Seravalli talks Noah Hanifin’s ‘preferred destination’ and what it might take to get him there

Photo credit:Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Middleton
4 months ago
Trade rumours continue to fly around the Calgary Flames sphere, with Chris Tanev, Jacob Markstrom, and Noah Hanifin all having their names thrown into the mix.

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On Tuesday’s edition of FlamesNation’s Barn Burner, Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli joined the show to talk about some of these names, with a long conversation taking place about Hanifin, arguably the most intriguing piece out of those names, and where he might end up and, most importantly, where he wants to end up.
“Teams that have been in the mix on Hanifin believe that he has indicated either to the Flames or elsewhere that at some point, whether it’s now or this summer, his preferred destination is the Tampa Bay Lightning,” Seravalli said.
The Lightning are an interesting team that the Flames could potentially make a deal with, but as Seravalli said only moments later, the kind of pieces that the Lightning have may not be enough to pry Hanifin away from general manager Craig Conroy.
“I can’t see them being a team that has the assets right now to pull off a deal like that, but I think it’s certainly something to monitor and watch because I think that’s the toughest part that Craig Conroy is dealing with right now,” Seravalli said. “This is something that should bring you a massive return, but if there’s only potentially a couple of teams involved or maybe even one as a preferred destination, how tough will that be to pull off and get that significant return?”
And just to add some context, Seravalli brought up some teams that are still in the mix and one team that we can likely rule out of the sweepstakes for the left-handed defenceman.
“I think we can formally rule out the Toronto Maple Leafs as a team that’s in on Hanifin,” Seravalli said. “You’re talking Tampa, the Islanders, the Devils, the Wings, and a wild card would be the Golden Knights.”
There are plenty of different factors that apply themselves in this scenario, plenty of which Frank detailed on the Barn Burner show. First, the Lightning are missing lots of assets that could be useful to the Flames in a potential deal, and when looking over the teams that might still be in the mix as well, they’re missing assets too. At the very least, Tampa has a prospect in Isaac Howard that could be intriguing to Conroy and his staff, but considering his performance in college with Michigan State University this season and at the World Junior Championships with Team USA, it’s hard to know if Julien Brisebois would even want to give him up.
Additionally, Ryan Pinder brought this up on the show as well, but there’s the fact that if Howard gets traded to Calgary and doesn’t want to play for the Flames, he could take the college free agency route, and then Conroy is out a stud prospect in a trade that he was likely the centrepiece.
The Lightning are in a perfect position to add Hanifin from a roster standpoint, especially with Mikhail Sergachev out for the foreseeable future. He would be able to line up right behind Victor Hedman, likely on a pair with Erik Cernak. However, in this scenario, if Hanifin is granted the wish to go where he reportedly wants to go, it could end up being a less-than-optimal return for the Flames, which are the first priority here. A first-round pick in 2026 (Tampa’s next available first-rounder) is not going to cut it unless there is another young and very talented name involved or a roster player who could make a serious (and more immediate) impact.
If I’m Conroy, those other options intrigue me much more than Tampa does right now in terms of a Hanifin trade, simply for the fact that those teams (especially New Jersey and Detroit) have either deeper prospect pools, first-round picks in 2024, 2025, and 2026, or both.
Of course, all of this also depends on which teams are on Hanifin’s eight-team no-trade list, but it appears that the defenceman has plenty of suitors, which will hopefully make Conroy’s job a little easier at this stage.
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