Photo credit:Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
Calgary Flames forward Elias Lindholm navigates an uncertain future
1 month ago
Editor’s note: One of our colleagues in Sweden interviewed Calgary Flames forward Elias Lindholm earlier this week. We present it to you via a translation into English by Uffe Bodin.
Four prominent Swedish stars entered the season with expiring contracts. However, two of them, Rasmus Dahlin and William Nylander, have already signed eight-year deals, making them two of the highest-paid NHL players starting next season. The other two, Elias Pettersson and Elias Lindholm have not reached agreements with their clubs for new contracts.
Especially Elias Lindholm has an uncertain future. The 29-year-old star centre can become an unrestricted free agent this summer and is increasingly mentioned in trade discussions ahead of the March deadline.
Now, he addresses the rumours.
“It’s part of it now, as you approach the end of the contract. I try not to think about it too much, but it’s also difficult to avoid social media and friends talking and reading things,” he says about the trade rumours surrounding him.
“I try not to focus too much on it, but sometimes it’s hard to shut out everything.”
Lindholm has 30 points in 45 games this season but does not want to point to the contract situation as the main factor for his slightly slower point production.
“It’s hard not to think about the situation you’re in, even if you do your best to shut it out.”
“In general, I’ve had many chances, but the pucks just aren’t going in right now. That’s how it is sometimes. Just try to continue and not think too much about the situation I’m in.”
His current contract with the Calgary Flames has a cap hit of $4.85 million per season, making him underpaid considering his true market value.
What is most important to you in your next contract? Is it the length, no-movement clauses, money, the chance to win, or something else?
“It’s a bit of everything. Of course, in my next contract, I want to stay in the same place for as long as possible, so I want to sign as long a contract as possible. Then, the money is a part of it, of course. Everything really comes into play.”
“Of course, you want the most, and you always want to win. At the same time, you want to join a good organization where you feel comfortable and know your role and such.”
Do you approach things differently now that you are a father, since almost a year ago?
“Yes, a bit like that, of course. It’s not just me who should be happy, everyone should feel good, and everything should be good around us. So, of course, it has changed a bit.”
Lindholm reveals that he doesn’t know what his future looks like. According to him, the parties haven’t discussed an extension since the summer.
“I received an offer in July. But we didn’t agree on that. That was the last time we talked about the contract”, he says.
“I actually don’t know what will happen. I just want to take it as it comes. It’s quite close to the trade deadline, and our team has been doing well lately. Hopefully, I can do something good with the Flames.”
The last few years have been turbulent in Calgary. Star player Johnny Gaudreau left as a free agent, then Matthew Tkachuk was traded, and his replacement Jonathan Huberdeau hasn’t found success in the Flames jersey. Additionally, some players were said to demand the firing of coach Darryl Sutter to want to stay with the club. Sutter was fired and replaced by assistant coach Ryan Huska. Moreover, general manager Brad Treliving left and was replaced by assistant general manager Craig Conroy.
Captain Mikael Backlund has since signed a new contract, but Lindholm along with defensemen Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev still have expiring deals. Lindholm, however, is one of those openly stating that he could imagine staying.
“I’ve been here for quite a while and feel incredibly good. It’s a good organization, and I enjoy everything around, the city, and the fans. It’s been good since I arrived. But it’s not just up to me, so we’ll see what happens. I don’t really know how things stand since it’s been a while since we talked. There’s still some time until the deadline.”
Recent articles from Mans Karlsson