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Noah Hanifin Hasn’t Closed the Door to Staying with the Flames

Noah Hanifin says he’s willing to stay in Calgary, but trade rumors persist as the season approaches.

In a surprising turn of events, Noah Hanifin, whose future with the Calgary Flames seemed to hang in the balance, has signaled his openness to the possibility of staying with the team. Sportsnet’s Eric Francis recently tweeted about Hanifin’s change in stance, quoting the defenseman as saying, “I just want to see how this year kind of played out a little bit and take my time a little bit.”

This statement marks a significant shift from the prevailing narrative, which suggested that Hanifin had already made up his mind to part ways with the Flames. Throughout the summer, the talented blueliner had been the focal point of numerous trade rumors, largely because the Flames were aware that retaining him without a contract extension risked losing him for nothing in free agency.

Related: Mikael Backlund Shares What Would Secure His Future w/ Flames

There was a fleeting moment when speculation about Hanifin’s departure gained momentum following the high-profile Erik Karlsson trade from the San Jose Sharks to the Pittsburgh Penguins. However, no deal materialized, and the trade chatter subsequently quieted down. Notably, Hanifin’s defensive partners, Elias Lindholm and Mikael Backlund, both pending free agents themselves, have expressed their willingness to remain in Calgary if the team remains competitive. It appears Hanifin might be taking a page from their playbook by keeping his options open and maintaining consistency in his messaging as the new season approaches.

Hanifin Is Still Likely to Be Traded This Season

Unless the Flames magically come out to a strong start and are competing for a top-three spot in the Pacific Division, he’s still likely to be dealt. The reality is that negotiations between the Flames and Hanifin may have occurred without either side receiving a satisfactory trade offer. It’s possible that both parties will revisit this situation during the season or leading up to the NHL Trade Deadline.

GM Craig Conroy said he would continue to talk to all of his players about their upcoming contracts. “It’s been challenging, but we’re just going to work through it.” He noted that none of the players have said to him that they want to be traded or that they don’t want to be in Calgary. “Everybody just wants to see.”

Noah Hanifin Calgary Flames NHL Trade Talk
Noah Hanifin Calgary Flames NHL Trade Talk

While Hanifin’s willingness to stay in Calgary is a noteworthy development, it remains plausible that he could be moved before his contract expires, as his future in the Flames’ jersey continues to hang in the balance. The uncertainty surrounding Hanifin’s fate will undoubtedly be a focal point as the season progresses.

Conroy said he wants to be in first place and the real hard decisions will come later, but “You just don’t want to let these guys walk for nothing.”

Next: Truth Behind Rumors Maple Leafs Are Pursuing Patrick Kane

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