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Report: Bruins, Lightning among teams interested in Noah Hanifin trade

Report: Bruins, Lightning among teams interested in Noah Hanifin trade originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Calgary Flames have already traded several players this season, but they are still a team to watch before the March 8 NHL trade deadline.

The Flames dealt veteran defenseman Chris Tanev to the Dallas Stars on Wednesday in exchange for a second-round pick, a conditional third-round pick and a prospect.

Tanev was one of two Flames defensemen involved in trade rumors over the last few months. The other is Noah Hanifin, who, like Tanev, is able to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. If Hanifin doesn't re-sign with Calgary over the next week, the smartest move for the team would be to trade him and not risk losing the 27-year-old defenseman for nothing in free agency.

What's the latest on Hanifin's future? Two rivals from the Atlantic Division remain interested in acquiring him, per The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun.

"As of Thursday, it didn’t sound like the Flames had anything close yet on him," LeBrun wrote in a story published Thursday. "There remains interest in Hanifin from Boston and Tampa Bay (neither of which has a first-round pick this year), as well as from two or three other teams. But there’s nothing on the table that the Flames feel is close to good enough. That’s kind of surprising, given how talented Hanifin is and the kind of season he’s having, but perhaps it speaks to the fact that he’s a left-shot defenseman and many teams are fixated on right shots at this point. Hanifin also has a modified no-trade list (eight teams that require him waiving for a trade).

"So this might be a case in which (Flames GM Craig) Conroy remains patient and uses all the time he has before 3 p.m. ET on March 8 to further explore the Hanifin trade market."

The Bruins don't have many valuable trade assets. Their prospect pool is pretty weak compared to most other teams, and they have just eight picks over the next two NHL Drafts, including zero selections in the first, second and third rounds of the 2024 draft. Boston also has traded away five of its last seven first-round picks (including 2024).

It only makes sense for the Bruins to trade another first-round pick as part of a package for Hanifin if he signs an extension, similar to what the team did with the Hampus Lindholm trade in 2022. The Bruins cannot afford to trade another first-rounder for a rental.

Hanifin, as a two-way left-shot defenseman, would fill a huge need on the Bruins blue line. He's also from Massachusetts and played at Boston College. He has tallied 34 points (11 goals, 23 assists) in 59 games this season.