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Report: Florida Panthers Interested in Trade for Noah Hanifin

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Hanifin trade
Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin, here warming up before game against the Chicago Blackhawks, is expected to be traded by Friday’s NHL Trade Deadline. (AP Photo/Erin Hooley)

The NHL Trade Deadline is Friday afternoon, and the Florida Panthers are reportedly strong in the mix for Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin.

On Saturday afternoon, ESPN NHL Insider Kevin Weekes reported that sources have indicated to him that the Panthers are “making a push’’ for the pending free agent.

Weekes’ Tweet regarding Hanifin came out during Florida’s 4-0 win over the host Detroit Red Wings; ESPN reporter Emily Kaplan mentioned the Panthers’ interest in the 6-foot-3 defenseman during the first intermission.

Florida, of course, is not the only team to be circling around Hanifin as he has been linked to both Tampa Bay and Boston in the past.

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He has 11 goals and 34 points in 59 games, and logs a lot of minutes at 23:44 this season.

Hanifin only has a modified no-trade clause — there is a list of eight teams he would not go to — meaning Calgary would have a long list of suitors.

But Hanifin is said to be interested in signing long-term to the team he is traded to.

The Panthers are apparently one of those teams.

Oh, and Calgary will play in Tampa on Thursday — meaning the Flames will spend the Trade Deadline in Fort Lauderdale.

The first game after the Deadline for Calgary is Saturday against the Panthers in Sunrise.

It may not just be a reunion for Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar.

Last month, Hanifin and the Panthers were mentioned as potential dance partners by Elliotte Friedman.

The Panthers do not have a lot of draft stock to offer — Philadelphia has Florida’s first-round pick (Claude Giroux trade at 2022 deadline) this coming summer; Calgary already has it in 2025 (Matthew Tkachuk, 2022).

As Friedman noted, have a number of young players who could be of interest to a team such as the Flames.

One player Friedman tossed out was Anton Lundell, Florida’s top pick in 2020 who centers the third line.

“I think Toronto and Tampa are kind of in the same boat where they don’t have a lot of assets they can, or want, to move,” Friedman said on his 32 Thoughts podcast with Jeff Marek last month.

“I think Boston and Florida are a little bit different because if they wanted to, they don’t have a ton of picks, but they have young players. Lundell has been thrown into some things this year. I don’t know if Florida wants to do that — but if they did, they could.”

Florida currently has about $5 million in salary cap space to work with. That number will grow to about $5.7 million by the end of the week.

Hanifin, 27, is currently under a cap hit of $4.9 million; financially, Florida could fit him in.

What it will take is pure speculation.

Florida would likely have to part with one of its NHL defensemen since Hanifin will slot into the top-4, perhaps with Brandon Montour.

One defenseman who has been mentioned is Niko Mikkola, who signed a three-year deal with Florida on July 1.

That makes sense.

Mikkola is not only having a strong season with increased playing time in Florida, but he has term remaining on his contract.

Aside from Mikkola, Aaron Ekblad is the only member of Florida’s current seven defensemen who is signed past this season.

It would be surprising to see Calgary take a pending free agent in any trade for Hanifin as it looks toward the future.

Aside for the 2026 first-round pick, Florida does have second-round selections starting next year.

The Panthers also have some young players who could be of interest to the Flames, including Mackie Samoskevich, Justin Sourdif and Mike Benning.

The Flames are also rumored to be trading former Florida goalie Jacob Markstrom — which may pique their interest in Spencer Knight.

Florida is also said to have interest in bringing in some forward depth. Kaplan mentioned interest in pending Pittsburgh free agent Jake Guentzel as well.

The Panthers have plenty of pending free agents of their own although none are expected to be traded as the team has sights on the Stanley Cup.

Florida’s leading scorer (Sam Reinhart) is a free agent after this season as are Montour and Gus Forsling.

Other free agents include Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Ryan Lomberg, Josh Mahura, Jonah Gadjovich, Steven Lorentz, Anthony Stolarz and Dmitry Kulikov.

ON DECK

FLORIDA PANTHERS @ NEW YORK RANGERS

  • When: Monday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Madison Square Garden, New York
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
  • Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL App
  • Last Season: Rangers won 3-0
  • This Season (Panthers Lead 1-0) — At Florida: Panthers 4 Rangers 3 (Dec. 29). At MSG: Monday; March 24 (ABC).
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Rangers lead 60-33-8, 6 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Tuesday at New Jersey Devils, 7

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