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      Trade Targets: Flames, Canadiens on path to sell at NHL trade deadline

      Lindholm, a rare No. 1 center to potentially be available, could bring Calgary a massive return.

      Published -

      Trade winds are beginning to blow across the NHL, exactly 100 days from the March 8th trade deadline.

      The Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks executed one of the first trades of significance this week, sending Anthony Beauvillier eastbound in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick. But with so many teams in the mix for playoff spots as the calendar turns to December, true trade activity won’t pick up for a while.

      Part of the hold up is that there are so few teams motivated to make moves right now. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Canucks have injuries on defense, necessitating a need. But the Calgary Flames – who have four players inside the top five on our Trade Targets – are hovering around a playoff spot again after a tough start to the season. They aren’t in sell mode yet. Neither are the Montréal Canadiens.

      The Edmonton Oilers have been on the prowl for a netminder, but they’re also close to giving Jack Campbell another shot in the NHL. The Philadelphia Flyers and Columbus Blue Jackets have pieces to move; the Florida Panthers have an extra defenseman with the returns of Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour.

      Outside of that? It’s tough sledding on the trade front with so many teams content to just compete.

      But it’s never to early to set the table for the trade deadline. Here’s our first Trade Targets board of the season:

      Trade Targets 🎯

      1. Elias Lindholm
      Center, Calgary Flames
      Age: 28
      Stats: 22 GP, 5 G, 10 A, 15 Pts
      Contract: Pending UFA, $4.85 million AAV
      Scoop: How often do No. 1 centers become available in the NHL? The answer is not very often, which is one reason why the Flames pushed to get Lindholm signed to a long-term extension before the season started. He’s a difficult guy to replace. At the same time, since Lindholm has been noncommittal, he represents an extraordinary opportunity for the Flames to harvest significant assets which they can then use as trade chips to reconfigure their roster. His low salary cap hit only adds to the reasoning as to why he would be the No. 1 most valuable player on the market if the Flames get to that point.

      2. Sean Monahan
      Center, Montréal Canadiens
      Age: 29
      Stats: 22 GP, 6 G, 7 A, 13 Pts
      Contract: Pending UFA, $1.985 million AAV
      Scoop: Strong teams are built down the middle. Monahan is a few games away from a $15,000 bonus to net an even $2 million on the season. Why a bonus at 26 games played? That would mean one more than last year, and a not insignificant milestone as a guy whose body has been through a lot. When healthy, Monahan shapes up to be one of the great trade chips of this deadline. He’s been productive, playing at nearly a 50-point pace this season, and he doesn’t cut corners in his own end. Monahan appears to be an ideal third-line center option on a Stanley Cup contending team.

      3. Chris Tanev
      Right Defense, Calgary Flames
      Age: 33
      Stats: 22 GP, 0 G, 5 A, 5 Pts
      Contract: Pending UFA, $4.5 million AAV
      Scoop: Anyone interested in Tanev needs to do no more than cue up his video from this week in which he dives face first to quite literally eat a shot from the point. His reasoning? “Just trying to do whatever it takes to not get scored on,” Tanev said after the game. He oozes commitment and strong defensive play. He’s a warrior. It’s just also that willingness to do whatever it takes that gets him into trouble, as it seems like he’s going down the tunnel with a ding or dent on a near nightly basis. There are questions about his durability. But he’s only missed 17 games in 4 seasons with the Flames – and he might be the perfect rental.

      4. Nikita Zadorov (TRADED TO VANCOUVER ✅)
      Left Defense, Calgary Flames
      Age: 28
      Stats: 21 GP, 1 G, 5 A, 6 Pts
      Contract: Pending UFA, $3.75 million AAV
      Scoop: Zadorov wasn’t exactly subtle with his trade request, leaking out in Toronto – on a week in which the Leafs’ defense was under siege – after a game there in which he had a big hit and goal. Flames captain Mikael Backlund responded by telling the room to quiet the noise. The Flames told Zadorov they will honor his request when they’re good and ready. Toronto, Vancouver and New Jersey are a few of the teams on his list. At 6-foot-6, Zadorov is an intriguing piece. He adds an element of physicality and energy, but most teams still see him as a third-pair defenseman.

      5. Noah Hanifin
      Left Defense, Calgary Flames
      Age: 26
      Stats: 22 GP, 4 G, 6 A, 10 Pts
      Contract: Pending UFA, $4.95 million AAV
      Scoop: Hanifin is a tricky one for the Flames. In a perfect world, not all their pending free agents can fly out the door, they’ve got to keep one or two to allow them to compete next year. They made Hanifin a target to do just that – nearly inking what was believed to be a seven-year deal north of $50 million. It sounds like he got cold feet as the deal got down to the final strokes. That wasn’t all that comforting for the Flames, who knew last summer that his preference was to play in the U.S. long-term. Hanifin has said and done all the right things, and two years younger than Lindholm also fits their age scheme a bit better. We’ll see where this goes.

      6. Jake Allen or Cayden Primeau
      Goaltenders, Montréal Canadiens
      Ages: 33 / 24
      Stats: 9 GP, 3.59 GAA, .903 Sv% / 4 GP, 3.41 GAA, .898 Sv%
      Contracts: 2 years remaining, $3.85 million AAV / $890,000 AAV (Primeau RFA on expiration)
      Scoop: The Canadiens know that they can’t continue on carrying three goaltenders all season. They’ve avoided placing Primeau on waivers because they know he has no chance of clearing. So, they’re trying to extract as much value as possible from the situation and will be proactive about it sooner rather than later. Allen is a calming veteran influence and well-respected teammate and tandem-mate. Primeau has been jostled around a bit but is finding his confidence and has the tools to be an impact netminder. It’s way less likely, but not impossible, that Sam Montembeault is on the move – but only if the Canadiens feel they can’t get him extended.

      7. Adam Henrique
      Center, Anaheim Ducks
      Age: 33
      Stats: 21 GP, 3 G, 7 A, 10 Pts
      Contract: Pending UFA, $5.825 million AAV
      Scoop: If Henrique had been healthy, there was a good chance he would have been traded at the deadline last March. One of the teams interested: the Dallas Stars. He thrived under Pete DeBoer in New Jersey to start his career. It doesn’t seem like the Stars have either the need for a center or the cap space right now, but it’s worth keeping an eye on. Henrique is back for another tour of duty with the Ducks, holding down the second line center spot. His footspeed has slowed, but his game is well thought-out and under control. His high Hockey IQ is a valuable commodity.

      8. Sean Walker
      Right Defense, Philadelphia Flyers
      Age: 29
      Stats: 22 GP, 3 G, 7 A, 10 Pts
      Contract: Pending UFA, $2.65 million AAV
      Scoop: Walker has been a pleasant surprise for the Flyers, who are open to just about anything that will make them better for the long haul. In Los Angeles, Walker was as much of a cap casualty as he was a victim of a roster logjam – particularly on the right side of that defense. Sean Durzi was also moved and the Kings still have Drew Doughty, Jordan Spence, Matt Roy and then Brandt Clarke in the minors. Playing with fellow pending free agent Nick Seeler (see below), Walker is playing north of 21 minutes for the first time his career and is making the most of his new opportunity. The Flyers stand to reap the rewards of that, too.

      9. Tony DeAngelo
      Right Defense, Carolina Hurricanes
      Age: 28
      Stats: 16 GP, 1 G, 7 A, 8 Pts
      Contract: Pending UFA, $1.675 million AAV
      Scoop: DeAngelo has sat as a healthy scratch for five games this season as the Canes have opted to at times to go with Jalen Chatfield in the lineup. Carolina likes Chatfield, who isn’t nearly as dynamic but seen by the team as a better defender, as a less expensive option on the right side. Chatfield earns less than half of what DeAngelo does on the salary cap. As a result, the Hurricanes are looking to move DeAngelo, who collected 42 points in 70 games last year for the Flyers before being bought out in July.

      10. James Reimer
      Goaltender, Detroit Red Wings
      Age: 35
      Stats: 6 GP, 2.29 GAA, .917 Sv%
      Contract: Pending UFA, $1.5 million AAV
      Scoop: In my view, Reimer is the perfect addition for a team struggling in net. He’s been around the block. He’s a model of consistency with 13 of his 14 NHL seasons at a .900 save percentage or better. (League average this season is .901) He won’t come with an expensive acquisition cost. And he’s played in Canadian pressure cookers before. Reimer also stands to be available. Alex Lyon has taken the ball and run with it this week, stopping 53 of 54 shots. The Red Wings are also carrying three goalies with Ville Husso seeing the bulk of the work and the biggest cap hit.

      11. Mike Hoffman
      Left Wing, San Jose Sharks
      Age: 34
      Stats: 21 GP, 6 G, 2 A, 8 Pts
      Contract: Pending UFA, $4.5 million AAV
      Scoop: The Sharks took on Hoffman’s contract as a salary cap dump in the Erik Karlsson trade (from Montreal) with the express intention of acquiring a flippable asset ahead of the March deadline. That’s worked out quite nicely to this point. Hoffman is scoring at a 23-goal pace over a full season on a Sharks roster without much support around him. That would be his best total since 2019-20 in Florida. By the time March rolls around, with the amount remaining on his deal, teams might not even need San Jose to retain salary to bring him in. Hoffman has limited playoff experience but he’s scored at a slightly better rate in the postseason than the regular season.

      12. Andrew Peeke or Adam Boqvist
      Defensemen, Columbus Blue Jackets
      Ages: 25 / 23
      Stats: 4 GP, 0 G, 1 A, 1 Pt / 10 GP, 0 G, 2 A, 2 Pts
      Contracts: 2 years remaining, $2.75 million / 1 year remaining, $2.6 million (Boqvist RFA on expiration)
      Scoop: The Blue Jackets have been looking to move a defenseman since training camp broke. Here’s the problem: neither Peeke nor Boqvist has much (if any) value. And Columbus is trying to clear a logjam to allow for more ice time for David Jiricek. The Blue Jackets have hesitated to put either player on waivers, but even that might not clear up the problem. With term on both deals, it’s not likely either gets claimed. Peeke has been a healthy scratch for the bulk of the year and was a minus-41 last season. He could be trending toward an offseason buyout.

      13. Alexandre Carrier
      Right Defense, Nashville Predators
      Age: 27
      Stats: 21 GP, 1 G, 7 A, 8 Pts
      Contract: Pending UFA, $2.5 million AAV
      Scoop: Carrier checks all the boxes when it comes to a trade deadline acquisition. He’s a rental who has been molded into a reliable, steady defender that can be a positive contributor at both ends of the ice, and he isn’t going to cost an absolute arm and a leg to add to your blueline. He is a plus-35 player for his career and has two Stanley Cup playoff series under his belt. The bigger question might be: Will the juice be worth the squeeze for Nashville? Or are the Preds better off keeping him relative to value in return?

      14. Warren Foegele
      Left Wing, Edmonton Oilers
      Age: 27
      Stats: 21 GP, 3 G, 5 A, 8 Pts
      Contract: Pending UFA, $2.75 million AAV
      Scoop: On the list of Oilers priorities, reimagining the bottom six forward group is there, but it’s probably below fixing the goaltending and adding another defender to help clean up their own end. In order to generate cap space to do any one of those things, Foegele sticks out like a sore thumb on Edmonton’s cap table. Yes, he can reliably produce double digit goals and 25-30 points, but his game is similar in many respects to others around him in the lineup and he makes significantly more. Simply put, if the Oilers have to move money around, Foegele is one of the top candidates.

      15. Nick Seeler
      Left Defense, Philadelphia Flyers
      Age: 30
      Stats: 22 GP, 0 G, 5 A, 5 Pts
      Contract: Pending UFA, $800,000 AAV
      Scoop: I’m officially lobbying for a new nickname for Seeler: “Nicky Nails.” He is one of my favorite players to watch, a Human Nail Gun in action on a nightly basis. He is tough, he competes and he wrings every drop of out of his skillset through sheer effort. Did you know that Seeler is actually playing this season on a two-way contract that includes an AHL pay rate? He’s found a full-time NHL role under John Tortorella in Philadelphia, playing nearly 17 minutes a night. Seeler is the ideal third pair defensive pick-up.

      16. Jack Roslovic
      Center / Right Wing, Columbus Blue Jackets
      Age: 26
      Stats: 14 GP, 2 G, 6 A, 8 Pts
      Contract: Pending UFA, $4 million AAV
      Scoop: Roslovic is approximately halfway through his rehab process on an ankle injury expected to keep him out through mid-December. That said, he was off to a decent start to this season on a pure point production basis, though not sure anyone in Columbus feels particularly good about this year. Roslovic is a clearly talented player who has struggled to find consistency on a nightly basis in the NHL. Many thought a return home to Columbus would be the answer. At 26, some wonder if what he is now is set in stone, or whether someone can pull more out of him.

      17. Cal Clutterbuck
      Right Wing, New York Islanders
      Age: 36
      Stats: 21 GP, 3 G, 4 A, 7 Pts
      Contract: Pending UFA, $1.75 million AAV
      Scoop: Adding Clutterbuck to the board is an agenda setter for March. The Islanders aren’t in a playoff spot now, and Clutterbuck is part of the fabric of the franchise, but you know teams will be calling if New York isn’t in the mix come March. Clutterbuck would be a healthy addition for any team. You know exactly what you’re getting from him. He brings energy and identity and work ethic. Clutterbuck also has a knack for some clutch goals in the playoffs. In two different playoff runs, Clutterbuck has matched or exceeded his goal total from that entire regular season. Sign me up.

      18. Alexandre Texier
      Left Wing, Columbus Blue Jackets
      Age: 24
      Stats: 22 GP, 4 G, 3 A, 7 Pts
      Contract: Pending RFA, $1.525 million AAV
      Scoop: The Blue Jackets were publicly critical of Texier in discussing their brutal start to the season, lumping him in with a group of players they needed to see more from. He’s on the list of “change of scenery” players. A couple years ago, a few teams were interested when he had 20 points in 36 games, an intriguing name who then missed time with an injury and for personal reasons. Last season, Texier was loaned to Zurich in the Swiss National A league, and it tolled a year on his contract – which makes this year the final year of his deal.

      19. Anthony Mantha
      Right Wing, Washington Capitals
      Age: 29
      Stats: 15 GP, 4 G, 2 A, 6 Pts
      Contract: Pending UFA, $5.7 million AAV
      Scoop: No surprise here. The Capitals were ready to move on from Mantha last summer. The thought process has been to try and get him going this season in an effort to get a return by March at the deadline. He’s currently playing in a third or fourth line role and appears to be having fun again. His last couple weeks have been encouraging with three goals in his last six games. At $5.7 million, though, it’s a difficult contract to move. It hasn’t quite been three years since the Capitals gave up a 1st, 2nd, Jakub Vrana and Richard Panik for him.

      20. Kevin Labanc
      Right Wing, San Jose Sharks
      Age: 27
      Stats: 15 GP, 0 G, 2 A, 2 Pts
      Contract: Pending UFA, $4.725 million AAV
      Scoop: It’s been a slog in San Jose for Labanc, who began the season as a healthy scratch for consecutive games. Even when he’s been in the lineup, opportunity to produce has been scarce, seeing less than 10 minutes of ice time in four of his last seven appearances. It appears from the outside like Labanc’s confidence has been shattered. A fresh start is desperately needed. Will he get one? Tough to say a team is going to take a flier right now even with half retained – and the Sharks only have one salary cap retention spot left.

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