The Calgary Flames have already made a number of deals prior to the Mar. 21 trade deadline, and they may not be done yet. Speaking on The Jeff Marek Show on Friday afternoon, Elliotte Friedman wondered aloud if they may have interest in Anaheim Ducks defenceman Hampus Lindholm, a player who has been getting a ton of discussion as of late.
Friedman is one of the NHL’s most credible insiders and isn’t the type to create rumors. If he is saying something like this, there is a good chance he has heard it as a possibility from at least one source if not multiple. It has been known for some time that the Flames would like to add a defenceman, so there is some reason to believe general manager Brad Treliving could make a deal with the Ducks.
Lindholm a Legitimate Top Four Defenceman
While it has been known the Flames would like to improve at the deadline as they prepare for a postseason run, most believed they were looking to add depth rather than a major piece. Plenty of that belief is due to the fact that they haven’t had much cap room to work with all season, and have even less after the additions of Tyler Toffoli and Calle Jarnkrok. In fact, as of right now, they have just over $580,000 in available space.
As mentioned, however, where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and Friedman has likely heard rumblings on this potential deal happening. If that were to be the case, the Flames would be adding a significant piece to their lineup in a defenceman who is very capable of playing in their top four. For a number of years, Lindholm was considered as one of the game’s most promising young defencemen, though he hasn’t been talked about as such in recent years due to the struggles of the Ducks.
Despite his teams struggles however, he has remained a very prominent piece on their back end. He has averaged at least 22 minutes of ice time in each of his past seven seasons, including 2021-22 with 22:32 minutes per game. This season, like in many past, he has contributed to the Ducks penalty kill and is a minute muncher at 5-on-5. He has also been fairly productive offensively without seeing much action on the power play, with five goals and 22 points through 61 games.
If acquired by the Flames, he could very well end up being placed on the second pairing alongside Chris Tanev, which would push Oliver Kylington to the third pair and perhaps result in Nikita Zadorov being placed in the press box. There hasn’t been anything egregious when it comes to the big Russian’s play as of late, but there is no denying the fact that Lindholm would be a significant upgrade.
Money Needs to Be Moved
In order to fit in Lindholm and his $5,205,556 cap hit, Treliving would need to move money out. That could come from trading Sean Monahan, who Frank Seravalli not only added to his trade list recently but is on the record saying he believes the Flames may move him prior to the deadline to get more cap space. Perhaps they are looking to do that in hopes of adding the Ducks defender.
With the recent acquisition of Jarnkrok, who is capable of playing center and has often throughout his eight-season NHL career, Monahan may be expendable at this point. The 27-year-old has had well-documented struggles the past few years, and has been centering the teams fourth line as of late despite making $6.375 million both this season and next.
Many have suggested that with his decline in recent years, the Flames may have a tough time moving Monahan. Frank Seravalli seems to think otherwise, however, as he said Friday on the Daily Faceoff Rundown that he was confident Treliving will be able to move him if he chooses to do so.
Gearing Up for a Cup Run
If it wasn’t already extremely obvious, it is clear that Treliving is going all-in with this group, something we have not yet seen with this core of players. While their great season certainly has plenty to do with it, the uncertainty of both Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk’s futures is likely playing a role in the decision-making as well. Nonetheless, this team is firing on all cylinders right now and is primed to go on a deep playoff run. Adding Lindholm to the mix would only increase their chances at hoisting the Stanley Cup later this year.
Colton Pankiw is a former Jr. A hockey player who now provides his knowledge of the game through writing. He’s been a very active and reliable source for nearly two years at The Hockey Writers. He is a credentialed writer for the Calgary Flames but also does features on other teams throughout the league. Other writing contributions include: Yahoo Sports, Las Vegas Chronicle, Oil On Whyte, and Markerzone.com. Colton is also a co-host of both Oilers Overtime and Flames Faceoff podcasts. Any interview requests or content info can be made through him on Twitter. Take a look at his work here.