Welcome back to another edition of CapFriendly Friday! If you are unfamiliar with CapFriendly Friday, it involves looking at trade proposals on CapFriendly.com‘s Armchair GM feature. The Armchair GM feature lets users become the GM of their team, and make whatever moves they see fit. Before you read on, check out our Q&A with CapFriendly to get insights on the inner workings of the site and some fun stories all about NHL contracts.
There are no shortage of trade proposals involving the Flames right now, with comments made by Conroy in his introductory press conference sparking tons of discussion. The main discussion revolves around the 2024 unrestricted free agent class, where Conroy preached asset management and not letting another Gaudreau situation take place. So, if one of the UFAs in that 2024 group—like Elias Lindholm, Noah Hanifin, or Tyler Toffoli—does not want to re-sign, it might be expected that they’re moved this offseason. With the Flames needing to move some money out in order to ice a full cap complaint roster, this offseason should be interesting.
As you can probably imagine, some of these CapFriendly Friday proposals get our minds thinking and might make sense at the NHL level, while others are just straight up bonkers. I like to cover a little bit of both, so sit back, grab a snack, relax, and let’s laugh as we dive into some trade proposals. Let’s start off with the popular trade proposal being discussed on Flames social media right now.
Bringing the Calgary kid home
Another common trend on Flames social media these days is bringing William Nylander home. I don’t know what Nylander’s appetite would be in extending in Calgary, given he is in the same position being a 2024 UFA. But, if he’d be open to it, I would absolutely love to have Nylander here. The Flames need another top-end winger, and Nylander is just that. For the proposal outlined by this CapFriendly user, it seems pretty fair, assuming both Hanifin and Nylander haven’t agreed to extensions. Essentially, a top line winger for a top-four defenceman, a cost-controlled third line winger, and a first-round pick. This deal is also incredibly close cap wise as well. Not sure what Toronto’s appetite on trading one of their star wingers for a LD is though, considering Reilly and McCabe are already there.
Calgary trades Hanifin to St. Louis for futures
St Louis has three picks in the first round this year after dealing O’Reilly and Tarasenko, so it makes sense that they’d be willing to deal one or two of those picks to add to their current roster. Calgary sends Hanifin in exchange for a cap dump in Scandella, a late first-rounder, and a very good prospect in Jake Neighbours. Scandella has a cap hit of $3.275M, so St. Louis getting rid of that cap would be crucial to make this deal. Adding Hanifin helps improve a defence group—consisting of Torey Krug, Colton Parayko, Justin Faulk, Nick Leddy, and more—which struggled last year. This user mentions Hanifin would be going to St. Louis with a hand-shake extension, and Blues fans would prefer to give up Nieghbours over Bolduc. Given Bolduc’s 110-point season in the QMJHL this year, that makes sense.
Calgary trades Lindholm for the third overall pick
This one sparked after The Athletic writers Julian McKenzie and Aaron Portzline threw around the idea of trading an extended Lindholm for the third overall pick in this years draft. It’s noteworthy to mention that Lindholm couldn’t formally extend until July 1, so it would have to be a handshake agreement with Columbus if he’s traded before then. I don’t foresee Columbus moving a top-three pick in a draft this deep, but if they are, I’d be willing to include even more to this deal to make it happen. The consensus third overall pick in this year’s draft is Leo Carlsson, who is going to be a very good top line centre for years to come. I think Carlsson projects similar to Anze Kopitar. Moving a much older player who will likely demand a salary north of $8.5M for the majority of his 30s for who is going to be a young superstar is both a smart asset and cap management move. Doubt this comes to be, but if Lindholm doesn’t want to extend here, this could be a stellar move.
Calgary trades Hanifin and Dube to Pittsburgh for Rutta and futures
I am just now realizing how many Noah Hanifin trades are outlined here. He’s a popular guy at the moment. Getting the 14th overall pick in this year’s draft would be massive. Adding a good defensive prospect in Pickering and a second-rounder in next year’s draft would also be great. Adding in Rutta—who is a solid bottom-pairing defenceman, albeit a little overpaid for his role—isn’t terrible. It seems like a strange trade to make from Pittsburgh’s perspective, specifically given they missed the playoffs and things look bleak right now. This is a move I would expect from the old regime of Hextall/Burke, but I’m sure the new regime will want to hold onto the little young assets they currently have.
Bringing a Calgary boy home, and sending a Boston boy home
Just when you thought you were escaping the Hanifin trades, here’s one more. This one would be funny, given Hanifin was included in the Flames package when the Devils were shopping Taylor Hall, along with Sam Bennett. The Devils opted for the futures package instead, taking the Coyotes offer. Hall does have a NMC, and has expressed his love for Boston in his tenure there. Would he waive to come to his hometown Flames, and likely see more ice time than he is getting in Boston? Who knows. I’m sure Noah Hanifin would extend with the Bruins, given he’s from there. This seems like a logical trade to make, if Hall waives his NMC to come here.
No shortage of trade proposals to come
With the offseason just beginning, there are many trade proposals for us to review in the coming months. Who knows what the future holds, as there are tons of decisions for now Flames General Manager Craig Conroy and company to make. He’s going to have himself a busy summer. If the proposals here are any indication, CapFriendly users took what Conroy said in his intro press conference to heart, as the likes of Lindholm and especially Hanifin are flying around in trade proposals everywhere.
Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire
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