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In this edition of the hotstove, we share our thoughts on the blockbuster trade between the Calgary Flames and Carolina Hurricanes.
I don't think this trade is as bad for Calgary as some are making it out to be but I definitely prefer Carolina's side of the deal.
In Dougie Hamilton, they get an elite right-handed defender in the prime of his career. He has tallied 40+ points in four consecutive seasons, he is a big time possession driver, and he has proven he can play big minutes against opposing team's best players on a nightly basis. Noah Hanifin has a lot of potential but, in my opinion, he's not remotely close to Hamilton at this point.
Elias Lindholm has more pure skill than Micheal Ferland, and is an upgrade, although I don't think it's a huge gap. Ferland is a really good complimentary goal scorer who plays with a big time edge.
The Flames also had to give up a really promising defense prospect in Adam Fox. If he ends up signing in Carolina and is as good as most think he can be, they'll be indisputable winners.
I do like that Calgary landed younger players still developing with more team control, however, I don't think that makes up for the talent gap in the deal. Time will tell if that's the case.
It seems like it's an almost near consensus that the Hurricanes won this trade - most people just look at who got the best player.
I think that Calgary is the winner though, and here is why:
They are getting two players under 23 who have not hit their potential yet. At 25, Dougie Hamilton is one of the NHL's best defenseman.
But Hanifin is 21 and is coming off a year in which he had 32 points and a 56% possession rating. Looking at the WOWYS, almost every player he plays with improves when he's on the ice.
23 of Hanifin's points were 5v5, and Hamilton had 27. (36 leads the league). Essentially Hanifin is an awesome player and he's four years younger than Hamilton.
The reason this is a good trade for Calgary is the contracts. Hamilton has three years left at $6 million, and after that he'll be 28 and in need of a contract that will likely overpay him through his declining years.
On the other hand, instead of three years of Hamilton, Calgary can now re-sign both players they just traded for for up to a combined 16 years. If they max them out and don't bridge them, there is a very good likelihood that they can sign them for what turns out to be team-friendly cap-hits, longterm.
So three years of a player vs up to 16.
The defenseman who is three years younger (56% 4 less 5v5 points) is probably going to be just as good. (And Hamilton was getting a bump from playing with GIO that he'll no longer get.)
I think that if you dig down on this trade, it makes perfect sense for the Flames. Their a better team today (the downgrade to Hanifin is made up by the forward upgrade) and their likely WAY better in the future because of it.
Carolina clear and easy got the best player out of this trade. Dougie Hamilton is an absolute beast and a top 10 defenseman in this league. I could write pages on Dougie but let's just say this; he has scored over 40 points in four straight seasons, is a strong producer at both even strength and on the power play and was second in shots for all defensemen.
Hanifin is a very good player but he is not on the same level. He is coming off his best offensive season at 32 points where 9 of his ten goals came at even strength. But he averages almost 4 minutes a night less than Hamilton and was heavily used in the offensive zone.
Calgary got the second and third best players in this trade in Hanifin and Lindholm but they severely hurt their right side to do it. Hamonic and Brodie are great players but neither can control the play like Hamilton can.
Carolina is my sleeper playoff pick now and until other changes are made Calgary is still going to be counting on Smith to steal them plenty of games
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