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Insider Confirms Bold Trade Bid by Maple Leafs for Noah Hanifin

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As per Elliotte Friedman, the Toronto Maple Leafs did make a trade pitch to the Calgary Flames recently in an attempt to acquire defenceman Noah Hanifin. With reports surfacing that Hanifin has informed the Flames he’ll be testing the market and with speculation that the teams he might be interested in joining in free agency are south of the border, the confirmation from the NHL insider is a bit surprising.

He wrote in his latest 32 Thoughts column:

There’s been a lot of speculation about the Lightning — which, on paper, makes a lot of sense — but look at the trade the Flames made for Elias Lindholm. Can the Lightning put together a similar package, knowing there will be competition? It’s hard to see. Toronto made a pitch, and would want to know the possibility of signing him, but Hanifin appears headed for the U.S. on a long-term basis. Teams want to know where he’s willing to sign. 

While not confirmed, the report seems to suggest the Leafs inquired but were told that they aren’t likely a good long-term fit. This means the Maple Leafs may need to concentrate their efforts on another blueliner, potentially circling back to Chris Tanev or going with someone that won’t be as expensive ahead of the March 8 trade deadline.

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The Flames may have also shot down the Leafs, who have been reportedly trying to acquire their top targets by piecing multiple lower-end draft picks together versus giving up a first-rounder. The response has been less the heartwarming from other teams on the receiving end of those offers.

Hanifin Rumors to the Bruins Picking Up

Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now tweeted on Thursday that he “knows something” when it comes to Hanifin’s future and the potential interest in the d-man coming out of Boston. The Flames play the Bruins tonight and he tweeted, “What team does Noah Hanifin leave the Saddledome with tonight?”

Noah Hanifin Calgary Flames
Noah Hanifin, Calgary Flames (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The Bruins have been reportedly eyeing Hanifin since his draft year and have made multiple attempts to get him in the past. If Hanifin (a local Boston product) is thinking he might want to wind up there, it makes sense the Bruins might be the heavy favorites here.

Not only does that mean Toronto doesn’t get their guy, but if he goes to Boston, Hanifin is a player the Maple Leafs might be forced to deal with a few more times this season, and potentially in the playoffs.

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