Buy or Sell: Calgary Flames Odds After Jonathan Huberdeau Trade
The Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames completed a blockbuster deal on the weekend that sent Jonathan Huberdeau to Calgary and altered Stanley Cup futures.
Unlike the other three major sports leagues, the NHL doesn’t often see gigantic trades with bonafide superstars like this, especially not in the salary cap era. This transaction was unprecedented, but it was looming after reports surfaced that Matthew Tkachuk refused to sign a long-term extension with Calgary. After star winger Johnny Gaudreau departed for Columbus, leaving the Flames brass and fans with an empty feeling, general manager Brad Treliving decided to move Tkachuk.
The Flames sit in a tie for the NHL’s sixth highest Stanley Cup odds on the FanDuel Sportsbook at +1600. This offseason, the Flames have seen Gaudreau and Tkachuk depart but have also added Huberdeau, who finished fifth in 2021-22 Hart trophy voting. In addition to Huberdeau, the Flames bolstered their backend in the Tkachuk trade, adding analytics darling Mackenzie Weegar into the fold. Weegar should fit nicely on a Flames defensive core with the ingredients to be stronger in 2022-23.
Calgary’s front office had a very high asking price for Tkachuk, and rightfully so, but it remains to be seen how things will actually play out on the ice. Calgary is taking a risk bringing in two strong players just one year away from being unrestricted free agents, but that shouldn’t change how you feel about their Stanley Cup futures. Since the forecast for the Flames’ upcoming season is all that matters. Even if Huberdeau hasn’t been a playoff performer, there were questions about Tkachuk in big games as well, meaning a change of scenery could help create new narratives for both players.
There’s still a lot to like about the makeup of Calgary’s roster, especially with Darryl Sutter behind the bench. Weegar should benefit from his system while adding puck-moving skills to a backend that was undoubtedly in need of a defenseman with that two-way skillset. With Jacob Markstrom still tending the goal for Calgary and Selke Trophy finalist Elias Lindholm, the Flames might surprise people with the new look. The Pacific division doesn’t strike fear into the eyes of bettors, which should resonate with the public that backs the Flames and their second highest Stanley Cup odds in the division, behind just the Edmonton Oilers.
There are no guarantees that the Flames’ offseason plan will pay off, but at +1600 to win Lord Stanley, they still present a price to buy. If the Flames’ new core doesn’t stick or there are plans for both Weegar and Huberdeau to test the market next summer, Calgary should be able to turn those players into solid assets, meaning it’s hard to dislike either angle for them in this trade.