Detroit Red Wings: 5 forwards to pursue via trade ahead of the NHL Draft

(Photo by Derek Cain/Getty Images)
(Photo by Derek Cain/Getty Images) /
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Tyler Toffoli, Elias Lindholm, Detroit Red Wings, Red Wings
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Two Flames forwards the Detroit Red Wings need to consider adding via trade.

On Thursday, it was reported that the Calgary Flames will make Tyler Toffoli available. There is apparently something in the water in Calgary; no one seems to want to play there these days. Last year it was Matthew Tkachuk who made it clear that he wouldn’t sign an extension with the Flames; now, the same goes for Toffoli.

The same goes for three of Calgary’s top players entering the final year of their current contract. Defenseman Noah Hanifin has made it clear he won’t sign an extension and forwards Mikael Backlund and Elias Lindholm are reportedly favoring not signing an extension beyond this upcoming season.

Lindholm, 28, a former first-round selection ( No. 5) of the Carolina Hurricanes, has blossomed in a top-two center role over the past few seasons with the Flames. Lindholm scored 40 goals and 82 points a year ago and followed it up with 22 goals and 64 points in 80 games this past season. The veteran center has amassed 139 goals and 325 points in 369 games over the past five seasons. In each of the past two years, Lindholm maintained a Corsi For Percentage of 56.0 or better during even-strength play.

The Swedish-born center could be a perfect compliment to Dylan Larkin, but as he heads into the final year of his current deal that averages $4.85 million per season, he will be looking for a Larkin-like extension next summer. The Detroit Red Wings won’t part with the prospects and picks needed to land a player like Lindholm and not extend him. The 28-year-old fills a glaring need for the Red Wings, who desperately need to find a top-two center, but odds are Yzerman will prefer to seek a younger option.

The Detroit Red Wings should at least kick the tires on winger Tyler Toffoli. Toffoli brings a lot of energy to the lineup and can be a Tyler Bertuzzi-like replacement in Detroit’s top six. The downside, Toffoli is 31 years old. Toffoli is coming off a career year in Calgary, where he recorded 34 goals and 73 points. If Yzerman had been reluctant to extend Bertuzzi ahead of the trade deadline, I don’t see Toffoli fitting Detroit’s current timeline. That doesn’t mean the idea shouldn’t be explored.

Toffoli is entering the final year of a four-year, $17 million contract. He’s a Scarborough, Ont. native, which is just a few hours down Highway 401; that might be taken into consideration as Toffoli mulls over his options over the next year. In addition to his stellar point totals last season, Toffoli maintained a tremendous Corsi For Percentage of 58.7 and a Relative Corsi For of 2.1 during even-strength situations.