The National Hockey League’s 31 clubs have gathered in Dallas, Texas for the 2018 NHL Draft. Since all the hockey operations staffs are in the same city at the same time, there’s bound to be trade rumours that pop up. Our friends at TSN revealed a doozy of a rumour involving the Calgary Flames and the Carolina Hurricanes, with the Flames reportedly considering a swap for Elias Lindholm.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) June 20, 2018
Lindholm, 23, will be a restricted free agent on July 1. He’s best known as the player that was drafted immediately before Calgary’s goal-scoring machine Sean Monahan in 2013. It probably won’t shock you to discover that the Flames – figuring they’d get either Lindholm or Monahan – scouted the heck out of Lindholm. He’s a two-way forward (who plays center and the wing) that’s more of a distributor than a shooter, but he could potentially complement Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau quite nicely. He’s been a perennial 40-45 point scorer, which probably means he gets a similar cap hit as Max Domi just did ($3.15 million) if he signs for a similar length of time.
In the TSN segment, Pierre Lebrun speculates that the Flames would send Dougie Hamilton to Carolina and potentially this could be part of a larger transaction. The big question here is what else would be coming back, because swapping out Hamilton without replacing him with somebody of similar stature – and there aren’t many of those – would be quite dumb.
(And I’m not wholly convinced that Hamilton would be moving, because of course the first player you’d ask the Flames to send you for anything is Hamilton.)
Swap out Hamilton, and Calgary’s three defensive pairings become some combination of:
- Mark Giordano & TJ Brodie
- Juuso Valimaki & Travis Hamonic
- Brett Kulak & Michael Stone
- Rasmus Andersson
And all due respect to Brodie, but he’s struggled on the second pairing for the past two seasons. It really wouldn’t make sense to bump him up to the top pairing, no matter how impressive Valimaki has been as a junior player.
It’s an interesting proposition, though, as the right-handed Swedish forward sure would fit the Flames’ needs. We’ll have more on this – and all the wacky rumours that pop up this weekend – as draft weekend continues.