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Calgary Flames expected to get clarity on Noah Hanifin’s future ‘in the coming days’
By Ryan Pike19 days ago
The Calgary Flames began Craig Conroy’s tenure as general manager with seven potential unrestricted free agents in the summer of 2024. Since then, Conroy’s re-signed one of them and made three significant trades. We should get some clarity on the status of the largest remaining domino, defenceman Noah Hanifin, soon, according to Chris Johnston on Tuesday’s edition of TSN’s Insider Trading.
Well the winds have certainly shifted course more than once through this year, where it looks like maybe at some points the Flames are going to re-sign Hanifin, others that they were going to look to trade him ahead of March 8 as a pending UFA. And I would expect in the coming days we will get some sort of idea of where it’s headed definitively, and that’s because Hanifin’s agents from CAA Sports are expected to have a conversation with Flames management where they present their final decision, where there’s something to be decided upon and that will ultimately propel this thing forward. And what we don’t know exactly which way that will go, I think it’s safe to say that if Calgary is not able to reach some kind of contract extension with Hanifin, they will use the time between now and March 8 to find a suitor, somewhere to trade him, and so we’ll keep our eyes on that.
Hanifin, 27, joined the Flames at the 2018 NHL Draft via a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes – Elias Lindholm also came to Calgary in that transaction. He’s currently in the sixth and final season of a contract that counts $4.95 million against the salary cap. He’s been a fixture in the team’s top two pairings for virtually his entire tenure, typically playing in every game situation.
The Flames and Hanifin have reportedly been chatting about contracts for much of the year – they paused for a bit after the Flames had a rough start in October, but things have picked up again in recent weeks – but they have yet to cement anything beyond this season. Several insiders reported that Hanifin and the Flames had nearly agreed to a deal worth close to $60 million before talks were paused. Originally from the Boston area, there was some chatter over the 2023 off-season that he may prefer to play closer to home.
Is Hanifin a good hockey player? Heck yes. Is he worth a significant amount of money? Sure! Should the Flames throw crazy amounts of money at him? Reasonable people can disagree. The Flames’ blueline group is stronger with him than without him, especially their top two pairings, but at some point the price tag could become prohibitive.
And the Flames have to attempt to balance maintaining some competitiveness during their retool-on-the-fly with the haul of assets they would likely get from trading Hanifin this spring.
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