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Friedman: Elias Lindholm is high on the Canucks’ radar but might be more costly
By Mike Gould22 days ago
To hear Elliotte Friedman tell it, the Vancouver Canucks greatly covet a player like Elias Lindholm who can play multiple positions in a top-six role.
Friedman made an appearance on Monday’s episode of Donnie & Dhali – The Team on CHEK TV. The Sportsnet hockey insider identified Lindholm as a player who is “high on the radar” in Vancouver but cautioned that he might come at a higher cost because of the Calgary Flames’ reluctance to send him to another Pacific Division team.
“There’s no question that they’re looking for a top-six forward,” Friedman said. “I think what they would ideally like to do is get someone who can play multiple positions, because you know if you play the 6-40-9 line together, you need a No. 2 centre, and if you don’t play the 6-40-9 line together, then you want someone who can play on the wing.
“That’s why I wonder about a guy like Lindholm, and I do think Lindholm is very high on [the Canucks’] radar. The one thing I think is, look, you guys already made a Zadorov deal with Calgary, you guys do have the ability to make deals with them, but you guys had to pay a little bit more than some other teams might have for Zadorov. You had to throw in a second pick there. You were willing to take the full money. I just think that if it’s going to be Flames-Canucks, for a guy like Lindholm, you guys are going to have to pay a little bit more than some other teams will.”
Lindholm, 29, has nine goals and 32 points in 49 games with the Flames this season. The six-year deal he signed with the Flames back in 2018 carries a $4.85 million cap hit and is set to expire this coming July, making him a pending unrestricted free agent.
The Flames have deployed Lindholm in numerous different ways, but almost always on their top line, since he arrived in Calgary six seasons ago.
Initially, Lindholm skated on the right side of the team’s top line with Sean Monahan as his centre and Johnny Gaudreau on the opposite wing in 2018–19 and 2019–20.
Later on, head coach Darryl Sutter shifted Lindholm to centre on the top unit between Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk. That trio developed into one of the National Hockey League’s most dominant lines in the 2021–22 season.
Lindholm scored 42 goals and 82 points in 82 games with the 2021–22 Flames but has struggled to find chemistry with his teammates since Gaudreau and Tkachuk left Calgary in the 2022 offseason. Most recently, Lindholm has skated on a line with Yegor Sharangovich and rookie Matt Coronato.
The Carolina Hurricanes originally selected Lindholm with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft. The Swedish centre made his NHL debut with the Hurricanes the following year and spent five seasons in Carolina before being traded to the Flames in a blockbuster deal involving Noah Hanifin, Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland, and the rights to then-prospect Adam Fox.
Through 792 career games over 11 NHL seasons with the Flames and Hurricanes, Lindholm has collected 212 goals and 545 points. He’s added eight goals and 17 points in 27 playoff contests.
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