Your NHL trade proposals: Analyzing fun fan ideas on who could go where

The Matthew Tkachuk trade was so exciting because few times do we see trades of that caliber in the NHL. So, did it spark some creativity?

We asked for your best trade proposals and picked a handful to analyze — well, some of the most fun proposals. Not all pitches are good, but neither are all NHL trades. 

To help in our analysis, Prashanth Iyer helped us quantify the exchange in value with the trade machine. For draft picks that didn’t include a year, we assumed 2023 to put a value on all assets on the move. 

Let’s use a Patrick Kane deal as an example to show how this all works. One offering sent Kane at 50 percent salary retention to the Rangers in exchange for Nils Lundkvist, a first-rounder and two spare parts that are barely NHL-caliber in Julien Gauthier and Libor Hajek. The trade machine laughed at the deal because Chicago’s takeaway would be less than half of New York’s. 

Get it? Let’s go.

 

To Detroit: Oliver Kylington
To Calgary: Filip Zadina

The Red Wings did bulk up their defense this summer, but the real question when looking at that group of eight NHL-caliber defensemen is how many are truly top-four worthy? That’s what adds some intrigue here. 

If Detroit could bring in a player like Kylington, whose timeline should match up somewhat well with theirs, it would allow management to flip lesser defenders for some depth forward adds. His skill set would click well in Detroit, too. The focus there this summer has been strengthening play in their own zone, but it still helps to have blueliners who can break the puck out of their own end and move it up the ice. The only question is how well Kylington would adapt to a team with a lot less defensive structure than Calgary, and if his game would slide at all without the shutdown capabilities of his mainstay partner of this past season, Chris Tanev. 

This could make sense for the Flames as well now that MacKenzie Weegar is in the fold. Calgary has five top-four caliber defensemen and could be inclined to move one for forward help. The advantage from this trade is the years Zadina still has under team control, plus the cap space he’ll absorb over the next few years compared to Kylington. That’s what makes Calgary the winner here, by the trade machine. 

So even though there are ways to project Calgary as the winner in this circumstance, it’s possible the Flames want more assurance with a more established forward in exchange for one of their defenders. 

 

To Calgary: Timo Meier
To San Jose: Noah Hanifin, 2023 first-round pick

For Calgary to get that assurance up front, it could take more than Kylington despite his potential and progress this past season. The tricky part of moving on from a player like Hanifin, as pitched here, means committing to the rest of those top-four defenders. And one of them, Weegar, only has a year left on his contract until unrestricted free agency so Calgary may want to be sure he’s sticking around long term first. Hanifin, on the other hand, has two years left. The lefty also is a few years younger. 

But for a forward like Timo Meier, it could be a consideration. Again, the Flames would probably want some security if Meier were the trade target, seeing as he’s also an unrestricted free agent in a year. If there could be more contract certainty, it wouldn’t hurt Calgary to add a frequent shooter like Meier into the mix — he’d pair up well with a passer like Huberdeau. The problem is that the cost of acquisition (Hanifin and a first) is too great, unless there’s a really cost-effective extension in there. A mid-round pick plus the defender would be more balanced. 

Author: Lucy Green