NHL Rumor Mill – September 2, 2023
ELIAS LINDHOLM WILL TO STAY WITH THE FLAMES
CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson reports Elias Lindholm is willing to stick with the Flames. The 28-year-old center told Sweden’s Hockeysverige.se that his agent and the club are handling the contract extension negotiations. He said there is a lot the two sides have to agree on.
“After that, it’s up to the agent and Calgary to sort out the rest, “ said Lindholm. “Then, we’ll see if it works out or not.”
Lindholm noted that he has a year remaining on his current contract after which he’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent. “Nothing strange about that,” he said. “We will see what happens.”
Gilbertson believes the Flames can’t afford to let Lindholm depart next summer as a UFA. He believes the two-way center will be traded before then if they fail to hammer out an extension.
Flames general manager Craig Conroy has made it clear that he wants to get Lindholm under contract. It’s rumored the center could seek an average annual value of $9 million. Comparables could be the New York Islanders’ Bo Horvat and the Los Angeles Kings’ Pierre-Luc Dubois. Both are earning AAVs of $8.5 million but Lindholm was a Selke Finalist in 2021-22.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lindholm would draw plenty of interest if the Flames shop him before the March trade deadline. The Boston Bruins have been frequently mentioned as a possible suitor. For now, however, it’s a positive sign for the Flames that Lindholm is willing to sign with them provided they can work out a mutually beneficial deal.
THE LATEST ON KUZNETSOV AND MANTHA
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau believes Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov will be on the hot seat this season. The 31-year-old center is coming off a disappointing performance in 2022-23, making him the subject of trade chatter following reports he requested a trade last March, something he hasn’t rescinded.
Kuznetsov is signed through 2024-25 with an AAV of $7.8 million and a 10-team no-trade clause. That gives him cost certainty for certain teams. Given his current low value in the trade market, Proteau believes the only way Kuznetsov gets moved this season is if he plays well.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Then again, an improved effort by Kuznetsov could make him more valuable to the Capitals playoff hopes this season. It’ll be interesting to see how his situation unfolds.
Capitals winger Anthony Mantha is also coming off a lousy 2022-23 campaign. He carries an AAV of $5.7 million, lacks no-trade protection and is eligible next summer for UFA status. Proteau suggests he might be an attractive rental option if his performance improves.
ENNIS, COMTOIS COULD GET TRYOUT OFFERS
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports Tyler Ennis might get a professional tryout offer (PTO) from a Western-based club. The former NHL forward is also mulling offers from Switzerland, where he played last season.