The Calgary Flames remain a team to watch leading up to the March 8, 2024 NHL trade deadline. General manager Craig Conroy has been very transparent in his messaging to the media, stating he’s aware of the trade interest in their top candidates, but will be remaining patient leading into early March.
The fact of the matter is the Flames are trying to sneak into the back door of the Stanley Cup playoff picture and it would be dampening to the dressing room if the team started shipping out players, displaying a lack of confidence in the team.
Calgary is currently 19-18-5 on the year and is only two points out of a wild card position. While Conroy has already made some moves this season, he does have several players other teams continue to monitory. Here’s four Flames’ trade candidates to watch ahead of the deadline:
Lindholm has been the number one target of many and is rightfully listed as a top candidate on most insider’s trade boards. He’s a 1-2C and could easily be a plug-and-play type on a contending team given his skill set and abilities to play in all situations including power play and penalty kill.
Lindholm’s contract is very affordable at $4.85 million and the veteran forward does not have any trade protection. Should Conroy be willing to retain some salary in the move, he could be getting back a significant trade package for Lindholm.
So far the Colorado Avalanche and Boston Bruins continue to be linked to the Swedish centre and there’s certainly going to be more contenders involved if Conroy does indeed go to market.
Kevin Weekes dropped a bomb recently with a cryptic tweet about Markstrom so there’s a lot of speculation a move could happen sooner than later. The goalie market in the NHL has taken a serious hit to injuries, so there’s going to some level of interest, no doubt.
The thing with Markstrom is his contract as he’s owed $6 million for two more seasons. He holds a full no-movement clause so will have to agree on his next destination. So far in 25 games this season, the Swedish netminder has posted a 2.65 GAA and .910 Sv.%, impressive considering he got off to an awful start to the year.
With Daniel Vladar signed next season at just $2.2 million and with top prospect Dustin Wolf ready for regular NHL minutes, moving Markstrom would be a huge win for Conroy and the Flames.
Likely the best defenseman available before the deadline, depending on what the Ottawa Senators do with Jakob Chychrun, Hanifin is someone to watch as a trade candidate. There has been reports that the two sides have talked extension at certain parts of this season, but so far no deal in place.
Hanifin is 26, plays top-pairing minutes and is as skillful as they come. In 42 games he’s posted 23 points and is owed $4.95 million for the rest of this season. He’s a pending unrestricted free agent and likely someone the Flames could trade to land a late first-round pick. He holds an eight-team no-trade clause and will have a little bit of say in the matter. So far the Bruins, Vegas Golden Knights and New Jersey Devils have been linked to the Boston native.
A much different defender than Hanifin, Tanev is tough as nails and could compliment a second pair. He’s a true stay-at-home blueliner who loves to do whatever he can to help his team win, including blocking shots with his face like we saw earlier this season.
Tanev is also a pending unrestricted free agent and is set to earn $4.5 million this season. His trade protection is a 10-team clause and so far this season has recorded eight points in 39 games, along with 118 blocked shots.
Tanev isn’t overly physical with just 14 registered hits on the season, but he relies on his positioning, hockey sense and willingness to do whatever it takes to win to his advantage. The Toronto Maple Leafs tried to trade for Tanev earlier this season and will have competition from his former team in Vancouver.
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