3 teams that need to trade for Noah Hanifin right now

With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, these three teams should trade for Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin right now.

Jan 16, 2024; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin (55) takes to the ice
Jan 16, 2024; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin (55) takes to the ice / Brett Holmes-USA TODAY Sports
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1. The Maple Leafs need a defenseman like Noah Hanifin as they push for the playoffs

The Toronto Maple Leafs have had struggles of their own this season, going 26-16-8 thus far, good for 60 points in their first 50 games. The Leafs are currently holding the top Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference and while they're only one point back of Tampa Bay for third in the Atlantic Division, they're just four points ahead of the Devils and Islanders while they try and hold onto a playoff spot.

This Maple Leafs team was hoping to finally make that run to the Stanley Cup Finals their fans have been waiting for this season, but now, more than halfway through the season, the Leafs are just hoping to get to the playoffs. One way they can get closer to solidifying their spot would be improving their defense.

Morgan Reilly is the anchor of Toronto's defense and things fall off dramatically after him. Jake McCabe is second in points among Maple Leafs defensemen and he has just 17 in 44 games. The Leafs need more from their back end, and Hanifin would help with that in a big way on both sides of the ice.

While the Flames have been an underwhelming team for most of the season, Hanifin has been their second-best defenseman, only behind Mackenzie Weegar, in plus-minus sitting at a plus=10. No Maple Leafs defenseman, not even Reilly, has that good of a plus-minu. That stat doesn't tell the whole story, but over a large sample, it suggests that positive things happen more often than not when Hanifin is on the ice, and things could be even better with a better team around him.

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