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Rumour Report: The Flames and Devils engaged in trade talks for Jacob Markström, the latest on Chris Tanev and Noah Hanifin, and more!

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Brennan Delaney
1 month ago
With less than a month until the National Hockey League trade deadline, rumours are starting to pick up.
As per usual, there are plenty of rumours surrounding the Calgary Flames. The Flames have two pending unrestricted free agents who could be traded at this season’s deadline – Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev. On top of that, netminder Jacob Markström’s name has popped up in recent times, as it looks like a trade involving the 34-year-old netminder seems plausible.
On Monday, Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek released the newest 32 Thoughts Podcast with a lot of Flames rumours regarding those three players as well as former Flame, Elias Lindholm.
Let’s dig in.

The fallout from the Elias Lindholm trade

As you may know, the Flames traded Lindholm to the Vancouver Canucks at the end of January, getting a first-round pick, a conditional fourth-round pick, along with prospects Hunter Brzustewicz and Joni Jurmo, as well as Andrei Kuzmenko.
On the podcast, Friedman had this to say: “Someone did tell me, and they weren’t ripping Lindholm as a person, but they were kind of saying that [Lindholm] was in a funk all year… Lindholm this year he was uncomfortable all year. Last time the Flames and Lindholm looked at [a contract], they were over a million apart. He was struggling, it was weighing on him, and he was miserable. [Vancouver] is a better situation for him.”
Lindholm has already found success with the Canucks, scoring two goals in his first game, having played four games already. The same can be said for Kuzmenko, who also has two goals in three Flames’ games since the trade, with the team winning all three games.
Friedman later added that there is less stress in the Flames dressing room, and the atmosphere is better.  The other candidates to be traded are just playing through it or aren’t bothered by the trade rumours. Well, except for maybe one player.

The latest on Chris Tanev

During the podcast, Friedman mentioned that he’s heard that right-shot defenceman Tanev is “being driven crazy by the rumours”, but also mentioned that he’s the type of guy to just play through it.
Regarding Tanev, Friedman lists both the Dallas Stars and the Toronto Maple Leafs as being interested in the 34-year-old, but surely there are other teams as well. The Flames know for sure they can get a second-round pick, but are holding on to see if they can get a first.
Friedman and Marek believe it’s a cat and mouse game. Despite the fact that Tanev has only missed 20 games in his four seasons with the team, other teams are concerned that his playing style tends to injure players, and Marek and Friedman believe that the Flames don’t want to wait too long, but want a better return.

The latest on Noah Hanifin

There wasn’t much said about Hanifin on the podcast, other than that the interest is starting to grow for the 27-year-old left-shot defenceman.
This season, Hanifin has played 52 games and has nine goals and 20 assists for 29 points. He’s on pace for a career-high 14 goals, but is on pace to fall shy of his career-high 48 points he set in 2021-22, as he is pacing to reach 45 points.
On top of that, Hanifin plays the most minutes and largest percentage of ice time against elite players for the Flames, meaning he is crucial both offensively and defensively.
It’s believed that Hanifin will inform the Flames of whether or not he plans to re-sign in the near future. If he wishes to play elsewhere starting in the 2024-25 season, it seems almost inevitable that the Flames will trade him, where they’ll likely get a good return for the young defenceman in his prime.

The latest on Jacob Markström

This is the meat and potatoes of the article. During Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday evening, Friedman reported that the Flames and New Jersey Devils had “legitimate conversations” regarding Markström. Friedman also pointed out that he didn’t know if the Flames brought it to Markström, who has the final say whether he is traded and to which team he is traded to due to a no-move clause.
On Hockey Night in Canada, Friedman said that the package was an issue, but later clarified on 32 Thoughts that they were closer to agreeing on a package than they were the retention. Friedman said that the trade was “stopped in its tracks”, and that it’s “difficult to do”. On the podcast, he said he wasn’t sure whether or not a move will get done.
It’s also worth noting that the Flames have only retained once, when they traded David Rittich to the Toronto Maple Leafs back at the 2021 deadline. At the time, he was a soon-to-be unrestricted free agent, whereas Markström has a $6 million cap hit until the end of the 2025-26 season. Meaning that if the Flames trade Markström, whatever amount they retain will count towards their cap hit next season.
Marek and Friedman believe that the two teams are a perfect fit and could be in line for a blockbuster deal, as the Devils probably won’t make the playoffs this season and wish to add players with term. Friedman also reported that the Devils are looking elsewhere to fix their goaltending woes.
As we approach the trade deadline, there’s no doubt that the hot stove will pick up. Despite being sellers at this season’s deadline, the Flames are still in the thick of the playoff race due to a three-game win streak. If they do trade Tanev and Hanifin, don’t be surprised if they try and look for NHL-ready players.
Thanks for reading! You can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D.

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