Canucks trying to sign Lindholm to long-term contract
Daily Hive Vancouver  

Canucks trying to sign Lindholm to long-term contract

The right move?



UPDATE: Vancouver Canucks President Jim Rutherford spoke to the media this morning following the team's acquisition of forward Elias Lindholm from the Calgary Flames in exchange for forward Andrei Kuzmenko, the rights to defencemen Joni Jurmo and Hunter Brzustewicz, a 2024 1st round pick and a conditional 2024 4th round pick last night.

Lindholm, of course, is a pending unrestricted free agent (UFA) and can leave the Canucks in the offseason for absolutely no return. So... what's the plan? Do Rutherford and the Canucks see Lindholm as a pure rental player for the playoffs or do they plan on re-signing him for next season and beyond?

Rutherford on Sportsnet's Jeff Marek Show this morning:

"We do look at the two possibilities. Lindholm could be a rental, he could be a long-term guy. In an ideal world we'd like to keep him long-term, but we'll see how that goes. And, of course, if we do keep him long-term it will have a domino affect of how many players we can keep from a cap point of view. But, we've got a long ways to go here. We've got over 30 games to go and hopefully a number of playoff games and that sort of stuff usually sorts it self out. We'll be able to sort that out once we get to the end."

- Jim Rutherford

To me, it all sounds like Lindholm's future in Vancouver depends on how well he gels with his new teammates and what sort of success the management and coaching staff envision with their roster long-term. 

For more on last night's big trade between the two Western Canadian rivals, read our earlier published report below.

In case you missed it last night the Vancouver Canucks GM Patrik Allvin announced that he has acquired forward Elias Lindholm from the Calgary Flames in exchange for forward Andrei Kuzmenko, the rights to defencemen Joni Jurmo and Hunter Brzustewicz, a 2024 1st round pick and a conditional 2024 4th round pick.

Flames fans online seem to be very happy at the haul that GM Craig Conroy received for Lindholm, a pending UFA who was expected to leave the team for nothing this upcoming offseason.

What's even more interesting to me is that according to multiple sources, the Flames and Canucks were close to including veteran defenseman Chris Tanev in the deal, as well. Canucks insider Rick Dhaliwal reported that Tanev was, at one point, part of the trade but then was pulled when Conroy felt he could get a better return for Tanev in a separate trade.

Check it out:

Tanev, of course, has a long history with the Canucks and could be a perfect defensive complement to captain Quinn Hughes.

In any case, Canucks fans mostly seem happy with the deal, with some of them worrying that they slightly overpaid for the overhyped Lindholm. While there's no denying that five assets for one asset is a lopsided trade on the surface, I believe this is very much a quantity over quality type of deal for the Canucks.

Kuzmenko simply isn't long for Vancouver under head coach Rick Tocchet. He had a stellar campaign last season playing mostly under Bruce Boudreau and his freewheeling system, but under Tocchet Kuzemenko has struggled to stay in the lineup. He's a defensive liability more often than not and has found himself a healthy scratch on multiple occasions this season. He'll benefit from a fresh start in Calgary and the Canucks will benefit from shedding his $5.5 million salary this season and next season.

Jurmo and Brzustewicz are both 3rd round picks who project to be depth NHLers at best. Both players have some upside and some promise, but the Flames are essentially getting lottery tickets with these guys and hoping that they cash in. 

The 1st round pick adds some real value, but from the Canucks' perspective it's a worthwhile price. The pick will be late in the 1st round if all goes according to plan. The conditional 4th round pick really puts things over the top from the Flames' perspective and made it too good of an offer to pass up. As TSN insider Pierre LeBrun reported last night, no other teams were willing to match the Canucks' offer for Lindholm, a player they coveted greatly.

The Canucks' acquisition of Lindholm now enables them to load up their top line of Elias Pettersson, JT Miller and Brock Boeser every evening without having to worry about breaking up Pettersson and Miller to play 1C/2C roles. It's a pivotal spot in the lineup that's been missing since their trade of former captain Bo Horvat last season. Look for Lindholm to play alongside a revolving cast of wingers like Conor Garland, Nils Hoglander, Ilya Mikheyev and Pius Suter.

Source: Jeff Marek