FlamesNation Mailbag: Chatting about Elias Lindholm, Noah Hanifin, and survival skills

Photo credit:Mike Gould
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
Folks, we’re getting into the beginning of the lean part of the National Hockey League off-season. The Calgary Flames have hired a new general manager, a new coach, a couple new assistant coaches, added Jarome Iginla to management, and gone through the entry draft, free agency and development camp.
It’s Stampede season, y’all, so let’s mosey on into the mailbag!
It usually depends on who’s in town at that time of year, but typically it’s two or three representatives of the current team and a smattering of alumni. This year it was Wranglers forward Dryden Hunt, new Flames head coach Ryan Huska, and 1989 Stanley Cup champion Tim Hunter.
If your team has a centre like Elias Lindholm, yeah, it makes it easier to build a contending team because you know what players will be on the ice for key game situations (and you can build around them). If your team doesn’t have a centre like Lindholm, the question is “Well, what did you get for him?” That’s why it’s so important for the Flames to get the Lindholm situation right: If Lindholm re-ups, great, he’s great. If he decides he wants to try life elsewhere, if the Flames can work with Lindholm to find an ideal landing spot, they can maximize his value as a trade chip.
I don’t think a rebuild is a fait accompli if the Flames play their cards right.
With Elias Lindholm, I think he’s figuring out what he wants to do and the team is being patient (because it’s a big life decision). With Noah Hanifin, I think the Flames have a return in mind that they’d like to get in a Hanifin trade, and I don’t think they’re in any hurry to undercut themselves by accepting a lesser offer.
It seems inevitable that Lindholm will make his big decision, and it also seems probable that as teams get past salary arbitration cases and the shape of their teams become more defined, they’ll get a sense of what gaps they have – and be more ready to send the Flames better offers than they have been to this point.
Admittedly, the next two off-seasons are going to be weird because of the sudden injection of money into the NHL’s system. So I would expect that teams (and players and agents) will be focused much more on percentage of the cap for past deal precedents than actual cap hits. But expect a good amount of escalation, and that escalation accounts for why so many players took shorter deals this summer in order to cash in during the 2024 or 2025 off-seasons.
Also, it’s yahoo. But to each their own.
Tyler Parsons, selected two picks before Dillon Dube in the 2016 NHL Draft, hasn’t played a game of professional hockey in over two years. Parsons battled a bunch of different injuries during his time with the Flames, unfortunately, and those really hampered his progression. My understanding is he’s moved on from hockey, and hopefully he’s doing well.
The obvious choice is Chris Tanev. My dark horse choice is Blake Coleman.

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