Conroy: Hanifin hasn't closed door on extending with Flames
Calgary Flames general manager Craig Conroy clarified Wednesday that while Noah Hanifin was not interested in signing an extension this summer, the door is not closed on the defenceman staying with the team long-term.
Hanifin is set to play out of the last of a six-year, $29.7 million contract signed with the Flames in 2018. The deal carries a cap hit of $4.95 million.
“He wants to see how it goes this year … He did indicate that he wasn’t going to re-sign in the summer. But that doesn’t mean he won’t ever re-sign.” Conroy said.
Hanifin echoed Conroy's statements a short time later. He stated he will play out the season on his current deal, but is open to extension afterwards. He told management that he needs time to digest the team's disappointment from last season.
The 26-year-old blueliner posted seven goals and 38 points in 81 games last season. He had 10 goals and a career-high 48 points for the Flames during the 2021-22 campaign.
Speculation has surrounded Hanifin and other key members of the Flames entering contract years, including Elias Lindholm and Mikael Backlund, but Calgary has only made one trade this off-season – sending winger Tyler Toffoli to the New Jersey Devils.
Lindholm said Wednesday he's looking to re-sign with the Flames, while Backlund told members of the media Tuesday he plans to take more of a wait-and-see approach after Calgary missed the playoffs last season.
“I’ve made it pretty clear that I’m willing to stay,” Lindholm said Wednesday.
“I just want to see where this team is going,” Backlund said. “I only have so many years left, and I want to make the most of it. But I love Calgary. I’m not just going to take off and leave.”
The Flames focused the majority of their changes off the ice this summer, having mutually parted ways with general manager Brad Treliving and firing head coach Darryl Sutter and replacing them with in-house candidates in Conroy and head coach Ryan Huska.
“If we have a good season and things feel really good, just the mood is different, everyone’s excited, everyone fits in, everything works, we’re contending to be a top three or are a top three [division] team going into the second half, that would be a big thing for me,” Backlund added.
The Flames, who have reached the playoffs in three of the past five seasons, have failed to advance past the second round since reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 2004.