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Hanifin was close on $7.5M AAV with Flames, may be dealt with extension in place


TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun has revealed further details on the contract extension defenceman Noah Hanifin nearly signed with the Calgary Flames in October.

LeBrun reports Hanifin and the Flames were close on an eight-year, roughly $60 million deal, which would have carried an average annual value around $7.5 million. LeBrun reported the $60 million total on Nov. 14, noting Hanifin decided to he wanted to see the Flames' direction as the team struggled early on and, as a result, Calgary pulled the offer. 

Calgary has improved after a slow start and currently sit just one point out of the playoff picture at 9-10-3. LeBrun notes, however, that the Flames mindset of needing a roster reset has not changed, which will likely lead to trades involving Hanifin and other pending unrestricted free agents.

"I still expect, for example, Hanifin to get dealt at some point," LeBrun said on SC with Jay Onrait on Tuesday. "In his case, the idea from everyone involved is that he gets dealt as a signed player – that there's an extension in place for him wherever he ends up.

"Certainly I would say there's less urgency now for the Flames to have to start moving bodies because they are playing good hockey (and) they're back in it. But I don't know why it would change unless you're extending some of these guys. Why would it change between now and [the March 8 trade deadline]? Even if you make the playoffs, how deep in the playoffs is this Calgary Flames team going to go? You need to get assets back for some of these guys.”

Hanifin has four goals and 10 points in 22 games this season while carrying a cap hit of $4.95 million. The 26-year-old is in his sixth season with the Flames after being acquired in 2018 from the Carolina Hurricanes along with Elias Lindholm in a deal that saw Dougie Hamilton, among other pieces, head the other way.

The defenceman is one of several pending unrestricted free agents on the Flames believed to be drawing trade interest. Fellow blueliners Chris Tanev and Nikita Zadorov, who requested a trade earlier this month, and Lindholm are also in the last year of their contracts. 

Tanev, 33, carries a cap hit of $4.5 million this season, his fourth in Calgary. The former Vancouver Canuck has five assists in 15 games with the Flames this season.

Zadorov carries a cap hit of $3.75 million on his expiring deal.  The 28-year-old has one goal and six points in 14 games this season.

Lindholm has five goals and 15 points in 22 games this season while carrying a cap hit of $4.85 million. He is two years removed from scoring a career-high 42 goals and 82 points in 82 games with Calgary during the 2021-22 season.

Calgary will host the Dallas Stars on Thursday in the second contest of a six-game homestand.