Noah Hanifin in Calgary Flames jersey skating on ice, puck on his stick. Florida Panthers logo in background.
The Florida Panthers are reportedly interested in acquiring Noah Hanifin from the Calgary Flames. But can they afford him with key players due raises?

The NHL rumors mill is churning, and the Florida Panthers are at the center of the latest buzz. Word on the street is that GM Bill Zito has set his sights on acquiring Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin, a move that could significantly bolster the Panthers’ already potent blue line.

Hanifin, a 27-year-old Boston native, would undoubtedly be a welcome addition to the Sunshine State. His size, physicality, and offensive prowess make him a perfect fit for Paul Maurice’s aggressive system. Hanifin’s desire is to play in his hometown Boston, but they just do not have the assets or cap space to accommodate him.

Sunshine State Suitor? Panthers Considering Blockbuster Trade for Noah Hanifin

However, making this trade wouldn’t be without its challenges. The Panthers, despite the no-tax advantage in Florida, are already projected to be tight against the NHL salary cap next season, especially if they re-sign both Sam Reinhart and Brandon Montour, who are both due significant raises. Additionally, key players like Sam Bennett, Aaron Ekblad, and Carter Verhaeghe are all up for new contracts in the following year, further complicating the Panthers’ financial situation.

So, while acquiring Hanifin would undoubtedly improve the Panthers’ defense, the question remains: Can they afford him? Is there a package they can offer the Flames that aligns with their own future needs while not crippling their long-term cap flexibility? Only time will tell if Zito can pull off this potential blockbuster trade.

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