While Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin hasn’t given the team a list of teams he’d be willing to sign an extension with to help facilitate a trade, he has given them one clue at least. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman notes in the latest 32 Thoughts podcast (audio link) that the blueliner has made it known that he would like to return to the United States. Hanifin is set to enter the final year of his contract with a $4.95MM AAV that is well below market value. As a result, there should be strong interest in the 26-year-old who, on top of logging over 20 minutes a night, has recorded 86 points over the last two seasons. With the draft getting underway on Wednesday, Hanifin’s name is likely to come up in further trade speculation over the coming days.
Elsewhere around the Western Conference:
- This past season was a tough one for Wild blueliner Alex Goligoski who wound up being a frequent healthy scratch. However, Michael Russo and Joe Smith of The Athletic report (subscription link) that the 37-year-old has decided that he wants to return next season and since he has a full no-move clause, it’s safe to say he’ll now be sticking around. Goligoski has one year left on his contract with a $2MM AAV and with him not getting moved now, it wouldn’t be surprising to see if they can create a market for Jonathon Merrill who has two years left at a $1.2MM AAV to try to create a little extra cap flexibility.
- There could be some more moves coming soon, as the Winnipeg Jets are “gaining traction” on a Pierre-Luc Dubois trade, per The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta. There isn’t a clear front-runner for his services at this point, but the Los Angeles Kings and Montreal Canadiens have seen their names mentioned the most of any in recent trade rumors. The influx of pre-draft trades has been started with Kevin Hayes, Ryan Johansen, and Sean Durzi all on the move today.