Calgary Flames

CapFriendly Friday: Fan trades for Hanifin, Lindholm, Backlund as 2023 draft approaches

Welcome back to another edition of CapFriendly Friday! If you are unfamiliar with CapFriendly Friday, it involves looking at trade proposals submitted on‘s Armchair GM feature. The Armchair GM feature lets users, like you and me, 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. Especially with Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli noting that Lindholm, Hanifin, Backlund, and Toffoli are unlikely to re-sign. This has catapulted Flames fans on all social media’s into pure chaos. And we all thought last summer was crazy.

Earlier this summer, CapFriendly’s Armchair GM was flooded with trades including Hanifin. Trading him does make a lot of sense, given the contract situation, depth on the Flames blueline, and trade value around the league. More recently, proposals including the 2024 UFA class for futures were front and centre.

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.

Hanifin traded to Nashville

All signs point to Hanifin being on the move very soon. We’ve looked at a ton of Hanifin trades in the last two CapFriendly Fridays, so I promise this is the only one for this week’s edition. You can see the other editions here and here.

This is a very interesting proposal, as I haven’t seen Hanifin to Nashville yet. It makes a ton of sense if they want to stay competitive and replace Ekholm, however their direction is unknown. In this deal, Calgary gets two young players who can contribute right away, so I guess this is a mix between a futures and win-now trade. Tomasino is a 21-year-old right-shot winger and already has 50 points in 107 NHL career games. Fabbro is a 25-year-old defensive defenceman, who I see as a good Tanev replacement if he’s moved as well. On top of that, Calgary gets a second rounder in next year’s draft. I think this is a very good, interesting proposal to consider. Calgary would get two young players and a good draft pick as well, for a bona fide top-four defenseman on a bargain contract for one more season.

Calgary trades their 1st round pick for… Eeli Tolvanen?

What on earth. I like Eeli Tolvanen, but the Flames could have gotten him for free on waivers during the season. Seattle was smart to bet on the then 23-year-old winger, as he scored 16 goals and 27 points in 48 games. He also added three goals and eight points in 14 playoff games. Good player, but he’s definitely not worth anything close to 16th overall. If the Flames made this trade six months after they could have gotten him for free on waivers, they would be the laughing stock of the league. The retention of $50K on Tolvanen’s contract (3.4% of his contract value) made me laugh as well.

Nashville takes on Kadri’s contract

This is an interesting brain think. As I noted in the first proposal, the state of the Predators is unknown at the moment. If they want to remain competitive, they’ve got $15.5M in cap space with no major RFAs or UFAs. Nashville seems to always need a centre. Would they be interested in Nazem Kadri and his $7M AAV for the next six years? Who knows. But from a Flames perspective, if things start to fall off the tracks and players leave, is this something you consider? You technically signed him for free, but made the trade with Montreal to send Sean Monahan and a first-round pick to make room for Kadri. The Flames would get a ton of cap savings moving forward in this deal, but it would be a tough pill to swallow. Also worth noting that Kadri has a NMC, so he’s not going anywhere unless he wants to.

Lindholm off to Columbus for a mediocre package

Absolutely not. Columbus makes a ton of sense as a destination for Lindholm, but Calgary would need much more than this. Luca Del Bel Belluz is a solid prospect drafted in the second round last year. Adam Boqvist hasn’t found the offensive acumen he was drafted for yet, and was often a healthy scratch in Columbus. Jake Bean only played 14 games last year because of injury, but he is the son of CSEC CEO John Bean. I think a Lindholm trade with Columbus starts with Cole Sillinger and/or Denton Mateychuk, especially if he comes with an extension like this user notes. Since Columbus is unlikely to move the third overall pick in this year’s draft, the baseline for this deal makes more sense. It would definitely be a focus on Columbus’ prospects, as they have a ton.

Backlund to Colorado for a 1st

If Mikael Backlund indeed wants out of Calgary, like was indicated on locker cleanout day, this deal makes a lot of sense. Colorado has $19.5M in cap space this offseason, including Gabriel Landeskog‘s cap hit on LTIR. They need centremen very badly, and have J.T. Compher, Lars Eller, and Evan Rodrigues all heading towards free agency in a little over a week. Backlund is such a natural fit and exactly what the Avalanche need down the middle. Getting the 27th overall pick in a deep draft would be about the return I’d expect for Backlund if he’s traded this week.

Silly season starts soon

We are less than a week from the NHL Draft, and just over a week until free agency on July 1. Things are about to pick up like crazy for NHL teams in the coming days. Hopefully we see tons of movement league-wide. Calgary is definitely a team to watch in the coming days and weeks with all of the news we received yesterday.

Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire

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