** NHLRumors.com transcription
Marek: “Also with the Calgary Flames, you report Saturday about Noah Hanifin and some movement with a new contract.”
Friedman: “Yes. And since I put it out there, I’ve heard a bit more. I think more now than some movement. Judging from the reaction I got after that aired, I think it would be a surprise if it didn’t happen.
Now, I don’t know the exact timeline but I’m always careful as you know about language cause then it turns into something viral that I didn’t intend it to mean. Like I’ve had people say optimism. I’ve had people say progress. I’ve had one guy say to me there was a breakthrough and it’s gonna get done.
But put it this way, I think the best way to put it is, it’s going to be a surprise if it doesn’t happen.
And we should say that this is big, big victory for the Flames because Hanifin, you’ll remember when there was all the talk about all the guys that wouldn’t stay. We’ll they’ve got (Mikael) Backlund signed and now, Hanifin was the one guy in the summer, and I reported on his Pod that Hanifin indicated he wanted to go back to the United States and no one argued with me. No one.
Normally if I have something wrong on the Pod, I’ll get at least one phone call about it. Something like that, someone will call me and say, ‘you are wrong, fix this.’ And not a single person did. Cause at the time, that was what was conveyed.
Now, ultimately Hanifin at some point in time will give us a better indication of what changed his mind. Number one, I think it’s time. Obviously, he’s seen things in Calgary that he likes. I do think Jeff, as you and I have talked about, there are players who are nervous out there, the way the cap has gone the last couple years. The markets been very tight. I think there are players who say that if the money’s there and you’re happy in your situation, it’s much harder now, until the cap really starts going up a couple times, it’s harder now to say no.
And, ultimately I don’t want to put words in Hanifin’s mouth, he’ll tell us, but like I said, it would be a surprise by now if it doesn’t happen.
Marek: “So two things there. One, I thought it was going to be Buffalo. I thought that was going to be the landing spot for Noah Hanifin. And two, you’ve already sort of indicated this, but maybe I’m asking a rhetorical question here, but is this Mikael Backlund affect?”
Friedman: “I think it is to some degree. Those players really like Backlund. We’ve talked about how for a lot of reasons he was the captain last year even if he didn’t have it in name only.
I’ll say this, there’s all this talk about American players wanting to stay in Canada. This would be another big one. You’ve got J.T. Miller, Connor Hellebuyck, Hanifin would be another, Auston Matthews, Cole Caufield. Depending on how much long you want to put the timeline on this, Brady Tkachuk and Josh Norris.
We all talk about who wants to stay here, but Hanifin would be a big one for Calgary as they continue to try to keep some of their players. Now, like I’ve said, I think they’ve talked to Tanev. It could always change. I heard it hadn’t progressed as much as Hanifin’s was. And there’s still Lindholm here.
It’s an interesting time for Calgary. They didn’t have a great road trip. They probably deserved a better fate in Washington but they didn’t have a great trip. It’s always, I remember years ago, I think it was Cliff Fletcher who told me once, there’s this conversation you have about signing players when things aren’t going great but I think at the end of the day you always look at the big picture.
And Hanifin’s still a pretty young guy. That trade has turned out good for him and good for them. And he’s a really good player and he’s on their top pair. So I’m not surprised they’re prioritizing him.”