Taking another look at the Calgary Flames blockbuster trade, now that we have had time to process it.
The Calgary Flames and the Carolina Hurricanes stole the headlines on day two of the NHL Draft. Both teams were rumored to be looking to shake up their rosters after missing out on the playoffs and having overall disappointing seasons. Even with all of this, I don’t think anyone anticipated a deal of this magnitude to be completed. So let’s dive into the trade and look at it closer.
Dougie Hamilton is one of the best two-way defense men in the league. He proved this. He scored 17 goals last year and was by far the best defender on the Flames. At times when it seemed nothing could go right, he kept playing well. He will surely be missed in Calgary.
Micheal Ferland is a solid player who plays with a good edge to his game that helps round out lineups. He can play anywhere in the top 9 and has experience playing with high level talent (Monahan and Gaudreau). Ferland is also coming off of a 20 goal season.
The last piece of the trade is likely going to be the deciding factor as to who won the deal. Adam Fox is one of the better defensive prospects in the league. The Hobey Baker winner is still a year or two out from being ready to play, but brings a great offensive game with him.
So, the Flames certainly gave up a lot of value here in order to get this deal done. Trading Hamilton, their best defenceman, hurts initially. The Flames are loaded with defensive prospects though, so in the end they will be able to open up lineup spots for when those prospects are ready. The fact that they have those prospects, also makes trading Fox a little easier. Adam Fox was not expected to choose to sign with the Flames anyways, so they do good here to sell high on him rather than just having their rights to him run out for nothing.
The Flames got rid of Gaudreau and Monahan’s longtime line mate in Micheal Ferland. They have been looking for a RW to play with their two stars for a longtime now and may have found it in Elias Lindholm. The Flames acquisition of Elias Lindholm, who they hope can turn into the longtime line-mate of their two stars, is probably the main influence to do the trade. All three players are relatively the same age, so the potential of this line long term is very intriguing for Calgary Flames fans.
Noah Hanifin has three years of playing experience while only being 21 years old. If he can continue to grow and develop into a superstar, the Flames may have stolen one here. Hanifin has the potential to be better than Dougie Hamilton as early as this year. He will fit in very nicely with their upcoming defensive core and the Flames will hope he can find some chemistry with likely line mate Travis Hamonic.
All in all, the Flames are banking on the potential of these players and will either stay about where they were or get a huge boost. I think this trade looks even better now after the free agent signings they have completed. This may be the best forward group the Calgary Flames have had in a very long time.
Both teams got what they needed from this trade and there are risks involved on both sides, but also high potential for reward on both sides. Both fan-bases should be happy with the deal and hope that the shakeup helps get their team back into the playoffs.