Red Wings’ 2023 Offseason Trade Targets: Calgary Flames

The Hockey Writers

Welcome to The Hockey Writers’ 2023 Offseason Trade Targets series for the Detroit Red Wings. During it, we will be looking at a handful of players from each NHL team who the Red Wings should consider pursuing this summer.

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In this latest episode of the series, we will be looking at the Calgary Flames. Heading into the 2022-23 season, the Flames were expected to be one of the top clubs in the Western Conference. However, they have been far from that, as they struggled to find consistency this year have officially missed the playoffs. Thus, we should expect some notable changes from them, and general manager (GM) Steve Yzerman should take advantage of it. Let’s now go over three specific players Detroit should target.

Matthew Phillips

The Red Wings have a handful of pending unrestricted free-agent (UFA) forwards like Pius Suter, Adam Erne, and Alex Chiasson. As a result, Yzerman should be looking to add at least one forward to the Red Wings’ roster this offseason. When looking at options from the Flames, one player who stands out is Matthew Phillips.

Matthew Phillips Calgary Flames
Matthew Phillips, Calgary Flames (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)

Phillips is a player who could use a change of scenery. The 25-year-old thrived this season with the Calgary Wranglers of the American Hockey League (AHL), as he had 36 goals and 75 points in 63 games. Yet, even with his strong offensive production in the AHL and the Flames’ subpar scoring depth, they barely gave him any chances to play in the NHL this year. As a result, the Flames could finally move on from the Calgary native and give him an opportunity for consistent NHL minutes elsewhere.

With the Red Wings having a handful of pending UFA bottom-six forwards, they could add Phillips as a possible third-line option. It would likely not cost the Red Wings anything more than a fourth-round pick, and he has the potential to become a solid secondary scorer in the NHL. Thus, where’s the harm in taking a chance on him?

Tyler Toffoli

The Red Wings should be looking to improve their top six this summer. It is truthfully a necessity if they hope to take that next step and become a playoff team next year. With the Flames missing the playoffs and Tyler Toffoli entering the final season of his contract, they could be open to the prospect of moving him. As a result, Yzerman would be wise to call the Flames about him.

Related: Red Wings’ 2023 Offseason Trade Targets: Winnipeg Jets

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In what has been a bad year for the Flames, Toffoli has put up the best season of his 11-year career. In 81 games, he has set new career highs with 34 goals, 39 assists, and 73 points. With numbers like these, there is no question that he would be a great fit on their top line with Dylan Larkin and Dominik Kubalik. With that, his strong net-front presence ability would surely allow him to receive power-play time as well.

Toffoli also carries an affordable $4.25 million cap hit, so that naturally makes him a more appealing trade target. For the Red Wings to acquire him, they would likely need to part ways with the Boston Bruins’ 2024 first-round pick they received in the Tyler Bertuzzi trade. With that, their 2024 third-round pick and a prospect like Dmitri Buchelikov would need to be added to the deal to help make it go through.

Elias Lindholm

Elias Lindholm is another quality trade target for Yzerman to consider. Like Toffoli, he is entering the final year of his contract and if he is not open to signing an extension, he could be on the move this offseason. The 28-year-old is simply too valuable of an asset for the Flames to potentially lose for nothing.

Elias Lindholm Calgary Flames
Elias Lindholm, Calgary Flames (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Lindholm has not had as strong of a season as Toffoli this year, as he has 22 goals and 64 points in 79 games. However, while performing at his best, as he can produce at a point-per-game pace (82 points in 82 games during the 2021-22 season) while also playing an incredibly strong defensive game. The Red Wings could use a two-way center like him in their top six and on both of their special team units. When looking at a specific spot for him in their lineup, he would be a perfect candidate for the Red Wings’ 2C role.

Related: 4 Red Wings Who Won’t Be Back Next Season

Lindholm has a $4.85 million cap hit, which is far lower than what he is expected to make on his next deal. As a result, his trade value is naturally higher due to his affordable cap hit, and the Flames would want a lot for him because of it. When thinking of a specific trade offer for him, the Red Wings would likely need to part ways with their 2024 first-round pick (top-14 protected), notable prospect Carter Mazur, and one of their 2023 second-round picks.

Adding one of Lindholm or Toffoli would be very big for the Red Wings, but Phillips also has the potential to be a solid consolation prize. We will now need to wait and see if the Red Wings and Flames strike a deal this summer from here.

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