Calgary Flames

CapFriendly Friday: Proposals for preseason trades

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.

All is quiet around the Flames

There was no shortage of trade proposals involving the Calgary Flames earlier this summer. Especially with Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli noting that Lindholm, Hanifin, Toffoli, and Backlund are unlikely to re-sign. Proposals including the 2024 UFA class for futures were front and centre then. Now, it’s a little bit of everything.

The trade front in the NHL has been pretty quiet, however there have been a few moves since our last CapFriendly Friday:

We looked at an Erik Karlsson deal to the Flames in the last CapFriendly Friday. He has since been moved to the Pittsburgh Penguins in a massive three team deal. Jeff Petry, who was acquired by the Canadiens in the Karlsson deal, was then shipped off to Detroit nine days later. Ilya Lyubushkin was sent from the Buffalo Sabres to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a 2025 fourth-rounder. The market for right shot defenceman has moved, but things are awfully quiet besides that.

Cap space around the league is tight. 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. Let’s start it off with a Hanifin trade involving the Minnesota Wild:

Hanifin goes Wild

I threw this one in because I hadn’t seen a Hanifin proposal involving the Wild yet. They currently have Jonas Brodin, Jacob Middleton, and Alex Goligoski on their left side, so aren’t in desperate need of an upgrade. However, GMs love their defencemen. You never know. Lambos and Bankier are solid prospects to add to Calgary’s prospect pool, but I don’t think this is nearly enough coming back to Calgary. This isn’t even mentioning Goligoski’s no-move clause which likely prevents this deal from happening.

The Wild are still in their cap crunch for this season and next—due to the Zach Parise and Ryan Suter buyouts. Knowing this, it’s unlikely they would be able to extend Hanifin beyond this year.

Backlund heading to Carolina

Mikael Backlund screams deadline deal if the Flames are out of the playoff race. And he deserves to be dealt—in order to chase a Cup.

In this user’s deal, Backlund is sent to the Hurricanes for Drury, Koivunen, and what will likely be a high 2nd rounder. The Canes are fairly solid at centre, with Aho, Kotkaniemi, Staal, and Drury mixed in. However, adding Backlund to that group and shifting one of Kotkaniemi/Drury to the wing makes this dangerous group even more dangerous.

I wouldn’t anticipate a Backlund deal to net this much. Jack Drury makes sense to target in the return, as he still has potential to be a top-nine centre in this league. If you ship Backlund at the deadline, maybe a package around Drury and a third or fourth rounder would be fair value? I don’t think you could get Drury, Koivunen, and a high 2nd rounder. But, if Backlund has another fantastic year, you never know. Carolina does make sense as a destination for Backlund.

Hanifin to Dallas for a futures package

The Minnesota deal for Hanifin was a little weak, but I think this proposed deal works quite well for both sides. As I discussed in an article recently, Dallas could sense as a destination for Hanifin. Their defence is nice, but one more addition on the backend could really cement them to the “team to beat” in the playoffs.
The return from Dallas’ end seems a tad high, as Dellandrea and Bourque are still both highly regarded.

I think taking Dellandrea out, and throwing in a lower asset would make this deal fair for both ends, considering this user has Hanifin extending in Dallas. The problem with any trade with Dallas will be cap space availability. They are currently capped out, and any cap hit that might make sense to move has some sort of trade protection.

Lindholm to Columbus for… a package?

This would be a terrible trade return for the Flames. Roslovic is a fine plug-and-play guy, but has never really found his niche. Foudy still has some potential. But two low picks and two middle- to bottom-six forwards for Lindholm would be absurd. The Flames should be using the Horvat return as a benchmark if they decide to move Lindholm. That would be a first-round pick, top prospect, and youngish forward for cap.

This Columbus trade covers one of those, with Roslovic being of similar nature to Beauvillier in the return Vancouver got. If you were to sub Foudy out for one of Columbus’ big prospects (Sillinger, Mateychuk, Cuelemans, etc.) and sub the fourth- and seventh-rounders for a first-rounder, we are cooking.

Our first three-way trade on CapFriendly Friday!

The very first three-way trade to be featured in CapFriendly Friday includes the Flames, Stars, and Red Wings.

This user’s trade can be broken down as such:

  • Detroit trades Olli Maatta in exchange for Ryan Suter and a 2026 second-round pick.
  • Dallas trades Ryan Suter, a 2024 first-, and 2026 second-round pick in exchange for Chris Tanev.

I think the values in each of those deals are fair. A bottom pairing defencemen and a first-rounder would be a good return for Chris Tanev. Detroit would swap Maatta and his $3M cap hit for the next two seasons in favour of Suter’s $3.65M cap hit for the next seasons, and add a second-rounder to do so. This user jokes in the comments that Suter would be the type of defenceman Detroit is looking for, due to their somewhat questionable acquisitions of Ben Chiarot, Jeff Petry, and Justin Holl in the past calendar year. Dallas parts with two high picks to swap out Suter’s cap for this year and next, in exchange for a defensive defenceman to solidify their defence. The one hold up to this deal would be Suter’s NMC. As this user notes, Suter would definitely not waive to come to Calgary, and I’m not sure he’d want to leave Dallas for Detroit, either.

Fascinating future ahead

This next calendar 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 still 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 maybe next summer 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. This is not an easy position for one to find themselves in.

Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire

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