In the midst of an offseason that has Caniacs filling up their trade wish-lists Christmas-style, the Hurricanes finally made an impact move. On Draft Day 2, Carolina picked up Calgary defensemen Dougie Hamilton and Adam Fox and forward Micheal Ferland for Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin.
With that, it’s now time to bid our goodbyes to two players who gave their best on the ice for the Hurricanes.
Farewell, Elias Lindholm. The No. 5 pick in the 2013 Draft will join the No. 6 pick, Sean Monohan, in Calgary with the trade.
While not quite the goal scorer some Caniacs hoped he’d develop into, Lindholm was effective at getting pucks into scoring positions if he wasn’t trying to gain a scoring lane himself. His career-high 34 assists came in 2016-2017, and he suffered only a slight drop to 28 in 2017-2018.
And if it weren’t for the damn Jeff Skinner, he’d have one more goal to add to his 64 career goals with the Hurricanes.
One could argue Lindholm peaked in his final year with the Hurricanes, though he recorded one fewer point than in his 2016-2017 season. His shooting percentage jumped into the double digits (from 7.3 to 10.5) though he took virtually the same amount of shots (151 to 153).
What I’ll remember most about Elias Lindholm is that throughout the frustrating years of Canes hockey he experienced (and sometimes contributed to), he never appeared to be at ease. Lindholm was one of the most competitive guys on the team, and he didn’t have to start a ton of fights to show it, though he occasionally laid a big hit.
I remember when Carolina was down early to Vegas in January, Lindholm rushed off the bench and quickly laid a big hit on Nate Schmidt, then fought Jonathan Marchessault who swooped in to defend his teammate.
Here are the moments leading up to the fight. Lindholm laid a big (and clean) hit, then Marchessault went at him. pic.twitter.com/R5yhcWh98X— Brett Finger (@brettfinger) January 21, 2018
With that intensity in mind, we wish Elias Lindholm the best of scrums, shots and slick passes with Calgary.
Farewell, Noah Hanifin. Coincidentally, Hanifin was also a No. 5 Draft pick two years after Lindholm’s selection.
Hanifin was one of those rising young players that’s tough to see shipped out. He jumped from 22 to 32 points from his first to his third and final year with the Canes, though there are still some questions about his defense. His CF% (56.6) was third among all defensemen last year behind … look at that -- Calgary’s Mark Giordano (57.1) and … hey, Carolina’s new Dougie Hamilton (57.4)!
What I remember most about Hanifin, beside the fact that he was the Canes All-Star representative in the 2017-2018 season, were his late game theatrics last season. Though Hanifin wasn’t quite up to par in the All-Star skating competition, his quick feet made for exciting OT periods, including possibly the most exciting moment of the year.
After fighting Derek MacKenzie in the second period — one of only eight Canes fights on the season — Hanifin broke the 2-2 tie in OT with a last-second tap-in goal off a high-intensity, high-pressure sequence.
He brought a fiery demeanor to the ice (see: stick-thrashing over Dustin Brown penalty shot) that few other Canes did — Lindholm among that group — and it’s tough to part when he seems to be inching towards his talent ceiling.
So we wish Noah Hanifin the best of luck in Calgary, minus his matchups with Carolina.