The Carolina Hurricanes have made their first big trade, reportedly sending Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin to the Calgary Flames in exchange for Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland and Adam Fox. The deal was officially announced on the draft floor.
Luke DeCock of the Raleigh News & Observer tweets that both Hanifin and Lindholm had recently rejected contract offers from the Hurricanes, as both are scheduled to be restricted free agents this summer. Both will be reunited with Bill Peters, who resigned as coach of the Hurricanes earlier this spring to take a job in Calgary. They also will change the look of the Flames significantly, adding some more young talent to a team that already had Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Matthew Tkachuk leading the way.
It’s not the first time Hamilton has been involved in a blockbuster deal. The pick that was used to select him by the Boston Bruins was one sent to them by the Toronto Maple Leafs for Phil Kessel, and Hamilton himself was dealt to Calgary just a few years later. He’ll be on his third team already despite just turning 25 last week, and could represent the best individual player in the deal. He’s coming off a 17-goal campaign with the Flames, and will bring another exceptional defender to the Hurricanes.
Ferland and Fox too can’t be overlooked. The former has proven that he can handle playing alongside star talent, sliding in beside Monahan and Gaudreau for large stints. That resulted in a 21-goal season in 2017-18, while bringing his normal physical style to the ice. Fox is a top defensive prospect in his own right that is headed back to Harvard for his junior season, but could jump directly to the NHL after his NCAA season. He’ll join some other impressive defense prospects in Carolina, including Haydn Fleury and Jake Bean.
Speculation immediately exploded around Justin Faulk, another right-handed puck-moving defenseman that now appears redundant for the Hurricanes. With Hamilton in the fold, Faulk could be moved in the next few days to bring in even more talent up front or in goal for Carolina. Faulk has just one season left on his current contract, and according to Bob McKenzie of TSN has a no-trade clause that kicks in on July 1st.