Noah Hanifin of the Calgary Flames is from Norwood, MA and Boston Bruins general manager, Don Sweeney may be interested in acquiring him. According to Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now, Sweeney may get a second chance to add Hanifin to his roster. Back during the 2015 NHL Draft, there were a lot of rumours that the Bruins were collecting draft picks (three in each of the first two rounds) to work out a package to move up and draft Boston-native Noah Hanifin. It never happened. Could a Calgary Flames – Boston Bruins trade proposal be in the works?
Blockbuster Trade Proposal Involving Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins
There’s no doubt that Hanifin would love to play in his hometown of Boston and it could happen. He carries a reasonable $4.95 million contract through the 2023-24 season. He also has a no-movement/trade clause that kicks in for the last two seasons of the deal. The 23-year-old defenceman stands 6′-3″, 215 pounds and was the fifth overall selection of the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2015 NHL Draft. He was traded to the Flames in the major deal on June 23, 2018, where the Flames got centre Elias Lindholm and defenceman Noah Hanifin. In return, the Hurricanes got defenceman Dougie Hamilton, winger Micheal Ferland, prospect Adam Fox.
Hanifin has accumulated 28 goals and 110 assists in 389 NHL games. He has added 392 blocks and 374 hits to his resume. He is strong on the power play with six tallies and 29 helpers. His possession stats are also appealing with a Corsi For of 52.3 and a relative Corsi of 0.0. He has averaged 0.35 points per game in his five-year NHL career.
The Next Part of the Flames Bruins Trade Proposal
With Hanifin going back home, that means young defenceman Brandon Carlo would be heading to Calgary. He is turning 24 years old later this month. Carlo stands 6′-5″, 212 pounds. He earns $2.85 million with his contract expiring after next season. In 297 games he has tallied 12 goals and 39 assists for 51 total points. His Corsi For is at 51.8 and his Relative Corsi is -1.8. Carlo’s physicality is apparent with his 363 blocks and 436 hits (1.47 per game). His specialty would be defence since he only averages about half of the offensive production of Hanifin with 0.17 points per game. The key here is he is a right-hand shot.
With the possibility of restricted free agent Travis Hamonic moving on with his $3.86 million contract that leaves a spot on the right defence for Carlo to fill. Carlo comes in at a much cheaper price than Hamonic. The Flames did sign Chris Tanev to a four-year $18 million deal last month. Carlo’s physical game could help the Flames defence even more. They also added Jacob Markstrom in net to solidify their defence.
The Rest of the Deal
To make any deal move to fruition, salary cap restrictions always play a role. The Bruins currently have $6.67 million in cap space. The Flames have just over $1 million. If the Flames trade Sam Bennett ($2.55M) and Hanifin ($4.95M) they would free up $7.5 million. If the Bruins trade Brandon Carlo ($2.85M) and DeBrusk (projected $4M) that means they free up $6.85 million. The difference is just $650,000 in salaries. That falls well even for Calgary who has less cap space to use.
How This Proposed Trade Helps The Flames
The Flames have made some dramatic roster upgrades and have spent most of their cap space. This deal would eliminate the contract of Hanifin which while reasonable, is still way more than what Carlo is currently earning or may earn in a new deal. The Flames have been disappointed in the lack of progression of Sam Bennett and this change could spark his game to new heights. Adding DeBrusk could be just what the Flames needs on their frontline. He is a tough competitor and has some good upside.
Sam Bennett has a $2.55 million deal through next season. The 6′-1″, 195 pound forward was the fourth overall pick of the Calgary Flames back in 2014. He has collected 58 goals and 63 assists in 332 games. Bennett too can be a physical player adding 1.65 hits per game. He has tallied 12 power-play goals and just hasn’t performed to expectations. A change of scenery would do him well.
Jake DeBrusk is still an unsigned restricted free agent, so the Bruins would need to trade his rights to Calgary. He is seeking a $5 million contract, but it may be closer to $4 million that he could get. The upside of DeBrusk is his offensive game. He has averaged 0.59 points a game and 0.31 goals a game. The Flames ranked 20th in goals scored last season with a 2.91 goals per game average. DeBrusk can help increase that average with his offensive and edgy play on the frontline.
How This Proposed Trade Helps the Bruins
Since the Bruins lost Torey Krug to free agency when he signed with the St. Louis Blues with a seven-year $45.5 million contract, the Bruins need a replacement. Hanifin fits that role as if it were made for him. Losing Carlo may hurt a bit, but they need to jump on getting Hanifin at such a reasonable price. The additional unknown factor is will Zdeno Chara be back or not? Having the insurance of Hanifin on the blueline will be reassuring. Sam Bennett may be a gamble, but he is still only 24 years old and can take his game upward.
The Bruins seem tight with handing out contracts, but this deal is only a net difference of $650,000. They would still have about $6 million to add some replacements for injured Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, who will both be out recovering from surgeries for four-five months.
It would seem that this Flames – Bruins trade proposal would benefit both teams, in the end. That is all that any trade is supposed to do. Both teams will benefit from it and the salary cap is satisfied, which can be a roadblock to any deal happening. Calgary solidifies their defence by adding big Carlo who would a great defender for them. Hanifin gets to play near where he grew up and may have imagined himself playing in a Bruins’ uniform. Both Bennett and DeBrusk get a new start with a new team. That could add to their production and help their new team.
Yet, as with any trade, things must fall into place just right for it to happen.
Will this trade happen?