The post Lightning Hanifin’s No. 1 Choice Heading Into the Trade Deadline appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

Elliotte Friedman noted during Saturday’s Headlines report that amid trade deadline talks, Noah Hanifin‘s preferred destination appears to be the Tampa Bay Lightning. The defenseman and the Calgary Flames are actively collaborating to facilitate a trade to a team that aligns with Hanifin’s plans, and the Lightning have emerged as his top choice.

The potential move to Tampa Bay presents a unique opportunity for both parties. If the Lightning are interested in acquiring Hanifin, doing so now allows them to sign him to an eight-year deal, a year longer than what he could secure as an unrestricted free agent. This arrangement could lead to a more financially manageable annual average salary for the Lightning.

Noah Hanifin Lightning trade rumors

While the feasibility of the deal is uncertain given Tampa Bay’s cap space constraints and limited draft picks, Calgary has expressed a willingness to consider younger roster players rather than just picks and prospects. If the Lightning can offer assets that benefit Calgary in the short term, there may be a path to reaching an agreement.

Florida Panthers Are Pushing Hard for Hanifin Too

Kevin Weekes added to the speculation, reporting that the Florida Panthers are actively pursuing Hanifin, introducing another contender into the mix. The involvement of the Panthers could potentially drive up the price for the Lightning, who share a rivalry with Florida.

Amidst the competition for Hanifin’s services, the Arizona Coyotes, Boston Bruins, and Toronto Maple Leafs have also expressed reported interest. As the Flames’ most sought-after trade deadline rental option, Hanifin is enjoying a stellar sixth season with the organization. In 59 games, he has notched 11 goals and 34 points, showcasing his value as a top-tier defenseman. As the trade deadline approaches, the race to secure Hanifin’s services intensifies, and it will be intriguing to see if team’s bow out knowing the list of teams he’s willing to sign with is short.

Next: Oilers Try to Incentivize Teams To Take Contract Ahead of Deadline

The post Lightning Hanifin’s No. 1 Choice Heading Into the Trade Deadline appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

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