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Are The Lightning About To Strike And Get Hanifin?



NHL Trade

The Tampa Bay Lightning reportedly can acquire Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin before the March 8 NHL Trade Deadline if they want to.

As of Friday night, it sounded as if the Norwood, MA, native would prefer not to come home and sign a long-term contract with the Boston Bruins. Per Sportsnet NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman, the Bruins’ reported top NHL trade target would like to be traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“Well, first of all, in Tampa, there is definitely a feeling that that is Noah Hanifin’s preferred destination, and that is Tampa Bay,” Friedman said on NHL Network on Friday night.

The problem, as it could very well be for the Bruins, is, do the Lightning really have the combination of a first round pick, prospects, and a roster player that it will take to acquire Noah Hanifin, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1?

The Bruins don’t pick until the fourth round of the 2024 NHL Entry Draft. The Tampa Bay Lightning, meanwhile, don’t pick until the third round and also don’t have a 2025 first round pick. That hampers not just the efforts of both teams to acquire Hanifin but also to acquire any marquee players on the NHL trade market unless they’re trading key pieces on their current roster.

“As you (NHL Network analyst E.J. Hradek) said, with [Mikhail] Sergachev out for a long time, they have the ability to do it, but you hit on the big problem. I keep looking at it, and I keep saying: ‘What’s the trade here?’

If you look at the deals that Calgary’s already made with [Chris] Tanev; with [Elias Lindholm], for example, Tyler Toffoli back in the summer. There has been at least a prospect that they really liked or a good, young player who’s come back in those situations, and I look up and down the Tampa roster, and they’ve got a really good prospect, the really beautifully dressed Issac Howard, but other than that, I don’t know what Tampa Bay has that would interest Calgary. They don’t have much draft capital.



So, I think that, if that were a trade that could be made, it probably would be done already. I think the Flames and Hanifin are in a bit of a standoff, and I think it’s going to come down to a.) Is there a wider group of teams that he’s willing to talk to? Is Calgary going to be willing to allow him to discuss an extension, or do the Flames simply say: ‘Look, we’re just going to take the best deal, and you can sort it out in the summer.”



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