Calgary Flames End of Season Awards: Best GM Move

Craig Conroy, Calgary Flames
Craig Conroy, Calgary Flames / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

For some fans, the Calgary Flames season season was all about the future and the moves that General Manager Craig Conroy would make, and it’s safe to say that he didn’t disappoint. While some may have been disappointed with the return for moving Noah Hanifin, Chris Taney and Nikita Zadorov, but overall, the Flames did a good job of restocking the cupboard of future assets.

However, there’s one move that stands out above the rest, and that was the shocking deal that sent Elias Lindholm to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for an impressive five pieces.

To Vancouver

To Calgary

Elias Lindholm

Andrei Kuzmenko

Hunter Brzustewicz

Joni Jurmo

2024 first-round draft pick

2024 conditional third-round pick

Most fans would have been excited to get Kuzmenko and a first-round draft pick in return for a struggling Lindholm, but somehow, he managed to get much, much more. The potential crown jewel in this trade is defenseman Hunter Brzustewicz, who had a career year in his final season in the OHL with the Kitchener Rangers. In 67 games this season Brzustewicz impressed mightily, notching 13 goals and 79 assists for a career high 92 points, and he appears ready to win a spot with either the Wranglers or even the Flames in a years time.

On top of that, Calgary earned two draft picks in the upcoming 2024 NHL Draft, while also landing 21-year old former third-round draft pick Joni Jurmo, who could potentially be a solid AHLer or even a third pairing defenseman in the NHL one day.

Ultimately, many fans weren’t expecting much from this deal after somewhat underwhelming returns for other pieces, but in the end, this may end up as Conroy’s best deal yet, with the move to land Yegor Sharangovich coming in as a close second. The former Flames star still has a lot more work to do in the coming years if they want to build the Flames into a genuine contender moving forward, but for now, the early returns look promising for the first time GM.