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Flames sign Noah Hanifin to six-year, $4.95M AAV contract

The last remaining drama of the Flames’ offseason is over.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman has reported that the Flames have signed prize acquisition Noah Hanifin to a six-year deal, worth an annual average value of $4.95 million.

There is no word on any clauses in the deal at this time. It buys up two of the 21-year-old’s unrestricted years, and for a pretty reasonable price at that.

Hanifin came to Calgary from Carolina along with Elias Lindholm in exchange for Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland, and Adam Fox.

Having just completed his entry-level contract, the 2015 fifth overall pick was an RFA in need of re-signing. Early lineup projections suggest that Hanifin will fill in on the second pairing next to Travis Hamonic. He looks to build off a very solid season, and will get to work with the only NHL head coach he’s ever had in Bill Peters.

The major holdup was likely related to contract length, as there was uncertainty whether Hanifin would receive a long-term extension or a shorter bridge deal. Now that the dust has settled, it appears the longer-term deal is the way both parties would like to go.

The deal seems to be a pretty confident bet on Hanifin’s potential. There were thoughts that Hanifin might get a bridge deal given that he only has one year of top four action under his belt. Signing for six years and making him the second highest paid defender on the roster, however, is a pretty strong statement to make about what they think Hanifin is.

The Flames now have three players under contract through the 2023-24 season: Mikael Backlund, Lindholm, and Hanifin, at a combined cap hit of $15.15M.

The Flames have about $2.59M remaining in cap space, although they don’t have any players left to sign. The team plays its first preseason game in two weeks’ time.