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Noah Hanifin has been a disappointment in Calgary. I don’t think there’s much room for debate about that.
He is no further along offensively than he was a few years ago. His points per game output this past season was the lowest since his rookie campaign.
And it’s not as if his defensive play makes up for it.
More nights than not Hanifin severely blows coverage(s) in the defensive zone and he is much too prone to head scratching mistakes.
There’s a reason he’s worth only +0.2 Goals Above Replacement over his two seasons in Calgary, according to EvolvingHockey.com. He just doesn’t move the needle at either end of the ice.
Yes, he’s 23. Yes, he’s an awesome skater. Yes, he has tools. But he always leaves you wanting more and, now 400+ games (playoffs included) into his NHL career, I doubt that’s going to change.
If that’s the case, the Flames best move on from him before all the other teams realize as much; especially because he is paid so handsomely.
I don’t think he’s unmoveable by any means. There are no doubt teams willing to take a chance on somebody with Hanifin's pedigree. The Flames would be smart to link up before it’s too late.
It sounds like GM Brad Treliving is on the same wavelength. Craig Custance of The Athletic recently released a 22-man trade board
for the off-season and Noah Hanifin – not Johnny Gaudreau or Sean Monahan – was featured on it.
18. Noah Hanifin, Calgary Flames: It might be more exciting to talk about moving Johnny Gaudreau or Sean Monahan but that doesn’t appear to be a priority for GM Brad Treliving at this moment. That said, there are definitely people around the league who see Calgary as a team to watch in the next month for something major. “I just think that Calgary’s results might be putting a bit of urgency there in some fashion,” said one team executive. The Calgary defense is loaded with potential unrestricted free agents so it’s certainly a fluid situation. But if the Flames can re-sign TJ Brodie, with Juuso Valimaki coming back, there’s flexibility to use Hanifin as a chip to get better. “Hanifin is at $5 million. This is one area where they can potentially go to a cheaper guy and spend money elsewhere,” suggested one NHL source.
I don’t know just how much Hanifin can command on the trade market but I’m fairly confident the assets they’d get in return – plus the salary cap saved – would be more valuable to the team than Hanifin is.
Perhaps he can be used in an Oliver Ekman-Larsson trade. Perhaps he can be pawned off to a team like Winnipeg whose LD2 is *checks notes* pending UFA Dmitry Kulikov. There are no shortage of possibilities.
Treliving should leave no stone unturned in exploring them.
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