Blackhawks Should Target These 3 Flames in a Kane Trade

At the time of this writing, the Chicago Blackhawks have a 5-4-2 record and are third in the Central Division. Although they have a very solid start to the season and are exceeding expectations, they are still expected to be major sellers at the deadline, as they are rebuilding. Superstar forward Patrick Kane is, of course, the biggest trading candidate and several teams will surely be pursuing him as we inch closer to the deadline. Last month, Craig Button speculated that the Calgary Flames could be a potential landing spot for Kane since “they lost a little bit of offense” this offseason. It’s an interesting thought but also not entirely far-fetched, either.

Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

With the Flames being in win-now mode, adding a proven winner like Kane would make their roster significantly better. Truthfully, one could argue that Calgary needs help, as they have started the season 5-4-0 and are fifth in the Pacific Division. Although they haven’t necessarily been bad, that isn’t ideal for a team that many view among the favorites in the Western Conference.


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Perhaps this could be what sparks them to pursue Kane, but to acquire him, they will need Chicago to retain half of his salary. With that, they would need to move out salary to go along with a first-round pick and at least one top prospect. It would take a lot of creativity from Flames general manager (GM) Brad Treliving to get it done, but it’s possible. Let’s look at three players who the Blackhawks should target from the Flames in such a move.

Tyler Toffoli

To make things work financially, Tyler Toffoli would likely need to be the NHL-caliber player sent the other way to Chicago. He does not carry any no-movement clauses, while other expensive players like Mikael Backlund, Milan Lucic, and Blake Coleman do. Therefore, Toffoli would be the easiest player to add to this deal, and this is especially true when noting that the other three would be unlikely to accept a move to go to a rebuilding team like Chicago. Although losing Toffoli wouldn’t be amazing for the Flames, Kane is a legitimate superstar and would be a major upgrade.

Tyler Toffoli Calgary Flames
Tyler Toffoli, Calgary Flames (Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Still, Toffoli could be a very useful, short-term option for the Blackhawks. The 30-year-old winger has blossomed into a very solid top-six forward who’s capable of hitting 50-to-55 points per season. He’s off to a very hot start in 2022-23 as well, as he has four goals and seven points in nine contests. Adding this kind of player as a replacement for Kane would be great for the Blackhawks, as he would immediately be able to fit into the legend’s spot in their lineup.

Furthermore, if acquired by the Blackhawks, Toffoli could become another prime trading candidate for them, too. The Flames paid a pretty hefty price to get him last season, as they parted ways with a first- and fifth-round pick, prospect Emil Heineman, and Tyler Pitlick. The rebuilding Blackhawks would love to get this kind of return for him, so it’s surely an avenue worth exploring.

Matthew Coronato

When it comes to Flames prospects, none may stand out more than Matthew Coronato. The 2021 13th-overall pick has all of the tools to blossom into a top-six winger at the NHL level and is continuing to improve each season. After scoring 48 goals and recording 85 points in 2020-21 with the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League (USHL), he had 36 points in 34 games with Harvard University last season as a freshman. That is excellent point production from the 19-year-old, and he should only get better as he continues to gain more experience.

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Although Coronato may not be the biggest (5-foot-10, 183 pounds), he has been praised by scouts for playing a heavy game. His tenacious style of play mixed with his extreme skill set is exactly what has been allowing him to succeed offensively. It seems rather unlikely that the Blackhawks wouldn’t demand him to be involved in any trade centering around Kane, as he’s exactly the kind of young player that all teams yearn for.

Coronato could be NHL-ready as soon as next season if he continues to play so well with Harvard. On a weak team like the Blackhawks, he could be an immediate fit in their middle six upon his arrival. At the end of the day, there may be no better Flames prospect for Chicago to choose from than Coronado, so look for him to be their primary target in a hypothetical Kane trade.

Jakob Pelletier

Another notable prospect who the Blackhawks would need to ask the Flames for is Jakob Pelletier. The 2019 first-round pick seems just about ready to make the jump to the NHL, but due to the Flames’ strong roster, he is currently playing for their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Calgary Wranglers. However, he has been off to a bit of a slow start this season for them as he has four points in eight games. Yet, he also had 27 goals and 62 points in 66 AHL contests last season, so the organization certainly should expect him to bounce back as the year progresses.

Jakob Pelletier Calgary Flames
Jakob Pelletier, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Truthfully, Pelletier would likely be able to join the Blackhawks’ lineup immediately if acquired. He offers more offensive upside than wingers like Mackenzie Entwistle, Boris Katchouk, Sam Lafferty, and Reese Johnson while possessing far more potential. Therefore, I could see Chicago trying him out on either their second or third line and giving him time on their power play. However, it also still wouldn’t be bad for the youngster to spend some time with the Rockford IceHogs if needed.

If Pelletier continues to develop at the rate he has been, there’s no question that he could one day be a legitimate top-six winger. It is exactly why the Flames view him as one of their top prospects, but if they truly want to land Kane, there’s a very good chance that Pelletier would need to be added to the deal.

Nevertheless, the Blackhawks do have some rather intriguing trade targets from the Flames if Kane is open to being moved there. Toffoli would offer them another excellent trading piece, while Coronado and Pelletier could each become future parts of their long-term core. Alas, we will have to wait and see if these two can strike a blockbuster centering around Kane as we get closer to the deadline.


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