, the Hamilton Ontario native has amassed just 15 points in 50 games while missing time with injury. Along with this, he has also racked up a -19 plus-minus rating while recording 51 giveaways. Struggling to replicate their success in 2020 after advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals, the Montreal Canadiens are currently sitting in last place in the Atlantic Division with just 35 points. Still capable of playing top-four minutes on a night-to-night basis, Chiarot is known for his play in the defensive zone and his toughness around the league.
Braun is playing in his 12th season in the NHL. Still capable of logging heavy minutes, the 35-year-old is playing inside the Philadelphia Flyers’ top four while averaging over 20 minutes on the ice per night. One of the most disappointing teams in 2021, the franchise has amassed just 16 wins in 54 games. Expected to be major sellers at the trade deadline, acquiring the veteran defenseman would be smart business for general manager Brad Treliving. Providing needed experience for Calgary on the blue line, the Minnesota native has played in over 100 career playoff games, including a run to the Stanley Cup Final with the San Jose Sharks in 2016. He is currently carrying just a 1.8 million dollar cap hit in the final year of his two-year contract.
San Jose has quickly fallen out of the race for the postseason in the Western Conference over the last month. They have just won twice in their last 10 games to fall to seventh place in the Pacific Division. This has caused Hertl’s name to begin to be floated in trade talks. A rental player who will be looking for a new deal at the end of the year, the 28-year-old center is enjoying another outstanding campaign. He is currently second on the team in scoring with 42 points in 54 games. A game-changing type of talent for Calgary if they can acquire him, he would provide another dangerous offensive threat in the middle of their lineup.
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