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Insider Hints at Flames-Maple Leafs Non-Tanev Blockbuster Trade

NHL insider Frank Seravalli suggested an unconventional, but huge blockbuster trade between the Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs.

In what should only be deemed a fun exercise on a special occasion, Frank Seravalli and Tyler Yaremchuk of Daily Faceoff ventured into the realm of creative matchmaking ahead of this season’s NHL Trade Deadline. Specifically, Seravalli proposes a blockbuster trade between the Calgary Flames and the Toronto Maple Leafs that excludes the much-discussed Chris Tanev. While the Leafs have been rumored to be a frontrunner on the Tanev talks, Seravalli figures the shot-blocker will go to the Dallas Stars, leaving another big-name defenseman for Toronto.

The centerpiece of the suggested deal involves the Maple Leafs acquiring defenseman Noah Hanifin, accompanied by the versatile forward Andrew Mangiapane, with 50% of his salary retained. In return, the Flames would receive a substantial package, including Toronto’s 2024 1st Rd Pick, a 2024 3rd Rd Pick (from the New York Islanders), Calgary’s 2024 5th Rd Pick, along with players Ryan Reaves, Nick Robertson, and Topi Niemela.

Hanifin to Toronto Trade

While the proposal may initially appear ambitious, Seravalli acknowledges the speculative nature of the exercise. The trade aims to address the mutual needs of both teams. Toronto, seeking defensive help could land Hanifin, a high-caliber, left-shooting defenseman. While not a perfect fit for Toronto because they already have Morgan Rielly as a left-shot, top-pairing guy, the proposed deal not only bolsters the Maple Leafs’ defense but injects strength into their middle six with the addition of Mangiapane.

The Additional Pieces in the Trade

The inclusion of Mangiapane, a Toronto native, adds a sentimental touch to the proposal, and his $2.9 million salary (with 50% retained) fits within Toronto’s financial framework. Meanwhile, the Flames stand to benefit from a substantial haul, including draft picks and promising young players.

Toronto would also move Reaves to the Flames as a way to move his contract off of the books but also give Calgary some protection on their roster. It might be a stretch to assume the Flames would want Reaves, but he’s popped up out of nowhere before.

Nick Robertson is one of the key pieces of the deal here for Calgary. He would be a young asset who could grow with the core and get an elevated opportunity on a roster that isn’t as stacked with offensive stars.

Maple Leafs Would Trade For, Then Try to Sign Noah Hanifin

Importantly, the deal is framed with a contract extension for Hanifin, aligning with Toronto’s desire to move forward with a stronger defensive core. The proposal positions Toronto closer to Boston than Calgary, suggesting a strategic move for the Maple Leafs. It also takes Hanifin out of the mix in Boston, where the Bruins are rumored to be looking at him either at the deadline or as a free-agent signing.

Noah Hanifin Flames trade talk

This trade speculation unfolds against the backdrop of Toronto’s quest for defensive upgrades, acknowledging the difficulty in securing a high-end defenseman, especially at the trade deadline. Hanifin emerges as a coveted asset, projected to be among the premier defensemen available over the next year. If the Leafs are hesitant to give up a first-rounder for Tanev, they should be less hesitant if it means getting Hanifin and an extension to follow.

While the proposed trade might seem unconventional, the creative exercise emphasizes the complexity of NHL trade discussions. If Toronto wants to buy, they can go for a rental and potentially overpay. They can try to land a rental they immediately re-sign, or they can swing for the fences in a deal like this one.

Next: Markstrom Approved Deal to Devils: Why Trade Broke Down

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. MoxNix

    February 14, 2024 at 5:22 pm

    That’s a ridiculously low return for Hanifin + Mangiapane especially with 50% retention. Laughably bad even.

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