By: Jack Gotsell | Follow me on Twitter @jackgotsell
Top Shelf Hockey posted a Youtube video with a blockbuster trade rumor between the Calgary Flames and the Boston Bruins. The main piece of the deal would be Norwood, Massachusetts, native Noah Hanifin. The video mentions that Jake DeBrusk and Brandon Carlo could be pieces that are involved. In a discussion we had with Doug MacLean of Sportsnet on the “Get The Puck Out” podcast, he mentioned the Bruins interest in Hanafin.
A trade of Hanifin and Sam Bennett for Carlo and DeBrusk was one of the possibilities that were mentioned. This deal would not make sense for Boston because Bennett is a massive downgrade from DeBrusk and Hanifin is only a slight upgrade from Carlo. As of right now, the Bruins’ right side is strong, and their left side is lacking, but if this deal went through, they would move their weakness to the right side, and they do not really get much better on defense.
Calgary is desperately looking to clear salary, and Bennett has not been a great fit in Calgary, which could be a big reason they are looking to move him. However, Bennett would be hard-pressed to find a spot in the Bruins lineup next season. Bennett is in the last year of his contract that has a cap hit of 2.55 million, and he had eight goals and four assists in 52 games last season. This doesn’t look very pleasant compared to DeBrusk’s 19 goals and 16 assists in 65 games.
Hanifin and Carlo are two completely different players and much more difficult to compare. Hanifin is an offensive defenseman that would look great on the left defensive side of the Bruins power play. Carlo is a shutdown defenseman that’s best playing days are likely still ahead of him. That being said, I would not be completely against a swap of Hanifin and Carlo straight up. The deal would give Calgary more cap space. On the other hand, the Bruins would get slightly better right now, and Carlo is on the last year of his contract and will likely only get paid slightly less than Hanifin’s 4.95 million a year with four years left on his deal.
BNG Senior Writer Mike Cratty brought a much better trade scenario than any listed above for the Bruins and the Flames. Debrusk and Jeremy Lauzon for Bennett and Hanifin would be more realistic. DeBrusk is a much better forward than Bennett, and Hanifin is a much better defenseman than Lauzon. Mike also mentioned that he’d like to see a draft pick thrown in there by Calgary, and that’s the only thing we disagree on here.
Lauzon had a solid regular season for the Bruins in 19 games. The six-foot-one defenseman will not put up big numbers, but he is an up-and-coming defensive defenseman that has shown he is ready to play at the NHL level. Lauzon is the same age as Hanifin at 23-years-old and DeBrusk is the same age as Bennett at 24-years-old. Hanifin had a much larger sample size last season but had a similar Corsi to Lauzon. Hanifin had a Corsi of 50.25 compared to Lauzon’s Corsi of 48.05.
It could also be the icing on the cake for Sweeney and the Bruins if he can use a potential deal with Calgary to clear John Moore off the books. The Bruins have a ton of young defensemen battling for spots, and Kevan Miller is also going to be returning to Boston for another season, and there is still the uncertainty of Zdeno Chara. A top four of Hanifin-McAvoy and Grzelcyk-Carlo is certainly a giant improvement, but the Bruins would still need to find a replacement for Jake DeBrusk. Mike Hoffman and Anthony Duclair are still on the market.