The NHL is full of surprises, and every season some trade shakes the league to its core. It's hard to believe, but we're now roughly 13 percent through the 2023-24 season already. Time flies, doesn't it?
Despite the small number of games played, some trade rumors have carried over into the new season from the offseason, and a few have only been exacerbated by on-ice performances. The Calgary Flames have been one of the worst teams in the NHL so far, and Nikita Zadorov's colorful and incendiary comments on the team's situation might indicate that the sky will fall in Calgary sooner rather than later.
3. Carolina Hurricanes land Elias Lindholm from Calgary Flames
The Carolina Hurricanes were supposed to be one of the NHL's better teams once again this season, but it hasn't been all rainbows and flowers for them. Star defenseman Brett Pesce is injured, and the goalie tandem of Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta hasn't been cutting it at all. To help patch that up, they add a guy who can do a bit of everything.
Elias Lindholm returns where it all started for him at the NHL level. After being traded alongside Noah Hanifin for Dougie Hamilton in 2018, Lindholm blossomed into a star with Calgary, recording 20 goals for the first time and racking up 78 points in total. The 28-year-old is one of the game's best defensive centers and carries a $4.85 million cap hit heading into free agency this summer. Returning to Carolina gives him the best chance to win a Stanley Cup right now.
Alexander Nikishin is one of the hottest defense prospects in the world right now, but the Flames desperately need prospects that can and will make a difference as they start to rebuild. For the Hurricanes, you have to give in order to get, and they'll still have their draft picks to replace Nikishin in their pipeline.