The Flames have taken care of one of the most important parts of their offseason, signing restricted free agent Elias Lindholm to a six-year deal, worth an annual average of $4.85 million per year.
Lindholm filed for arbitration and had his date set for Aug. 1, but seeing as he was one of two major acquisitions in a draft day deal – when the Flames flipped Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland, and Adam Fox for Lindholm and Noah Hanifin – getting him locked up was of great priority.
There had been rumours floating around that Lindholm would be signing a five- or six-year deal carrying a cap hit over $5 million. Coming in at under that number is a great move for the Flames; while Lindholm has shown excellent ability and consistency throughout his five years in the NHL to date – a league he pretty much stepped right into after being drafted – he has yet to crack the 50-point mark in a single season, unlike many of those who carry cap hits over $5 million as restricted free agents.
Also re: Lindholm deal, no signing bonus money and is 100% free of trade/move restrictions.
— Dean Molberg (@fan960boomer) July 16, 2018
This deal makes Lindholm the Flames’ fifth highest paid forward. The six-year deal eats up four of his UFA years.
Lindholm is expected to play a top six role for the Flames, all the while fixing a major problem they’ve had in previous seasons: no talented right-hand shots. He should be an incredibly valuable addition to the Flames’ roster, as not only is he a righty, but he can also play centre or the wing, and provides the forward group with far more flexibility than it has had in recent years.
So it would probably be going light to say this is an outstanding deal for the Flames: and one that has the potential to get better, should Lindholm continue to improve his play, particularly alongside, in all likelihood, superior linemates.
This deal leaves the Flames with roughly $8 million left in cap space. The Flames still need to sign fellow former Hurricane Noah Hanifin, but as he was arbitration ineligible, there’s no clock on that. They also need to re-sign RFAs Mark Jankowski, Garnet Hathaway, Brett Kulak, and David Rittich. Doing so would give them a complete roster, barring no other moves.