Boston Bruins

Latest update on Flames d-man Noah Hanifin ahead of NHL trade deadline

The Flames need to make a decision on Hanifin soon.

NBC Universal, Inc.

The Calgary Flames already made one blockbuster trade late last month when they sent top-six center Elias Lindholm to the Vancouver Canucks for a package that included a 2024 first-round draft pick. Will we see Calgary make another substantial move before the March 8 NHL trade deadline?

It might depend on Noah Hanifin's situation.

The 27-year-old defenseman is in the final year of his contract and able to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. It would be pretty tough for the Flames to lose Hanifin for nothing in the offseason, so if he doesn't want to re-sign, trading him would be the smart move for Calgary.

And as Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff reported this week, it's time for both sides to make a decision.

"They’ve been flexible and accommodating, but Flames need an answer from Hanifin," Seravalli wrote. "This is where the rubber meets the road. They put what was believed to be an eight-year, $60 million deal on the table early in the season – nearly exactly what Hanifin asked for – before he got cold feet and didn’t put pen to paper. That part hasn’t been all that comforting for the Flames, who knew last summer that his preference was to play in the U.S. long-term.

"But they’ve been cordial and kept the lines of communication open, still open to bringing him back. The Flames and Hanifin’s camp were scheduled to meet again this week with GM Craig Conroy needing an answer. If it’s a ’no,’ he’s got the premier rental defenseman on the market to move."

The Boston Bruins would be an ideal landing spot for Hanifin, but they don't have a lot of great trade assets. Their prospect pool ranks in the bottom third of the league and their stash of draft picks is pretty depleted.

Even though Boston has dealt a lot of first-round picks in recent years and should probably be hesitant to deal their next selection in 2025, Hanifin is the type of player who is worth that kind of price to acquire.

The Norwood, Mass., native is a legit two-way defenseman with a polished offensive game who can play well over 20 minutes per game. He has tallied 29 points (nine goals, 20 assists) in 53 games this season, including an impressive goal against the Bruins in the Flames' 4-1 win in Boston on Feb. 6.

There's also a case to be made for the Bruins waiting until the summer to pursue Hanifin. They could sign him in free agency and not have to send anything of value to the Flames.

One of the flaws with that plan is the fact that the Bruins have a really good team this season and could use a player like Hanifin to add more depth and offensive skill to their blue line. Acquiring a smooth-skating defenseman with size, like Hanifin, would be an ideal trade deadline upgrade for the Bruins. The B's could use some more scoring depth up front, too, but the blue line is the biggest area of need on the roster right now.

Hanifin isn't the only Flames defenseman who could be on the move before the March 8 trade deadline. Chris Tanev is on an expiring contract, too. The 34-year-old veteran is the type of experienced, physical, penalty-killing defenseman that playoff teams often covet this time of the year.

Tanev wouldn't be a bad fit with the Bruins, either, but if general manager Don Sweeney is willing to spend what's left of his best draft capital to bolster the roster, Hanifin is the better target.

Contact Us