Ducks Re-sign Hampus Lindholm
TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports the Anaheim Ducks re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Hampus Lindholm to a six-year, $31.5 million contract. The annual average salary is $5.25 million.
That’s less than the $5.4 million annual hit of Buffalo Sabres blueliner Rasmus Ristolainen. No word yet how Lindholm’s new deal is structured regarding signing bonuses or salary variance.
It was initially reported the Lindholm camp sought upwards of $7 million per season, then lowered their asking price to $6 million annually. For the last couple of weeks there were reports the two sides were only $250K per season apart.
In his short NHL career, the 22-year-old Lindholm established himself as an invaluable top-two defenseman for the Ducks. The 6’3″, 205 pounder has good size, skates big minutes and possesses terrific all-around blueline skills. He’s obviously a crucial part of their defense corps. Getting him under a long-term deal was crucial. Given his ongoing upside, this deal could prove to be reasonable for the Ducks over the next six years.
For this season, however, it’s still a tight fit for the Ducks. They got some short-term cap relief by placing concussed blueliner Simon Despres on long-term injured reserve. However, they’ll have to find some cap payroll space for when he’s ready to return to the lineup. That could resurrect the Cam Fowler ($4 million per season) trade rumors that were flying around since late-June.