Connect with us

Calgary Flames

Three Dark Horse Teams in on the Noah Hanifin Sweepstakes



Noah Hanifin

The March 8 NHL Trade Deadline steadily approaches, and the Calgary Flames are yet to find a new home for smooth skating defenceman Noah Hanifin. With 11 goals and 24 assists for 35 points, the dynamic two-way blueliner is on pace to finish a point under a career-best 48 points in 2021-2022. That season, of course, featured over 300 points in production between Matthew Tkachuk, Johnny Gaudreau, and Elias Lindholm.  

While Tampa Bay, Boston, and Florida are leading the race in terms of acquiring playing rights of the nine-season NHL veteran; they’re not the only bidders for his services. Today we’ll look at three dark horses making a play for the top pairing defender. 


Washington Capitals

Seven points out of an Eastern Conference Wildcard spot, and with a mere 22 games left in the season, you would expect the Washington Capitals to be cashing out and gearing up for 2024-2025.  

That’s not quite the case, as reports imply that Caps general manager Brian MacLellan has, at least, sniffed around on a Hanifin acquisition. 

Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman spoke on the matter on a March 1 episode of the Jeff Marek Show. 

“I think Washington sees the bigger picture. Where are they really?” the Sportsnet insider inquired out loud. “I think they recognize that they’ve gotta make some changes. I think they’re like a lot of teams in the NHL; they don’t want to do a teardown. They want to see if they can kind of rebuild it on the fly. I think they’re looking at some things out there. I think they’ve kind of kicked tires on Hanifin a little bit.” 

Washington made a move on Wednesday morning, re-signing defenceman Rasmus Sandin to a five-year contract worth $23 million. The deal carries an annual average value of $4.6 million against the salary cap until the end of the 2028-2029 regular season.


What would a deal look like?

To Washington

D Noah Hanifin

To Calgary

2024 first round draft pick
2025 second round draft pick (Capitals)
2025 second round draft pick (Avalanche)
D Ethan Bear

This follows the precedent laid out when Hampus Lindholm was sent to Boston in exchange for a 2022 first-round pick, second-round picks in 2023 and 2024, Urho Vaakanainen, and defenceman John Moore.

Signed for one more season after 2023-2024, Ethan Bear carries a cap hit of $2,062,500 per year.


Las Vegas Golden Knights

When is Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon not in on the big ticket player of the year?  

Eichel, Tkachuk, Pietrangelo, Stone. Vegas loves to get involved. Friedman spoke about the possibility on Tuesday night during a video call-in with Sportnet that aired following a 2-1 Oilers overtime victory over the Boston Bruins. 

“You know, one of the things I do think is, I do think Vegas looked at Noah Hanifin, so I don’t know what exactly their other move exactly could be here,” said Friedman. “Because they only had to take 50% of Mantha’s money; they still have room in their LTIR pool.” 

Friedman went on to point out an initial need for wingers in Vegas. Jake Guentzel out of Pittsburgh was listed as a target. Coyotes forward Jason Zucker was held out of the lineup on Tuesday night for trade-related purposes and may also be pursued by McCrimmon. The 32-year-old is producing at a hair under 0.5 points per game with 25 in 51 appearances in 2023-2024. 

“I do think they were interested in two wingers at the beginning. Not necessarily just one. But the fact that I think they, at the very least, kicked the tires on Hanifin, they are in a position where they have been looking at doing something else. While I don’t know, I would say they’re the favorite for Guentzel, I wouldn’t want to rule them out on anything.” 

Currently on a three-game slide and 2-7-1 in their last ten, the Golden Knights could use a shake-up.


What would a deal look like?

To Vegas

D Noah Hanifin

To Calgary

2024 first round draft pick
2025 first round draft pick
D Zach Whitecloud

The Golden Knights currently hold all of their next three first round picks. That simply isn’t right. First, because they’re in a window to make another Cup run. Second, because they’re the Golden Knights. Cashing in those picks for current stars has always been their mantra.

Much like Ethan Bear, Whitecloud’s inclusion is largely due to his cap hit. $2,750,000 until the end of the 2024-2025 season.

Due to the likelihood of Vegas finishing respectably in the standings, they may need to offer late firsts, while other teams can offer early seconds.

Arizona Coyotes

With four of eight of their roster defencemen hitting unrestricted free agency in July, the Coyotes would do well to lock down some talent on the back end. This one goes back to earlier in the season, but given their sheer volume of draft picks acquired, the Coyotes have the assets to outbid any team in the market if they were to make a play for acquiring and extending Noah Hanifin. 

Seven picks in the first three rounds at the upcoming 2024 NHL Entry Draft. Ten second round picks in the next three years. 20 picks in the first three rounds at the next three drafts. So far, that is.  

Friedman weighed in on possibly shipping the 27-year-old to Arizona on a December 5 episode of 32 Thoughts: The Podcast.

“They have shown an interest in adding this year. You know the Hanifin thing, they (the Coyotes) kicked tires in Hanifin. More than kicked tires on Hanifin. They were interested.”  

With 55 points in 62 games, the Coyotes are well out of the playoff race. If they could line up an extension for the blueliner, there may be a deal to be made.


What would a deal look like?

To Arizona

D Noah Hanifin

To Calgary

2024 first round draft pick
2024 second round draft pick (Capitals)
2025 second round draft pick (Leafs)
2024 third round draft pick (Avalanche)

The Coyotes only have to give up one organic draft pick and finally get a player out of their efforts at weaponizing their cap space. This a tough one, given that Hanifin may not be interested in signing in Arizona, but the assets are there for a fair, win-win Craig Conroy signature deal. If Noah is willing to extend, this would be a slam dunk for the Flames.


More from CHN: 

Flames Ownership Reportedly Nixed a Jacob Markstrom Trade to the Devils 

Jacob Markstrom Flames Daily

 (AP Photo/Erin Hooley)


For more Flames news, visit Calgary Hockey Now and like our Facebook page. 

Follow us on 𝕏: 

@CgyHockeyNow and @Trevor_Neufeld