There has been no shortage of trade speculation coming from Calgary this season. Nikita Zadorov and Elias Lindholm have already been moved while Chris Tanev, Noah Hanifin, and Jacob Markstrom are all in the rumor mill as well. But those aren’t the only players teams are calling about as ESPN’s Kevin Weekes reports (Twitter link) that the Flames are also receiving trade interest in defenseman Rasmus Andersson.
The 27-year-old has become a top-pairing player in recent seasons after putting up 50 points in 2021-22 and 49 points in 2022-23 while logging big minutes. This year, Andersson’s numbers are down a bit as he has 28 points through 51 games so far but is averaging a little over 24 minutes a night and is playing in all situations. With 122 blocks, he’s only 14 shy of his career-high on that front as well.
On top of that, Andersson has a contract that certainly has been well below market value as of late. He’s signed through the 2025-26 campaign with a $4.5MM cap hit, a price point that’s more commensurate with a second-pairing player than a top-pairing one. Getting someone with that type of surplus value would make a lot of sense for many teams.
Of course, holding onto a player like that also makes sense for Calgary. GM Craig Conroy indicated earlier this week that he doesn’t intend for the Flames to go into a full-scale rebuild. It’s one thing to move players on expiring contracts as they’ve done twice so far and could do twice more with Tanev and Hanifin where you risk losing the player for free in free agency but it’s another to move a controllable key asset like Andersson.
Accordingly, it would be surprising to see Conroy move Andersson in the three weeks before the March 8th trade deadline unless the return was simply too good to pass up on. However, that won’t stop teams from inquiring in the hopes that they can come up with an offer that would make Calgary part with one of its top blueliners.