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Friedman: Elias Lindholm contract talks with the Calgary Flames have been quiet (but should pick up)

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Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
7 months ago
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Labour Day’s arrival generally signals the beginning of the end of the summer, especially for those in the hockey world. Over at Sportsnet, Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek released a brand-new edition of their 32 Thoughts podcast on Monday.
In it, Friedman provided an update on the status of Calgary Flames forward Elias Lindholm.
Here’s Friedman:
“One of the interesting interviews that was done recently was involving Elias Lindholm in Sweden. He talked to a Swedish reporter about how he’d be willing to stay. From what I understand, the Flames and Lindholm have really been quiet this summer when it came to contract negotiations. I would expect that to pick up as he returns and things get closer to the season. I think the Flames were prepared, after they made some of their decisions – trading Tyler Toffoli and hearing that Noah Hanifin was not going to extend – that they were prepared to let things play out a little bit over the summer. Everybody gets some downtime, just relax and refresh, and they’d get back to those conversations around now or in the near future. So I would expect things with Lindholm to pick up a bit, but I don’t think anything’s imminent there despite what Lindholm said to the Swedish reporter. That’s good news for the Flames and their fans, but everybody has to get to a place where they’re comfortable.”
Lindholm, the Selke Trophy runner-up in 2021-22 and the Flames’ first-line centre for the past several seasons, is a pending unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2024 upon the expiry of his current contract. Based on his age and comparable offensive production, the fair market value for him would be something like Bo Horvat’s recent deal with the New York Islanders (signed shortly after his trade from Vancouver): eight years at a $8.5 million AAV.
When Craig Conroy was named the new Flames general manager on May 23, he was asked about (and spoke extensively about) the club’s seven pending 2024 unrestricted free agents: most notably Lindholm. If nothing else, the Flames have gotten a sense of what their 2024 UFAs want to do – and they’ve reduced the number of UFAs to six by trading Toffoli to New Jersey. Further moves have likely been complicated (or delayed) by the tight trade market and players wanting to see what the atmosphere is like under Conroy and new head coach Ryan Huska.
Veterans report to main camp on Sept. 20. The season begins for the Flames on Oct. 11. Perhaps in-between those dates, the fates of more of their pending 2024 UFAs will be determined.

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