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Trade Bait in Calgary

Will the Flames keep their guys around or will we see more get dealt before the deadline?

It’s no secret that the last two seasons haven’t been up to par in Calgary. Now, the team may be facing the repercussions of their mediocrity as trade rumors continue to swirl around the organization. Even after dealing Elias Lindholm to the Canucks right before the All-Star game, three more names are continuing to come up in trade talks. While the Flames could still end up keeping everyone intact for a second-half run, there’s a great chance that one or more of Jacob Markstrom, Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev could be gone before the deadline on March 8th. With many teams probably interested in all three, we’re looking at what each guy could bring to a team trying to make a run in a few months.

Jacob Markstrom

The Flames’ goaltender is currently 34 years old with two more years on a $6 million deal, but his play this season has been good enough to garner the interest of a few teams across the league. One of those that should be looking into him is New Jersey. The Devils have gone through terrible injury luck, but if they can get healthy for the home stretch this year, a better goaltender could turn them into serious contenders and a team that no one would want to see in the first round. All three of New Jersey’s goalies have played at least ten games this year and none of them have a GAA below 3.00 or a save percentage better than .906. Clearly, Markstrom could be a big help in the crease.  

Noah Hanifin

Hanifin is in the last year of his deal and the prime of his career, but it doesn’t mean a team wouldn’t take a chance on him as a rental piece this season. Coming in with a very affordable $4.95M salary, Hanifin could be a real boost for any team looking to get a little deeper on the back end. He’s no Erik Karlsson, but Hanifin has proven he can also chip in offensively this season, putting up 29 points in 53 games. It’s a mystery as to whether he’ll want to sign with Calgary in the offseason anyways, so if the offer is right, the Flames should pounce on the opportunity. 

One team that could seriously use him is Tampa Bay. With Mikhail Sergachev most likely out for the year now, the Bolts will need some help on defence if they’re serious about taking yet another run at Lord Stanley. Victor Hedman will always be a factor, but as he ages, the help around him needs to keep improving. 

Chris Tanev

Teams with playoff aspirations should certainly be calling Calgary about Chris Tanev. He’s a veteran guy that plays the game the right way and has no issue playing defence in the spotlight of Canadian markets. He’s also a player that you’d happily rent for the remainder of the season before letting go back to free agency in the summer. Tanev won’t put up a ton of points, but his strong defensive play is the reason he still plays 20:00 minutes a game and has a plus/minus of +10. 

Among the teams that should be looking to grab him for the home stretch is Toronto. The Leafs are once again a little weak on the blueline, but with Tanev fitting in somewhere in the middle of the lineup, they’ll immediately be stronger defensively. Toronto’s cap situation won’t make a move like this easy, but it must be under consideration right now. 

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