Trade chatter has been more intense this season than before and teams are talking a lot prior to the holiday freeze, which runs from December 19 through December 27. Teams are also talking a lot about Montreal Canadiens young goalie Charlie Lindgren.
NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman revealed the amount of interest towards the young goalie, who is turn 25 next month, but also mentioned that Habs general manager Marc Bergevin is expected a lot in return for the netminder who is knowing a lot of success in the American Hockey League at the moment.
Friedman also revealed a very possible destination for Lindgren during his Friday morning radio hit on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960.
“I have heard that the pressure is definitely ratcheting up there. I do believe that’s true that that is going on,” said Friedman of the Panthers. “But one of the guys I think they had interest in last year was Charlie Lindgren, who’s Montreal’s young goaltender, who’s playing this year in Laval at the American Hockey League.
“Charlie Lindgren is a really talented young guy who, from what I understand, is playing very well. I haven’t seen him, but I’ve heard good things about him. And he’s got talent. Montreal has kind of kept him there. They don’t want him as a backup, only playing 20 games, which makes a lot of sense. Niemi has done well for them.
“I think there have been teams, and I do believe Florida is one, who have gone to the Canadiens and said, ‘What would you do there.’ He’s signed to a three-year deal at very reasonable money. And I just understand the price is high. If you want him - because I know the Canadiens like him, and they like having him there as an option for whatever happens in the future because you never know - I think he’s a guy that Florida has looked at."
There is obviously other pending free agents in between the pipes across the league, with Columbus Blue Jackets' Sergei Bobrovsky and Detroit Red Wings' Jimmy Howard. While there are no contract negotiations taking place in Columbus, Howard and Wings GM Ken Holland have been closer to an agreement. The price for Lindgren is therefore expected to be quite high.
“But we’ve talked about this on your show. I spoke to Jimmy Howard this week. And there have been reports that Howard is going to sign a short-term extension in Detroit. And he said, ‘Look, there have been no conversations, but everybody here knows how I feel. I want to be a Red Wing my entire career.’
“So if not Jimmy Howard, then who. Who’s available that you’re looking at and saying, ‘A) I can get, B) I want to get, and C) I don’t have to pay the most outrageous of prices to do it.’ And there’s not a lot of guys.
"Lindgren might actually be the best guy. But the price to get him, assuming even Montreal wants to do that, I think would be really, really high.”
Lindgren is in the first season of a three-year, $2.25 million contract, which carries a cap hit of $750,000. He may become the best trade chip in Montreal at the moment.