NHL Rumor Mill – August 9, 2023

by | Aug 9, 2023 | Rumors | 36 comments

Check out the latest on the Flames’ Noah Hanifin and the Sharks’ Kevin Labanc in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Julian McKenzie wonders if the Calgary Flames will attempt to capitalize on Noah Hanifin’s trade value now that Erik Karlsson is off the market. The 26-year-old defenseman is in the final season of his contract and has reportedly informed the Flames he’s not interested in an extension.

Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin (NHL Images).

McKenzie had previously suggested the Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres, Nashville Predators, Dallas Stars and Florida Panthers as possible trade destinations for Hanifin. At one point in late June, there was speculation suggesting the Sabres and Flames had emerged as primary suitors.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman has reported Hanifin wants to continue his playing career in the United States. Of the clubs previously mentioned, the Sabres and Predators are the only ones now with sufficient cap space to absorb his $4.95 million cap hit. McKenzie also noted the Detroit Red Wings also have cap space if they were interested in the Flames blueliner.

McKenzie speculates the Flames would likely want a return involving younger players who can help their roster right away. Draft picks also wouldn’t hurt as they need to improve their prospect pipeline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames are pressed against the $83.5 million salary cap for this season so they can’t afford to retain part of Hanifin’s cap hit. Perhaps they might consider a dollar-in, dollar-out scenario if it nets them a quality player in his mid-twenties.

Hanifin would provide a boost to the respective bluelines of the Sabres, Red Wings and Predators. However, there’s no certainty that they’re interested in making a significant offseason trade. They could be willing to wait and see how the season progresses before making any major upgrades.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Max Miller recently mused over Kevin Labanc’s trade value. The 27-year-old San Jose Sharks winger is slated to become a UFA next summer and is likely to be shopped before this season’s trade deadline.

Labanc’s value has diminished enough that Sharks general manager Mike Grier might be willing to retain part of his $4.725 million cap hit to facilitate a trade. Miller believes the Sharks must move him soon or risk his value plummeting further.

It was rumored last month that the Sharks may have had a deal in place with the Vancouver Canucks swapping Labanc for defenseman Tyler Myers. Miller speculates the holdup could be Myers being owed a $5 million signing bonus on Sept. 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We’ll find out soon enough if the rumored Labanc-for-Myers trade comes to fruition. If it doesn’t, the Sharks might end up having to start the season with Labanc on the roster and hope that he can play well enough to draw some interest before the trade deadline.


  1. if there is genuine interests in Hanifin
    I would focus on Buffalo if I am Craig Conroy . Lots of options there.
    Flames need to save bank in order to overpay for Lindholm. No choice
    Ryan Johnson, Mittelstadt and a pick

    • What do you mean no choice? The Flames have seven ufas pending for next year, plus the cap is increasing significantly over the next two years . There’s a ton of choice.

      • Over Pay Lindholm or lose him . That is the choice .

    • If trading with Buffalo I would prefer some of their young forward prospects over Johnson; the Flames don’t need an aged defender.

      • Wrong Johnson. Referring to their 31overall selection in 2019. A 22 year old D

    • Instead of a pick how about one of Buffalo’s young forward prospects

    • They won’t be “overpaying” Lindholm until next season in which 5 other ufa’s come off the books, and the cap goes up significantly. Plenty of time to make a cost cutting move if necessary for next season, but it shouldn’t be. However I do agree with Buffalo being a good trade partner.

    • I bet he would playing for the bruins

  2. Barzal and Romanov and pick for Hanafin and Lindholm

    Win for both?

  3. SJ Washington swap problems?

    LaBanc for Mantha?

  4. Myers…. as of 2/9….. only owed $1M sal…. with escrow…. maybe $950 K

    ‘Nucks retain 50%… then he’s at Cap hit of $3M, cash owed of only ~$475 K

    Middle team takes another 50% of remaining (that’s 25%)…. retaining effectively about $238 K

    final team gets Meyer’s for only $1.5 M Cap hit and measly $238 K in Sal

    Which teams bid at that…. what do they pay (to ‘Nucks? to midddle team for retaining?)

  5. Hanafin really unlikely to re-up with Cgy; and it is appearing more and more that protracted negotiations with WW could be a huge distraction for Leafs and may very well still end up him as UFA next summer

    WW already paid is SB…. after escrow, really only owed in the $2.3 M to $2.4 M range.

    Leafs: Hanafin in WW out…. D improved tremendously ….. saves ~ $2M in cap; conditional 2nd (if WW re-ups with Cgy); WW off books, no distraction; and saved (min ) $9 M in Cap space 24/25 onward!!!

    Cgy— gets WW (50%— see below); tremendously improves scoring; saves ~ $1.5 M in Cap this year…. maybe (longshot but maybe) can re-up WW???? They were not having Hanfin on team next year anyway.

    Middle team retains 50% on WW …. $1.15 M – $1.2 M…. Cgy pays them (asset) to do that…. what is the asset given up?

    • Is there any chance of Hani resigning in TO? Is there any way the Flames can afford WW at $10m?

      • Hi Free

        Longshots on both ends (re next year for either WW or Hanafin)…. so the swap is this year….

        Trade works for both teams this year.

        I don’t think Tre should wait things out re WW on the outside chance he signs for $9M

        @ $10 M… guarantees AM $13.5M…. $45.5 M on 4 fwds next year…. 52% of Cap minimum

        Leafs/Tre already in a bind at the current 48% on the top 4

        Even if the miracle comes in $9 M WW, $13 M AM….. that’s 50% on top 4 fwds next year….. worse than this year!!!!

    • Pengy it states that Hanifin wants to play in the US, why would Toronto make such a deal?

      Hanifin isn’t going to sign anywhere this season. Lots of $$$ on the table next season and he will be a Boston Bruin.

      • Hi Caper

        As I said… longshot re either re-upping (WW with Cgy, Hanafin with Leafs)…. but all is unknown in 24/25

        The deal suffices for this year (which is all Conroy and Tre may have for either)…. why not better the teams now

        Both gain in their respective needs for this year and gain in Cap

        This could all be moot as Hanafin just may have Leafs on his 8 team nix list!!!

        To me….. at least worth a call (Tre to Conroy)

        The WW distraction on his (well his dad’s) hold out a few years ago was not under the radar and did cause a distraction

        Leafs can just not afford WW re-up at $10 M; and I would argue they can’t afford $9M either (as that puts AM at a minimum of $13.5 M… 52% total of Cap on 4 forwards

        Tre needs to do something pre start of season

        A call is nothing…. if Hanafin has a nix on Leafs.. at least they then know; move on to next potential trade partner

      • News of Lindholm saying he is willing to extend in Calgary ups the motivation of a Hanfin for Nylander deal. Treliving had a good relationship with Hanafin & is one heck of a salesman to convince Hanafin to stay in Toronto.

        Hanafin for Nylander straight up, with a conditional 2nd round pick if Nylander extends in Calgary. Leafs gain the $2.0mill cap space needed.

        Nylander may like the Swedish connection with Markstrom, Lindholm, Andersen, Backlund in Calgary & give Flames a top line to build around with Huberdeau/Lindholm & Nylander.

        Seems like a win win deal for both teams & the ability to address needs & kick the can down the road when the cap is going up.

      • Yup I’d say too!

    • Who the hell is ww? Too many acronyms on this site!

  6. Why would SJ want to acquire Myers (1 yr at $6M cap hit) for LeBlanc (1 yr at $4.7M cap)? Makes no sense. At least LeBlanc has some upside to help the team offense, so keep him and trade him at the deadline for hopefully better value.

    • Because as of September 2nd they would owe Myers only 1 million. His signing bonus would be paid by Vancouver and only owe him his 1 million salary.

      • If Grier is willing to make his team worse (and have a worse chip at this years trade deadline) just to save a couple bucks, then it’s a sad state of affairs in SJ and their rebuild is in trouble for a long while. Maybe these are the marching orders that ownership gave him, but it stinks for the fans and on ice product.

    • Hi Foleyd7

      Travis is bang on

      Grier has zero concerns with Cap

      This trade, if it goes down 2/9 or later…. has NET Cash savings to Sharks of $4.8 M

      The whole EK move on thing was based on heavy out-year commitments ($38 M)

  7. it has been so wonderful to see dubas face all over hockey sites bowing to his immense prowess as a negotiator.he is on the way to burying pittsburgh in cap hell just like he did in toronto. i wonder if pengy knows how kris letang will take being relegated to power play 2 ?

    • Hi Crazy Cannuck

      I’ve posted many times since the trade…. he would have saved much more in Cap had Granlund been bought out

      Yes tight on Cap

      Good add in EK…. but still 9 4th liners, no 3C, no 3rd line in fact; and most importantly… vulnerabel if Tanger or EK go down (at least as roster is now)— becasue Sully completely disregards best player “next up” mentality and has Ruhweedel (RHD) so absolutely wrongly ahead of Friedman

      W/O another move…. Sully will play Ruhweedel 3RD (which just might cause most of the gains in having EK replace Petry) ; and have him move up to 2RD with either a Tanger or EK injury

      Waiving/burying Ruhweedel; had Friedman in at 3RD…… way better

      Dooby could also sign one of Bear or Foote

      Re ” kris letang will react to being relegated to power play #2″…. Dooby pre any trade for EK had already reached out to Sid/Gino/Tanger on this and got Tanger’s approval of EK on #1 PP; with him (Tanger) on PP #2

      So all good from that perspective

      • Penguins Power Play Rumor – Kris Letang players the left circle PP#1.

    • Who said Tanger would end up on the 2nd PP unit? There’s room on the other point… no?

      Buyouts are dumb. Don’t listen to Pengy. If any of the previous 3 GMs in Pittsburgh would have listened to any of his hair brained nonsense, the club would be maxed out on buyouts and already stuck in cap hell. GMs don’t make trades for fun. Armchair gms do that.

      • That was mean, disrespectful and completely unnecessary

  8. pengy, i wonder how kris letang will react to being relegated to power play #2

  9. hannifin to toronto would be great but i read a report that he does not want to play for a canadian team.toronto will hang on to nylander , nylander will try his damnest to have a great year to inflate his value. if he does, toronto will trade him for a higher value target or pay him what he wants.

  10. Looks like Lindholm had a change of heart ad is working on an 8 yr extension with the Flames. But they are about a million apart, with the Flame at $8.2M AAV and Lindholm north of $9M AAV.

    • $ not the issue…… really it is the $’s with 8 years combined as the issue

      8 year extension has last year played at 38 years old

      how much NORTH of $9M is he looking at … if he is asking for $9.25 M and they are offering $8.2 M…. split he diff…. they are paying Hooby $10.5 M in Cap hit

      • Pengy, Lindholm is 28; so Elias will only be 36 at the start of the final season of an 8 year extension.
        8 x 8.x, where x = 5-7 should do it.
        Front load the salary payments to the limits of the CBA; final year could be in the 5 range, allowing Elias to retire without walking away from too much cash.

        Good ideas on a WW for Hanifin trade.
        Forward to Tre.

      • Hi HOG

        I read the article wrong… it said he’s turning 29 this year; I must read it as he IS 29

        and I knew he was a fall B-Day because when they drafted him they had said he was a late birthday draftee… which collectively had me wrongfully assuming he’s playing this fall at 30; and 8 year extension has him turning 38 the fall of the last year

        You are correct, he starts final season (if 8 year extension) at 36 but turns 37 a few weeks later. plays most of the season at 37

        I agree… 8 years in around mid to high $8 Ms…. Should be fair