Photo credit:Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Noah Hanifin linked to Arizona Coyotes in 32 Thoughts (and an extension could be part of a trade)
3 months ago
Per Elliotte Friedman’s most recent 32 Thoughts column, he mentioned Noah Hanifin’s name in regard to a couple of other teams around the Western Conference: the San Jose Sharks and the Arizona Coyotes, mentioning that the Sharks may have made a call to Calgary Flames general manager Craig Conroy about trading for the defenseman, and an interesting fit would be in Arizona.
Hanifin has had a solid start to the season on the Flames backend, at least offensively. He’s leading all the defencemen in points and is tied for fourth overall on the team in scoring. To add fuel to the fire, he’s seventh on the team in 5v5 expected goals for percentage (xGF%) at 50.6, fifth on the team in goals above replacement (GAR) at 0.6, and second in expected goals above replacement (xGAR) at 2.1.
The Sharks not being a fit for Hanifin is not really a surprise, given their current state. However, the Coyotes could be an interesting fit, especially given the kind of personnel they have on the left side of the defense. Hanifin would be an instant upgrade to their defence core, and if they can keep this kind of performance up (as Friedman points out, they have the second-highest goal differential in the Central Division), then they might be looking for a player like Hanifin to help build that defence around.
Friedman added an interesting note: “As this situation plays out, I am curious to see if an extension becomes part of the conversation. It benefits Hanifin, and benefits the Flames in any return.” We saw the Flames maximize their trade return with Matthew Tkachuk by helping facilitate an extension with the Florida Panthers during the 2022 off-season. If they can find a suitable landing spot for Hanifin, helping hammer out an extension for the blueliner would similarly help the Flames get the most they can out of Hanifin as a trade asset.
No matter what the Flames management team thinks is the best play, they will take their time with this decision, as Hanifin has been a major part of the Flames back-end since coming to the team. He’s a catalyst of the offence on a team that is having trouble in that department, and depending on how the next few weeks shake out, we could see their plan grow more transparent.
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