Craig Conroy’s Calgary Flames asset management tour nears completion following Tanev trade

Photo credit:@NHLFlames on Twitter
Ryan Pike
4 months ago
Back in May 2023, when Craig Conroy was named the Calgary Flames’ new general manager, he pledged to focus on asset management when it came to the club’s seven pending 2024 unrestricted free agents.
Nine months later: so far, so good. Wednesday night’s trade of Chris Tanev to the Dallas Stars was the fourth move sending an expiring asset out the door in exchange for futures.
Since the Tyler Toffoli swap in June, completed the day before the NHL Draft, here’s how things shake out:
Assets InAssets Out
F Yegor Sharangovich
F Andrei Kuzmenko
D Artem Grushnikov
F Aydar Suniev (2023 third-rounder)
D Hunter Brzustewicz
D Joni Jurmo
2024 first-rounder (VAN)
2024 second-rounder (DAL)
2024 fourth-rounder (NJ or VAN) (cond.)
2024 fifth-rounder (CHI or CGY)
2026 third-rounder (VAN)
2026 third-rounder (cond.)
F Tyler Toffoli
D Nikita Zadorov
F Elias Lindholm
D Chris Tanev (50% retained)
In short, the Flames traded four expiring assets in exchange for two NHL players, one prospect in the AHL, two unsigned prospects, five definite draft selections (one including a condition) and one conditional draft pick.
  • If Vancouver makes the 2024 Western Conference Final, the 2024 fourth-rounder from the Elias Lindholm trade becomes a 2024 third-rounder.
  • If Dallas makes the 2024 Stanley Cup Final, the Flames receive a 2026 third-rounder from Dallas. (If not, no pick changes hands.)
In terms of assets, Conroy has landed the Flames a bit of everything:
  • F Andrei Kuzmenko (1996-born): an offensive-minded Russian winger who is a year removed from scoring 39 goals as a rookie in 2022-23.
  • F Yegor Sharangovich (1998-born): a versatile forward that can play centre or wing, and has shown a good deal of offensive touch to go with savvy enough two-way play that he can kill penalties.
  • D Joni Jurmo (2002-born): a 200-foot defender who’s in his fourth year of pro in Finland (as a 21-year-old).
  • D Artem Grushnikov (2003-born): a first-year AHLer who projects as a physical, stay-at-home defender.
  • F Aydar Suniev (2004-born): an offensive-minded forward currently working to round out his game in college with UMass.
  • D Hunter Brzustewicz (2004-born): an offensive-minded blueliner currently putting up scary-good numbers in the OHL with Kitchener.
  • Four 2024 draft picks (2005 or 2006-born)
  • One (or two) 2026 draft picks (2007 or 2008-born)
That’s a pretty good swath of assets with some decent staggering throughout the age groups.
If you were worried that the Flames’ roster would be hollowed out with all of these departures, they’ve added a pair of NHL forwards to functionally replace Toffoli and Lindholm.
If you were worried that the Flames’ blueline prospect crop was a bit thin, they added a puck-mover in Brzustewicz, a physical, shutdown guy in Grushnikov, and a guy that can provide depth in Jurmo. They could mesh well with their offensive-minded (Etienne Morin and Jeremie Poirier) and defensive-minded (Ilya Solovyov and Yan Kuznetsov) incumbents.
If you were worried that the Flames didn’t have enough picks, they now have nine picks for the 2024 event, including five in the first three rounds.
Conroy inherited seven pending 2024 UFAs when he was hired. He signed Mikael Backlund to a contract extension. After supporting Oliver Kylington’s road back from mental health challenges, he, too, seems like a pretty safe bet to re-up with the club after making his return to action back in January. Four players on expiring deals were traded for a combined 11 guaranteed assets, with the possibility for a 12th.
Blueliner Noah Hanifin, the subject of perpetual trade rumours in the past several weeks, is the lone piece of unfinished business for Conroy and the Flames between now and the trade deadline. He’s widely expected to be traded before 1 p.m. MT on Friday, March 8.
If you were worried that Conroy would hang onto the husk of the previous era of the Flames, we present to you his work over the past nine months. Conroy talked a good talk at his introductory press conference. So far, he’s followed up his words with action as he’s engaged in some re-modelling of the team.
It’ll be fascinating to see what he shapes the team into in the coming weeks, months and years.
Get ready for the Daily Faceoff Live Trade Deadline Show, coming to you on March 8th LIVE from 11 AM to 3 PM EST!! Join Tyler Yaremchuk, Frank Seravalli and friends for 4 hours of non-stop action as they dive deep into the heart of the trade deadline. They will be breaking down every trade, discussing the impact on teams, predicting the playoff picture, and giving you the inside scoop on all the wheeling and dealing happening around the league. Tune in live on March 8th from 11 AM to 3 PM EST for the The Daily Faceoff Live Trade Deadline special you won’t want to miss!

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