Wow. That’s all we can really say. The Calgary Flames and Carolina Hurricanes pulled off one of the biggest multi-player deal in recent memory.
Here’s a quick reminder of the deal:
Calgary trades: Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland, and Adam Fox
to Carolina for: Noah Hanifin, Elias Lindholm
This is insane. But let’s start breaking it down which I’ll do position by position.
Micheal Ferland for Elias Lindholm
I think it goes without saying that Lindholm is a big upgrade over Micheal Ferland.
Ferland had a career high 21 goals last year but only had 2 of those goals in the final half of the season. He has one year left on his deal that pays $1.75M so he was a steal this past year, but should be in line for a sizable raise which I wasn’t sure that the Flames were going to pay. This could be the Flames selling high on a 26 year old who had a big season.
Lindholm is only 23 and was selected one pick before Sean Monahan in 2013. Lindholm had 44 points in 81 games last season. At 23 years of age he still has lots of time to grow and with the Flames viewing him as a right winger he will likely slot right onto the top line.
If he can become the #1 RW of the future that Calgary has craved, it would be a major victory in this trade.
Dougie Hamilton for Noah Hanifin
There’s no doubt that trading Dougie Hamilton really hurts. He was the league’s leading goal-scorer for defensemen, and formed one of the best first pairings in the NHL with Mark Giordano. Hamilton will grow with Carolina and it’s tough to see him go.
Hanifin is a really exciting player to acquire as he’s only 21 years of age but has already played three full seasons in the NHL. While he doesn’t look to have the same offensive acumen that Hamilton has, he still put up 32 points last year. The Flames get a player who will continue to improve for the foreseeable future.
As things are sitting right now, the Flames defence core is probably worse than it was this morning when going from Hamilton to Hanifin, but I think Hanifin’s potential is so high that it could be worth it down the road.
The Wild Card: Adam Fox
It really stings to see a player that we’d hyped so much get traded, but there were some whispers of him potentially not signing in Calgary. Fox is one of the highest touted defensive prospects in the league. He’ll be back in college this year but could be a major factor once he makes the NHL.
My early thoughts are that Fox could be the deciding factor in who ends up winning this deal. If he becomes a star then Carolina will win, but if he doesn’t it’ll be hard to say.
No matter what this trade will take many years to eventually see who won it, but it looks to be a franchise-defining move for both teams involved.