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Noah Hanifin briefly (and vaguely) spoke about his Flames future after win over Oilers

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Photo credit:Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Middleton
1 month ago
After talking the talk, the Calgary Flames walked the walk.
Almost every Flames player that met with the media prior to the game against the Edmonton Oilers talked about the frustrations of struggling against a team they know they could beat. They needed to get the job done this time around if they still wanted a chance to prove anything in the standings and inch closer to the playoff race.
They did just that with a dominant 6-3 win thanks to tallies from Nazem Kadri (21), Martin Pospisil (6), Noah Hanifin (10), Dryden Hunt (1), Hanifin again (11), and Blake Coleman (23).
Hanifin, in particular, had a spectacular game finishing with those two goals, seven total shots on goal, four blocked shots, and a 57.41 expected goals for percentage (xGF%) at even strength, which was fourth on the team behind only Andrew Mangiapane, Kevin Rooney, and Hanifin’s defence partner, Chris Tanev.
Although Hanifin had a fantastic night individually, he commented post-game about the team and the struggles they’ve had to get over the hump and claim a victory over their biggest rivals.
“It was a great team effort tonight,” Hanifin said. “We needed to get a win against those guys. We’ve had a tough time playing them lately, and I thought we had a really good start to the game. We played with a lot of emotion and passion, and that’s something you’ve got to do when you play a team with that much skill. I thought it was a really complete game for us.”
Hanifin, whose name has been in trade rumours since the off-season, is playing some of the best hockey of his entire career. With those two goals, the 27-year-old defender hit a career-high, surpassing his previous total of 10 that he registered in both 2021-22 with the Flames and 2017-18 with the Carolina Hurricanes.
“I’m just trying to take it a day at a time and control what I can,” Hanifin said. “Each game is a different game, and I’m just trying to go out there and do everything I can to help the team get two points and win, and play good hockey at both ends of the ice. I feel confident and feel good, but more importantly, the team is playing really good hockey right now.”
Of course, the big talk of the town is the possibility of Hanifin being moved out of Calgary. There are a myriad of teams who are reportedly interested in him, and he was asked about those rumours post-game but didn’t have much to say (which isn’t much of a surprise).
“Like I said, it’s just taking it one day at a time and doing everything I can to help the team win,” Hanifin said. “We’re in a playoff hunt right now, and that’s the focus in the locker room. I’m a part of this team and that’s where my mindset is at right now, too. You know, each game helping us move forward to a playoff spot and playing the best hockey I can each night for the team.”
Hanifin also added that “whatever happens, happens” and continued to say he’s just trying to help the team win in whatever way he can, which, by the looks of it, he’s doing very well.
Whether or not he gets dealt before or on the March 8 trade deadline, Hanifin is boosting his value with his play this season. However, he’s also proving to general manager Craig Conroy and his front office that they would have a hard time finding a replacement because of how much he does well around the ice. The rumors will continue to pick up steam as the deadline moves closer, and the likelihood that Hanifin or the front office will say anything, including lots of detail about the potential outcomes, is low.
However, as long as Hanifin is still wearing a Flames uniform, he will be helping the team win games.
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