Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Unveiling some off-season Calgary Flames trade proposals
7 months ago
Most of the trade proposals Calgary Flames fans have been coming up with recently involved acquiring 2023 draft picks. But the draft and free agency has come and gone and the number of teams who can make a deal work for players like Noah Hanifin, Elias Lindholm, Mikael Backlund and Nikita Zadorov has dwindled. Very few teams have cap space. And lots of other organizations have filled out their rosters via free agency and trades.
Craig Conroy is now in a position where if he wants to make a trade this summer, he is going to have to bring back salary and roster players as part of a return. There are no more opportunities to make a futures trade where they receive draft picks and prospects. And that is something the Flames organization is probably ok with. They want to remain competitive and make the playoffs next season. So a hockey trade where the Flames bring back players to help them compete is something that we will likely see happen.
So, with that in mind, let’s come up with some trade proposals where the Flames balance getting younger and staying competitive for next season.
Hanifin is one of the bigger trade pieces on the Flames roster. There will be multiple teams looking to acquire him this summer. Let’s start with the Boston Bruins.
The Bruins are one of the teams rumoured to be interested in Hanifin. Boston wants to keep their momentum going from last season into their 2023-24 campaign.
They have a bunch of pieces they can move out in a deal. That list includes players like Brandon Carlo, Matt Grzelcyk, Jake DeBrusk, and Trent Frederic. Those are the types of players that could potentially pique the interest of Flames GM Craig Conroy.
To Boston: Noah Hanifin, Mikael Backlund
To Calgary: Brandon Carlo, Trent Frederic, Fabian Lysell
The Flames receive the rights to 25-year-old centre Trent Frederic and 26 year old Brandon Carlo who is signed for another four years. They also get a right shot, right wing prospect which the team desperately needs in their system.
Frederic is a tough, gritty bottom six centre who can kill penalties and match up against top players on opposing teams. He would be a perfect replacement on the third line for Mikael Backlund if he is moved in a trade like this in the off-season.
Carlo is a stay at home, shut down defenceman who can play top four minutes. He won’t put up the same numbers as Hanifin, but he will do a better job defending than number 55 on the Flames.
Another team that has been reported to have significant interest in Hanifin is the Pittsburgh Penguins. This deal would be more difficult to make because of the lack of assets in the Penguins organization. But they are desperate to win now while Crosby, Malkin and Letang are still high-end players in the NHL.
Flames Twitter legend James Johnson had a good starting point for building a trade out with the Penguins.
To Calgary: PIT 2024 First Round Pick (Top 8 Protected), Pierre-Olivier Joseph
To Pittsburgh: Noah Hanifin
The Flames get a 23-year-old left shot defenceman to help replace Hanifin’s minutes. And they get a first-round pick in 2024 to help build for the future. And Pittsburgh gets a left-handed defenceman to play with Letang on their first pairing. Each team wins in this scenario.
Let’s start with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Flames fans (myself included) were enamoured with the idea of acquiring the 3rd overall pick from Columbus in exchange for Lindholm. That obviously didn’t happen.
But a trade this summer could still work between these two teams. Columbus now has Adam Fantilli, Cole Sillinger and Kent Johnson as young players in their forward group. Are one of Sillinger or Johnson available now that Fantilli is a Blue Jacket? I think they would be if it meant acquiring someone of Lindholm’s calibre.
To Calgary: Kent Johnson and Jack Roslovic
To Columbus: Elias Lindholm
This feels like a trade that could be considered the modern day Iginla for Nieuwendyk deal. The Flames trade an aging centre with a great reputation around the league. And the Flames bring in a 20 year old centre to build their future around.
Columbus gets a one two centre punch of Lindholm and Fantilli for the next seven or eight years.
Roslovic would be included in the deal to make the money work. At this point he likely doesn’t have much value on the trade market. But he is a right shooting forward that could be used on the wing. Something the Flames could use next season.
Buffalo is another team who might be interested in bringing in someone like Elias Lindholm. They are on the verge of becoming one of the better teams in the NHL. Their core group of players who are 26 and under are incredibly deep and talented.
I wonder if the Flames could get a piece or two from that core in a Lindholm deal.
To Calgary: JJ Peterka, Matt Savoie and Victor Olofsson
To Buffalo: Elias Lindholm
Calgary adds two key pieces for the future in Peterka and Savoie. And they take on Olofsson’s contract to make the money work.
Buffalo adds a very strong defensive player which they desperately need among their forward group. Buffalo can score a lot of goals, but they also have a hard time keeping them out of their own net. Lindholm could play behind Tage Thompson and do some heavy lifting on the defensive side of the game.
This would be a block buster, but one I could see both teams having interest in.
There are some fun trade proposals for the Flames this summer. Send us your trade proposals you want to see Conroy put together this off-season for guys like Lindholm and Hanifin in the comments section!
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