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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Is Noah Hanifin able to re-up with the Flames? Categorical Occasions

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The Flames know precisely what they’ve in Hanifin — a smooth-skating minute-muncher with loads of prime years forward

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Between the hubbub about Rasmus Andersson’s hefty suspension and later Connor McDavid’s obvious harm, Elliotte Friedman slipped one other important piece of reports into Saturday’s Hockey Evening in Canada telecast.

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Friedman, probably the most linked man within the NHL, hinted the Calgary Flames may very well be near finalizing an extension with defenceman Noah Hanifin.

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The 26-year-old Hanifin is slated to be an unrestricted free agent after this season.

“The phrase is that the Flames and Noah Hanifin have made progress on a contract extension,” Friedman reported. “Nothing is finished till it’s executed — I all the time attempt to remind individuals of that — however the phrase is that there was progress and there’s optimism that one thing can get executed.”

The preliminary perception was Hanifin had one skate out the Saddledome door — some figured that he needed to be nearer to his household in Boston or would possibly comply with the lead of his shut pal Matthew Tkachuk, who’s lovin’ life in flip-flops in a Solar Belt market — however that feeling has began to shift over the previous few weeks.

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Whereas normal supervisor Craig Conroy did gauge Hanifin’s commerce worth over the summer season, it makes a ton of sense that the Flames would like to maintain No. 55 within the fold.

Let’s begin with the obvious one … He’s a top-pairing kind within the prime of his profession. You don’t prefer to let these guys get away.

Hanifin can be solely 27 when his present contract expires, which means that an eight-year extension — he’s absolutely angling for the utmost time period — would take him to 35. That’s not so scary, particularly since he has been so sturdy. By means of 9 seasons in The Present, three of these in Carolina and now six in Cowtown, he has missed a grand complete of 20 video games. In truth, he lately made historical past because the youngest rearguard in NHL historical past to log his 600th profession look.

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The left-handed Hanifin has so lots of the instruments and traits which can be coveted within the trendy defenceman. He’s a terrific skater — does anyone on Calgary’s lively roster have a greater stride? — and expert puck-mover. At 6-foot-3 and 207 lb., he isn’t simply outmuscled.

There’s not plenty of guesswork right here, since Hanifin has already confirmed able to logging main minutes. He has confirmed he can quarterback a power-play unit. He’s confirmed to be a well-liked teammate and confirmed he has chemistry with Andersson, the highest canine on Calgary’s blue-line crew. (Andersson is now serving a four-game suspension, his punishment for Friday’s at-the-buzzer elbow on Patrik Laine of the Columbus Blue Jackets.)

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The most important query is what kind of loot Hanifin is in search of. MacKenzie Weegar’s new take care of the Flames — with an annual cap hit of US$6.25 million — looks as if a very good comparable. There have been possible some smiles within the Saddledome entrance workplace when Devon Toews accepted an AAV of US$7.25M in Colorado, since that ought to assist solidify the highest of the size for a No. 2 defender.

The opposite key consideration in terms of doubtlessly extending Hanifin is that he’d be very troublesome to exchange.

Some have questioned why the Flames try to re-sign all of their core items, mentioning that this present forged hasn’t had a lot success. It’s a good level, however the various in Calgary has all the time been overpaying to draw free brokers.

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Check out the listing of lefty rearguards who may very well be out there on the open market in July 2024 — Gustav Forsling, Shayne Gostisbehere, Matt Grzelcyk, Brady Skjei, and so on. In each case, for one purpose or one other, wouldn’t you fairly have Hanifin?

Nikita Zadorov, presently patrolling the left aspect of Calgary’s second pair, can also be a pending UFA. Ditto for Oliver Kylington, and he hasn’t stepped on NHL ice for near 17 months. Kylington stays away from the workforce on private depart.

The Flames have some intriguing prospects in Etienne Morin, Jeremie Poirier and Ilya Solovyov, however none mission to be as well-rounded as Hanifin. Poirier, who has piled up seven factors in 4 video games this fall with the AHL’s Calgary Wranglers, and the still-junior-aged Morin are offensive specialists. Solovyov is extra the shot-blocking, shutdown kind.

With any long-term contract, the most important element is all the time the greenback determine, however Conroy & Co. know precisely what they’ve in Hanifin — a smooth-skating minute-muncher with loads of prime years forward.

Immediately, there’s optimism he can be spending these in Calgary.

wgilbertson@postmedia.com

On X: @WesGilbertson

Wes Gilbertson and Danny Austin have been masking the Flames for years and know what makes the workforce tick. Have questions? They’ve the solutions – or the contacts to trace them down. Ship your inquiries to calgaryflames@postmedia.com

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