NHL Trade: Thoughts from the media on the Nikita Zadarov trade to the Canucks

The Calgary Flames will get the better of the 5th round draft picks that the Chicago Blackhawks own in the 2024 draft, and a 2026 3rd round pick from the Vancouver Canucks for defenseman Nikita Zadorov.

Eric Francis: Flames GM Craig Conroy: “Our hockey operations group works every day to find opportunities that make our team better today and for the future. This trade provides us with important draft assets, cap space and the opportunity for another one of our young prospects to prove himself in the NHL.”

Thoughts from the media on the trade 

Cap Friendly: The Flames after the trade.

LTIR Relief: $3.8M
LTIR Used: -$1.3M
LTIR Cap Space: $5.1M

Cap Friendly: “This is a perfect example of why you never want to use LTIR unless you have to.

#Flames are stuck in LTI-mode despite no longer needing it from a cap space perspective.

They are therefore accruing less cap space than they would be if Rooney & Kylington were on regular IR, and can only exit it when both are healthy.”

Eric Francis: “Conroy has said from Day 1 he doesn’t want anyone here who doesn’t want to be here. However, with Zadorov’s agent asking for a trade so publicly, the GM had to wait for a period before trading him. People were delusional to think a 5th dman would net the Flames a first rounder. Keep in mind, he was acquired from Chicago for a third rounder. While he was popular, Zadorov’s departure opens up another roster spot for a promising young blue liner, as well as cap space to allow even more movement between the Flames and the Wranglers. This proves Conroy is taking the long term view, w the 5th round pick this summer and the 3rd rounder in 2026. People will be disappointed in the return, but that’s the market for renting a third pair dman. A delicious sidebar is the fact Zadorov’s Canucks are in town Saturday to play his former team. Get your popcorn ready.”

Kevin Weekes: “Efficient Cap management by the @Canucks in the Trade acquisition of Zadorov. I’m told the @MapleLeafs needed the @NHLFlames to retain salary during their pursuit of Zadorov to make it work on their end.”

David Pagnotta: “Allvin said yesterday his extra cap space could be used to help other areas. Took less than 24 hours to pull this off. And honestly, surprised the acquisition cost wasn’t higher.”

Harman Dayal:  “Nikita Zadorov honestly cost less than I thought. At that price, it’s a handy acquisition for the #Canucks

Thomas Drance: “Sometimes it’s this simple: Nikita Zadorov is a big upgrade for Vancouver on the back-end, but more than that, he’s extremely fun to watch play hockey. #Canucks

Mike Zeisberger: “Good job by #Canucks. Tocchet’s type of player. Offers physicality vs division rival #VegasBorn, defending #StanleyCup champions. A 3rd & 5th not an unreasonable price.”

Paul Bissonnette: “Holy effin shit. Canucks get tougher and deeper on the back end. They could be one piece away at the deadline to being cup champs. Health obviously a huge factor. The West has turned into a cage match at the top. This season has been unbelievable. I thought Z was Toronto’s guy.”

Satiar Shah: “Canucks took advantage of two desperate situations to clear space and get legitimate help on the blue line for a cut rate price, savvy management.”

David Johnson: “A bit of an underwhelming return for the Flames however they did not retain any salary which is big. They may/will need to trade Lindholm, Hanifin and Tanev and you can only retain on 3 contracts. They can now retain salary on those three to increase their return.”

  • David Johnson: “There just aren’t many contending teams that can take on salary so being able to retain salary on the better 3 of their 4 big UFA’s will be more valuable. Salary cap space is tight and if you have it it is extremely valuable.”