FlamesNation Mailbag: Could the Erik Karlsson trade have ripple effects for the Calgary Flames?

Photo credit:Mike Gould
Ryan Pike
11 months ago
It’s August, friends, and fairly big hockey happenings are still, well, happening. Not only did Canada capture gold in dramatic fashion at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, but Erik Karlsson was finally traded by the San Jose Sharks, landing in Pittsburgh in a complicated swap also involving Montreal.
With a big off-season domino finally toppled over, how could this impact the Flames? Let’s dive into that with the mailbag!
To this point, all indications have been that the Flames have received nothing but underwhelming offers for Noah Hanifin – multiple media reports have suggested that Hanifin has politely told the Flames he’s not going to re-sign when his deal expires, and so the Flames are looking at their options.
Now, low-ball offers have likely been coming for two reasons:
  • Craig Conroy is a new GM and his peers are seeing if they can take advantage of him.
  • Teams were waiting to see what would happen with Erik Karlsson before circling back to their Plan Bs.
Now that the Karlsson sweepstakes have died down, Hanifin may look like a bargain relative to what the Penguins paid for Karlsson. Plus, teams will start seeing their players arrive in town for informal workouts soon and gradually get a sense of what they have and what they need. Both of those factors suggest that better offers could soon be emerging for Hanifin.
The Flames likely have an idea of what they’re willing to accept to part with Hanifin. They’re not just going to give him away.
The last we heard from knowledgeable people such as Pat Steinberg, Frank Seravalli, Pierre LeBrun and Elliotte Friedman, Elias Lindholm was still mulling over what he wanted to do. Again, after two pretty challenging seasons (immediately following a pandemic), you can understand him wanting to have a good think about it before locking himself in with Calgary for eight seasons.
At this point, I think the Flames go into training camp with him not signed beyond this season. The hope is probably that he gets to town, gets into training camp, enjoys the vibe and the energy of the group and decides to commit. In an ideal world, Lindholm’s situation is settled before the season begins one way or another. If he’s signed, great. If he’s going to be moved at the deadline, you have to imagine he could be a really attractive rental prospect for any contending team.
Based on what we think the marching orders are from on high – maximize the group’s potential as much as possible and please make the playoffs – it’s probably primarily going to be hockey moves aimed at helping the team be competitive and (potentially) contending. And from what we’ve heard from the Elliotte Friedmans and Frank Seravallis of the world, it sure sounds like the Flames are pretty hesitant to give big term to players on the wrong side of 30. If you’re looking for things to be optimistic about regarding the new-look management group, that’s probably somewhere to start.
My guess is the Flames try to lock down Lindholm to a long-term deal and then retain some of the rest of the pending UFAs on shorter-term (two or three-year) pacts. The ones that aren’t interested in sticking around, they probably attempt to move before the trade deadline for picks or future assets.
From largest impact to smallest:
  1. Darryl
  2. Brent
  3. Brian
  4. Ron
  5. Duane

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