Friedman: ‘It’s possible’ Elias Lindholm extension is going to be ‘in $9 million range’

Photo credit:© Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
6 months ago
Another week brings with it another edition of the 32 Thoughts column from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. Friedman was in town last week, and had a few observations and tidbits about the Calgary Flames.
Here’s Friedman:
9. One night in Calgary has convinced me of one thing: the mood among the Flames is much better than last season. Very, very different vibe — in a good way. Mikael Backlund’s extension is a great sign, and others are positively reconsidering their futures. But I don’t get the sense anything is close, yet. And it’s possible Elias Lindholm’s number is going to be higher than I initially thought — in the $9-million range.
10. Backlund’s deal has an interesting wrinkle. There’s the typical no-move, no-trade protection — until Jan. 1, 2026. Then, the no-move stays to protect against waivers, but the no-trade drops to 15 teams. 
There’s been increasing chatter regarding Lindholm, a pending unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2024, but discussions of his deal and a potential number date back to the summer. If you’re a Flames Talk listener, Pat Steinberg has been discussing a potential deal with a cap hit of between $8.5 and $9 million for months. The general benchmark used in public discussions for contract comparables has been Bo Horvat’s deal with the New York Islanders. When you account for salary cap growth in the interim (and give Lindholm the same cap percentage that Horvat got), that’s a $9 million AAV.
Earlier this week, our pal Frank Seravalli from Daily Faceoff indicated it’s “a better than 50% shot” that Lindholm is signed to a contract extension before opening night on Oct. 11.
If nothing else, there’s certainly more media chatter regarding the possibility than there was a month ago. Let’s see if it translates into a deal.
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