NHL Rumor: Noah Hanifin and the Boston Bruins

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noah hanifin and the boston bruins
DETROIT, MI - FEBRUARY 23: Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin (55) skates during a regular season NHL hockey game between the Calgary Flames and the Detroit Red Wings on February 23, 2020, at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames have reportedly been in trade talks centered around defenseman Noah Hanifin. Hanifin has been targeted by Boston in years past, but talks never seemed to materialized. Now, it seems as though Hanifin and the Boston Bruins may be a partnership we see in the near future.

NHL Rumor: Noah Hanifin and the Boston Bruins

Full Rumor

In the past couple of weeks, Bruins insider Jim Murray reported that the Bruins had been in talks with the Flames to acquire Hanifin, a defenseman Boston has been trying to land ever since he stepped foot in the league. Just yesterday, reports surfaced on Twitter from The Fourth Period that trade talks have begun to heat up. Forward Ondrej Kase would be the centerpiece of the Flames’ return if this trade were to materialize.

Analysis

Boston Bruins

The framework of this trade rumor looks to be missing a couple of pieces, but it’s certainly interesting nonetheless. As I mentioned, Hanifin and the Boston Bruins have been mentioned in rumors nearly every season. Evidently, this year is no different.

Ever since the expected departure of Torey Krug, the Bruins have been searching for a top-four defenseman to fill that role. Zdeno Chara still remains unsigned and it’s unclear if even he will return next season. If that’s the case, Boston has even more motivation to get this deal done.

Hanifin, a Boston native, tied the lowest point total of his career last year amassing just 22 points in 70 games. His play picked up a bit in the playoffs, but Hanifin may be at his lowest value to date, which may be why the Bruins are pushing so hard to acquire him.

Hanifin currently has four years left on his deal with an AAV of $4.95 million. Boston certainly isn’t in cap heaven, but they’ve got some room to work with. They currently have roughly $4 million dollars remaining in space, with Chara still unsigned. Factor in Chara coming back on a one-year $1.5 million dollar deal, that leaves around $2.5 million left. So, some cap would have to be moved in this deal, presumably coming from Kase.

Calgary Flames

The Flames have just over $1 million in cap space but would clear more than enough in a Hanifin trade. From the Flames perspective, it’s a bit more about the return they’d be receiving.

Kase is certainly not going to get the deal done alone. Draft picks could sweeten the return, but a playoff-ready team like the Flames don’t have picks as their top priority in an acquisition. I think it’s even more of a likely possibility that the Flames would want a defenseman in return, possibly someone along the lines of a Brandon Carlo or Jeremy Lauzon. The deal would give the Bruins an upgrade on the blue line while giving the Flames an upgrade on the wing.

It would be quite a lot for the Bruins to give up. It all depends on how highly they value Hanifin after his lackluster season.

Wrap-Up

It’s unclear whether Flames GM Brad Trevliving would be willing to move Hanifin, although he has stated in the past he’d be open to trade discussion. This may be Boston’s best shot at acquiring that needed upgrade on the blue line. Boston has what the Flames want and cap space isn’t an issue on either side.

Noah Hanifin to the Boston Bruins seems to be gaining some significant traction and is certainly a rumor to watch in the coming weeks leading up to the season.

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