Report: Hanifin and Flames close on contract extension?
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Report: Hanifin and Flames close on contract extension?

Whoa! I did NOT see this coming! The latest from NHL insider Pierre LeBrun.



The Calgary Flames continue their rollercoaster, up and down season tonight with a pivotal matchup against the Dallas Stars.

This is a team that's somehow still in the playoff mix, yet there's constant concern about their future. They've committed long-term to Jonathan Huberdeau, Nazem Kadri and MacKenzie Weegar, but they still stand to lose the likes of Elias Lindholm, Noah Hanifin, Chris Tanev and Nikita Zadorov to free agency this offseason.

Obviously, given what happened with Johnny Gaudreau in the 2022 offseason, the Flames can't afford to lose anyone to free agency without getting some sort of assets in return but... where does GM Craig Conroy start?

We've all heard the rumors surrounding Tanev and Zadorov for weeks now and there's talk that Conroy is doing everything he can to convince Lindholm to re-sign, but we haven't heard much regarding Hanifin's future with the team. Arguably the most valuable defenseman on the team, Hanifin is set to cash in big on his next deal at just 26 years old. He's currently making $4.95 million per season and there's talk that he could command nearly double that on the open market.

TSN insider Pierre LeBrun reports today that Hanifin was on the verge of signing an eight year extension at $7.5 million with the Flames before he had an abrupt change of mind. That was earlier this season while the Flames were mired in an ugly losing skid. Now, weeks later LeBrun reports that Hanifin's mind hasn't really changed, but that most insiders believe he'll sign a deal with a guarantee that he'll be traded. Essentially, what we're looking at here is a 'sign and trade' like former GM Brad Treliving pulled off with Matthew Tkachuk.

From LeBrun's latest on TSN:

"They came so close to extending Noah Hanifin... around $7.5 million that Hanifin had on the table and it was actually Hanifin who backed off from it and I don't know if any of that has changed now. I don't know if you can put the genie back in the bottle but 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."

- Noah Hanifin

Not a bad idea, honestly. 

It's clear to me that Hanifin on a long-term deal is a much more valuable asset to the Flames than shipping him out as a rental player.

Stay tuned. We could be looking at a wholesale line change for the Flames' defense corps.

Source: Pierre LeBrun