I’ve decided to look back at all of the Flames most recent trades with every other NHL club, profiling the Metro Division today. Click here for my look at the Atlantic Division trades. A couple conditions for this article is that I’ll only be doing the most recent trade that involved an NHLer and/or at least mid round picks. So there aren’t any pick swaps, or late round picks for fringe/AHL players included here.
June 23 2018: Flames acquire Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin for Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland, and Adam Fox
While Elias Lindholm is probably my favourite Flame right now, the Hurricanes still get the edge on this trade although the margin has definitely narrowed. Lindholm has been amazing for the Flames with 132 points in 151 games since the trade, compared 188 points in 374 games before the trade. Hanifin has been a fine second pairing defender, although there is still improvement to be desired.
Hamilton had a good first year in Carolina, but was tearing it up this year with 40 points in 47 games. He was definitely an all-star and potentially a Norris candidate prior to his injury. Ferland had one year in Carolina with 40 points before leaving for Vancouver, and Adam Fox was dealt to New York for a 2nd and 3rd. For me the final deciding factor on this deal is whether the Hurricanes will be able to re-sign Hamilton in the summer of 2021. If they are unable to reach a deal, this trade might just swing the Flames way.
Columbus Blue Jackets
July 27 2009: Flames acquire 2010 3rd Round Pick (Max Reinhart) for Anton Stralman
Winner: Blue Jackets
This was an intriguing deal as the Flames had previously acquired Stralman in late July from the Maple Leafs in a 3 player 2 pick swap with Toronto. Never mind that the pick the Flames sent to Toronto would turn into Brandon Saad (sigh). Stralman would have a 34 point year with Colmbus in 2009-10 and a decent second year in 2010-11. He would eventually re-shape his career with the Rangers and Lightning and now plays for Florida. Meanwhile Max Reinhart would play just 23 career games with the Flames. While neither team knew what they really had in Stralman, I give the edge to Columbus.
New Jersey Devils
February 26 1996: Flames acquire Tommy Albelin, Cale Hulse, and Jocelyn Lemieux for Phil Housley and Dan Keczmer
The Devils made this deal as they tried to push their way back into the playoffs after a disappointing start to their season. They would ultimately miss the playoffs on the final night of the regular season. Housley would have 16 points in 22 games and then leave Washington in the offseason, eventually coming back to Calgary in 1998-99. Keczmer would never suit up for New Jersey. Albelin would play over five seasons with the Flames, Hulse would play three and a half seasons, and Lemieux would leave after 1995-96. Edge to the Flames for getting two long term players in the deal.
New York Islanders
June 24 2017: Flames acquire Travis Hamonic for 2018 1st Round Pick (Noah Dobson), 2018 2nd Round Pick (Ruslan Ishakov), 2019 2nd Round Pick (Samuel Bolduc)
I think Hamonic has been a fine addition for the Flames, but you don’t want to pay a 1st and 2 2nds for fine. He’s been a steady cost controlled second pairing defenseman, but hasn’t really elevated the Flames defensive core as we hoped it would. As for his future, he’s a pending UFA and his return seems unlikely to me. The Islanders got a really solid prospect in Dobson who played in the NHL this year straight from junior. Ishakov is an exciting Russian prospect playing college hockey and Bolduc had a decent D+1 year in the QMJHL.
New York Rangers
February 2 2010: Flames acquire Chris Higgins and Ales Kotalik for Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust
This was an odd trade with both teams being on the playoff bubble and trying to get pieces to push them into the playoffs. Both teams would miss the playoffs, with the Flames finishing 10th in the West, and the Rangers infamously losing in a shootout in Game 82 to miss the playoffs. Higgins would skate in just 12 games for Calgary and Kotalik would end up in the AHL by the next season, before being traded to Buffalo with a 2nd round pick as sweetener that ended up being Jake McCabe.
Jokinen would have a good end to the season with the Rangers and then end up re-signing in Calgary in the summer. Prust ended up having the best career out of the rest of them, going on to success as a grinder with the Rangers and Canadiens.
August 26 1987: Flames acquire Brad McCrimmon for 1988 3rd Round Pick (Dominic Roussel) and 1989 1st Round Pick (Steve Bancroft)
There have been a number of minor deals between the Flames and the Flyers over the years, but this was the last major transaction. The Flames would acquire McCrimmon who would play a role in guiding the team to their first ever Stanley Cup champhionship in 1988-89. Roussel would play parts of five seasons in Philly, being their starting goaltender in 1993-94. Bancroft would never suit up for the Flyers and would be a minor leaguer most of his career, only playing in 6 NHL games.
March 28 2013: Flames acquire Kenny Agostino, Ben Hanowski, and 2013 1st Round Pick (Morgan Klimchuk) for Jarome Iginla
Winner: Not the Flames
I said it in my last piece that whenever you trade a franchise icon, you’re probably not going to win the trade. However, this really did not go well. Agostino moved on from the organization after 2015-16 and has been mostly stuck in the too-good-for-AHL-but-not-good-enough-for-NHL bubble. Hanowski played 16 games for the Flames but was mainly an AHLer, leaving North America after 2014-15. Klimchuk only made it into one game for the Flames before being traded. While the Penguins didn’t win the Cup with Iginla, they at least got to the third round and we got to see Iginla and Sidney Crosby on the same team.
March 1 2015: Flames acquire 2015 2nd Round Pick (Jeremy Lauzon), 2015 3rd Round Pick (Jens Looke) for Curtis Glencross
While the Flames didn’t end up directly using either of the picks they got for Glencross, they used both picks in other trades to improve the team. The 2nd was part of the package that was sent to Boston for Dougie Hamilton, allowing the Flames to use their other 2015 2nd on Rasmus Andersson. The 3rd was sent to Arizona in a package to get Pick 60 which the Flames used on Oliver Kylington. Glencross had 8 points in 28 games for Washington who were ultimately knocked out in the 2nd round. This was also the year that the Flames made it back to the playoffs which was impressive considering the sold a key player like Glencross.
The Flames have gone 3-5 in their last big trade with each Metropolitan opponent. There have been some good deals that helped that franchise long term, but there were also some big deals made that ended up backfiring.
by Michael MacGillivray