384Elias Lindholm
Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Flames swing blockbuster trade with Carolina

Under general manager Brad Treliving, the Calgary Flames always save their big trades for NHL Draft weekend. Well, they’ve done it again.

The Flames have reportedly acquired forward Elias Lindholm and defenseman Noah Hanifin from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for defenseman Dougie Hamilton, forward Micheal Ferland and college prospect Adam Fox.

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Lindholm, 23, is a pending restricted free agent with arbitration rights. He’s a right shot forward, which the Flames need to complement Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. He’s reportedly reached a stalemate with Hurricanes management in negotiations for a new contract – reports are he’s looking for around $5 million – and a trade suggests the ‘Canes weren’t willing to give him that. He’s a solid bet for 40 to 45 points per season and is primarily a distributor. He was the fifth overall pick in 2013.

Hanifin, 21, is also a pending restricted free agent. He’s a left shot defender who’s a good bet for 30 points. He’s a two-way defender who’s not overly flashy, but is consistently effective. He was the fifth overall pick in 2015.

Hamilton, 25, has three years remaining on a deal that pays him $5.75 million annually. He’s been a top pairing fixture with the Flames over the past two seasons and he led the NHL in goals by a defenseman in 2017-18. The big knocks on his game are a lack of intensity and some variable commitment in the defensive zone, but his offensive contributions arguably more than made up for that. He was the ninth overall pick in 2011 by Boston, and was traded to the Flames at the 2015 NHL Draft.

Ferland, 26, had one year left on a deal that pays him $1.75 million annually. He’s moved up and down the lineup during his tenure with the Flames – he was on the top line and scored a ton, but failed to spark other lines when he was moved around. Ferland was a tremendous finesse player, but he arguably had the best shot on the team when he had the time and space to get it off. He was a fifth round pick in 2010.

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Fox, 20, is heading into his junior year with Harvard. He’s one of the top offensive defensemen in all of American college hockey. He was a third round pick in 2016.

On its face, it appears that the Flames are betting big on Bill Peters to (a) get the most out of the remaining Flames roster and (b) make Lindholm and Hanifin the answer to last year’s problems. We’ll have more on this transaction as details become available.


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  • TurkeyLips

    Ferland was shooting at a ridiculously unsustainable 14.5%.

    Lindholm shot at 6.5% last year 5v5. His right shot will also help our pp immensely.

    Dougie is a defenseman who puts up points but plays like buttersoft pastry. He will be playing for his third team in 5 years.

    Would have liked a pick back but in all honesty Treliving sold high on two guys who he didn’t mind losing to address critical team needs. Lindholm has a lot to prove but he is an absolutely perfect fit in the top 6.

  • Pizanno

    In his interview, Tre felt the need to defend his choices without really being asked to do so. That kind of speaks to the fact that he knew it might not look good to those on the outside. Time will tell.

  • ALowry

    When I first heard of the trade, I was disappointed there were no other pieces coming back. But when you consider the other factors, such as Hamilton’s weirdness (which is a thing I guess, or not being happy), Fox ever closer to not signing here, and Ferland (selling high), yes we gave up a lot, but we got back a lot too.
    Now that a few hours have passed, I like the deal. Obviously these are favorites of Peters. I’m also excited at how young our core is. And eventually, something was going to have to give with our D prospects. Ras, Kylington, Valimaki, Fox can’t all be third pairing defensemen.
    Anyways, this just has me more excited for training camp.
    I really hope we can land Tavares (in my heart of hearts I know it won’t ever happen, but one can hope), or some other good piece, but the other names in FA have me worried!
    But I feel like Tre isn’t done yet.

  • PlayitagainSam

    It’s only now most of you agreee with me the Hamilton was soft as butter no heart and no defence. Good riddance and now we will see how long Freddie lasts.
    I’ll just take in this moment!?

    • LannyMac

      Play it again I am doing a dance so good to see him go. I hope things work out for him some where else I’m just so glad he isn’t in our dressing room any more. Hope Brad learnt a lesson. Chemistry is way more important in a dressing room than pts

  • RKD

    Treliving’s comments were telling about players who did not want to be here cough Dougie Hamilton and showing passion, cough Hamilton. Gulutzan no passion = out of Calgary. Maybe Hamilton was problem in the dressing room?

    • Kevin R

      Talked to my nephew who is connected with the Mavericks & Flames Ambassadors club. He said Dougie skipped the Flames charity golf tourney & skipped the year end meetings. I think the Flames were quite happy to move him.

          • piscera.infada

            In fairness, Dougie was a very community-first player. He always has been.

            The “locker room cancer” everyone is referring to was summed up by John Shannon (whom I absolutely despise almost as much as Francis) on 960: “the team would all go out the Moxie’s, Hamilton would go to a museum”. It’s all overblown trash.

        • LannyMac

          My god moneyball there no amount needed f puts that can make up for a disease like Hamilton in your dressing room. It’s amazing to me that so many people don’t understand that

  • Derzie

    A lot of comments here are why this team never wins. We gave up the best player and the best prospect in the deal. We got 2 high draft picks with mediocre results back. Liking this involves a whole lot of ignoring information, giving rumors credibility and blind faith that the players will get better. The GM just did the exact date thing with Peters as he did with GG. Hire the first guy who talks a better game than him and bring in the players that said coach likes. Deja vu all over again. Enjoy your Kool aid and your crap GM. Seems to be just what you want. Derzie out.

  • moodyblue2

    Bottom line. Culture change as of 8 hours ago. Rest of the players on notice. Tre is sending a huge message to this team. Great trade Brad! More to come folks! Peters know the potential of our new players! Could not be happier with the day! Fox was going to be a no show.

  • Score When I like Nieuwendyk

    This is extremely poor asset management. It simply doesn’t matter what the reasons were for trading Hamilton, Ferland and Fox. That is NOT an excuse for not getting full and proper value for these assets!

    • LannyMac

      Hey nieu word gets around when you have have festering sore in dressing room so it is hard to get value. The problem is that rumours were plentiful that he was a garbage individual before Tree acquired so why in the hell did he trade for him and in the first place. Unfortunately you do not see how hanifan (sp) is already a better player than Hamilton.

  • Joe Flames

    My first reaction was that we did not get enough back in this deal. But after thinking about it for a while, Ferland’s drop off in the second half concerned me; his concussion history and upcoming contract may be a big part of why he was moved. Selling high.
    I was impressed by Fox after we first drafted him but his progress seemed a bit disappointing last year. Coupled with lack of size, he is not a sure-fire top pairing D. Hard to expect the equivalent of a first round pick back for him when he his future is still unknown.
    Lindholm and Hanifin were both highly touted prospects who still have a lot of development left. Both could respond well to a change in scenery.
    Hanifin and Hamonic could be a very good shut-down second pairing.
    We will miss Hamilton’s offence, but he was frustrating to watch at times in his own end.
    This trade doesn’t solve our problems but does make the team better in the long run.