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Report: Buffalo, Florida emerging as ‘primary suitors’ in trade for Noah Hanifin

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Photo credit:Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Gould
8 months ago
The Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers are emerging as “primary suitors” in trade discussions involving Calgary Flames defenceman Noah Hanifin, according to a new report published by The Athletic.
The article, jointly authored by Pierre LeBrun, Michael Russo, and Eric Duhatschek, features news tidbits on no fewer than five Flames players who could be traded this summer. If the Flames elect to go for a full teardown, all of Elias Lindholm, Tyler Toffoli, Mikael Backlund, Dan Vladar, and Hanifin could find themselves in new locales next year.
Hanifin is listed at No. 5 on The Athletic‘s trade board, making him the second-highest Flame behind only Tyler Toffoli (No. 4). Here’s what the writers had to say about Hanifin’s status with the 2023 NHL Draft just four days away:
Noah Hanifin (No. 5 on the trade board) could be the first of the group out the door. Multiple teams have shown interest. The primary suitors appear to be Buffalo and Florida, two teams in need of a defenseman who can give them 20 steady minutes per game. And it helps that the 26-year-old is on an attractive contract ($4.95 million).
The writers elaborated a bit on what might make Hanifin a fit for the Panthers, who have also been rumoured to be shopping forward Anthony Duclair. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek previously linked Duclair to the Flames on an episode of “32 Thoughts — The Podcast”.
Duclair, 27, collected four goals and 11 points in 20 games during the Panthers’ run to the 2023 Stanley Cup Final. The speedy winger missed much of the 2022–23 regular season while recovering from a torn Achilles.
Here’s the gist of it:
The Panthers don’t want to move Anthony Duclair (No. 12 on the trade board), but they’re trying to upgrade their blue line this summer, especially with Brandon Montour and Aaron Ekblad expected to miss the start of next season with injuries.
Florida can’t bury them on long-term injured reserve forever because both will be back at some point. So they have to free up space, and Duclair makes a reasonable $3 million. The Panthers would rather keep him, but there aren’t that many trade options beyond him. The Panthers are looking at many options on defense, but Hanifin makes a lot of sense if they can figure out a way to make it work.
Could the Flames be looking at more of a “hockey trade” with the Panthers involving Hanifin and Duclair? You’d think the Panthers would surely have to add a decent amount on their side of the deal to even the value.
Either way, it should be an interesting few weeks for the Flames as they look to reshape their roster after a disappointing season. Buckle up, folks.

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