Calgary Flames

CapFriendly Friday: All is quiet around the Flames right now

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.

Trade rumours are buzzing around the Flames

There are no shortage of trade proposals involving the Calgary Flames right now. Especially with Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli noting that Lindholm, Hanifin, Backlund, and Toffoli are unlikely to re-sign. Earlier this summer, CapFriendly’s Armchair GM was flooded with trades including Hanifin. More recently, proposals including the 2024 UFA class for futures were front and centre.

The trade front in the NHL has been extremely quiet, with only one trade since July 3 (although that one trade was pretty big). Cap space around the league is tight. But once restricted free agents and their arbitration hearings are settled, teams should have a clear understanding of their cap situation. We should see a bigger trade market in August then we’ve seen in July. If the Flames are going to be making some more trades before next season, you’d have to imagine either retained salary or taking back another player’s cap hit would be involved.

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. It was hard to sift through Flames proposals this week, as CapFriendly’s Armchair GM is flooded with Nylander to Calgary proposals from Leafs fans at the moment. Let’s start off with a trade with the Islanders:

Battle of Alberta (trade version)

Why not start it off with the trade between two bitter rivals? Chris Tanev is one of many 2024 UFAs, so like Elias Lindholm, Noah Hanifin—among others—his future remains in limbo. He is exactly what the Oilers need right now, so they should be all over this deal. On the Flames end, they would receive a fine defenceman, and three draft picks. Ceci having two years left at a reasonable number is nice if he can return to his 2021–22 form (2022–23 was a drop off for him). This is the type of move I can get behind, as the Flames would get younger, for cost certainty, and acquire draft capital. It would absolutely suck getting rid of Tanev, especially when you’re sending him to a rival. But if Tanev expresses his desire to play elsewhere, the return is quite solid.

My head hurts

I’m scared. Why did this user have to create this proposal? Why? After sifting through the names I didn’t know, I spotted Roope Hintz and a few good prospects. Maybe you do this deal just because Hintz is included? I have no idea what’s going on here. And frankly I don’t want to. My head hurts. Next!

Flames send Hanifin to the Island

The Islanders are one of the trade destinations that still makes sense for Hanifin. However, they probably want to add another scorer over a defenceman, and are already capped out. I feel like Hanifin makes a lot of sense as a guy Lou can acquire and extend long-term (he absolutely loves to extend long-term). The Islanders’ left side of defence is much weaker than their right side, so maybe acquiring Hanifin helps balance and give them one of the best defence groups in the league.

I don’t particularly love the proposal from this user. For one, Pageau has a 16-team no-trade List, and I just assume the Flames are on everyone’s list these days. I do like Pageau, and he could be a good fit with the futures of Lindholm and Backlund still up in the air. The other Sebastian Aho isn’t much, and is only one year away from UFA. If the Flames and Islanders engage in a Hanifin trade, I would like to see a package revolving around Alex Romanov. Romanov, only 23, still has two years remaining on his contract and is still an RFA after that. However, having given up the 2022 13th overall pick for him a year ago, I’m not sure the Islanders would be keen on trading him so soon.

Bringing back Boi Boi Calle

I guess if the Flames want to try their absolute hardest to keep Lindholm, this is the way to go. Why not reacquire Lindholm’s cousin, whom he was instrumental in getting at the deadline a couple seasons back? Nikita Zadorov is a favourite among Leafs fans at the moment. I think the optics here make sense, although you might need an addition on the Flames side to make things fair.

Jarnkrok just had his first 20-goal season in the NHL, spending quite a bit of time with the Leafs’ top-six. He has three seasons left at an AAV of $2.1M, and a 10-team no-trade list. I guess he could choose not to come back, if he so desires. Liljegren, drafted one spot behind Jusso Valimaki in 2017, has shone flashes, but has been a solid bottom pairing defenceman so far in his career. I would roll the dice on Liljegren, considering the quality placed upon right shot defencemen and Chris Tanev getting older.

Calgary deals Lindholm for Wright

Heck yeah. This is the type of deal I would go nuts over. Calgary trades their first line centre in exchange for a prospect that has the potential to be a 1C. I think this deal has a lot of grounds. Seattle surprised the hockey world and made a playoff splash last year. Now, they are well positioned with lots of great young assets, and a playoff team assembled in front of them. For the Kraken, forming a centre trio of Matty Beniers, Elias Lindholm, and Yanni Gourde would help them compete with the best.

Seattle is also well positioned cap space to take on Lindholm’s cap this year. Next year, they have sufficient cap coming off the books, so they could afford Lindholm’s extension kicking in (assuming this deal is made with an agreed upon extension). Would Seattle get rid of Shane Wright this early? Very unlikely. But if they would be willing for a player like Lindholm, sign me up. Wright is the type of player that Calgary desperately needs to build around. They would get cheaper, younger, gain team control, and gamble on what could be an elite talent. Again, unlikely Seattle parts with Wright this early. But I think they make a ton of sense as a suitor for Lindholm.

Lindholm off to Winnipeg for a huge package

Right off the bat, this is an overpay from Winnipeg’s end. Three good prospects, a first-round pick, and a good defensive centre for Lindholm would be a great haul for the Flames. One thing to note, Lowry does have a six-team no-trade list. Was that number negotiated to include all of the other Canadian teams? One has to wonder. Regardless, I don’t think Winnipeg touches this deal. Lindholm does make a ton of sense, given the departure of Pierre-Luc Dubois and uncertainty around Scheifele’s future.

Calgary doesn’t get an elite top of the lineup potential player like they do in the Seattle deal, instead diversifying their return. I like Brad Lambert quite a bit, and Salamonsson fits the Flames obvious need for defence prospects, particularly the right side. Rashevsky had 38 points in 67 games in the KHL as a 22-year-old last year. Not even to mention Lowry or the first-round pick. Again, Winnipeg doesn’t do this deal, but I would definitely accept it from the Flames end.

Fascinating future ahead

This next year is going to be instrumental to the Flames franchise now and for future years. Elias Lindholm is a massive focus point, given how things could still go either way there (although I take a non-committal answer as a no). We know Hanifin won’t be extending with the Flames, so a deal is extremely likely to happen before next season’s trade deadline. Backlund won’t re-sign now, but is open if next year goes well. I still think you should trade Backlund and let him chase the cup he rightfully deserves. There are still answers needed with the three Flames goaltenders. All has been quiet around Zadorov and Tanev. Kylington is coming back next year, but is also a UFA is a year’s time. Hopefully Craig Conroy is up to the task.

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