Johnston: Elias Lindholm ‘is interested in staying’ with the Calgary Flames
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike3 months ago
Now that the coaching and managerial jobs have been filled, there’s no bigger off-season piece of business for the Calgary Flames than determining the future of centre Elias Lindholm. Lindholm could become an unrestricted free agent in July 2024, and the Flames would probably like to keep him long-term or get some assets back for him.
On Thursday’s edition of the Chris Johnston Show, the eponymous host provided an update on Lindholm: he’s interested in staying.
“What I can tell you is that he is interested in staying. He’s definitely open to it. But, you know, he’s kind of in the driver’s seat, right? He’s like a lot of these players that are one year out from UFA, with teams having to make a decision on him, he’s not going to necessarily bend over backwards to give them a better salary. He’s going to have to have certain numbers met, and I don’t know exactly what those numbers are, to make it make sense. But I think with the right vision for building out the organization, and the right contract on the table, I think there’s definitely a path to getting that done.”
Johnston was quick to note that negotiations aren’t happening yet, but that the Flames are keeping in touch with Lindholm’s camp and keeping them in the loop regarding what’s going on, the vision for the team, and whatnot. Lines of communication are definitely open.
Lindholm is entering the final year of a six year deal that began in 2018-19 and carries a $4.85 million cap hit. Since arriving in Calgary from Carolina at the 2018 NHL Draft, Lindholm has emerged as a top-flight centre for the Flames and a fixture for the club in all game situations. He was runner-up for the Selke Trophy in 2021-22. Suffice it to say, he’s been a gigantic bargain for the Flames.
Lindholm turns 29 in December and would be 30 during the first year of his next contract. The big question for the Flames, or whoever else would consider signing Lindholm long-term, is how he’ll age and how his cap number will look as he moves into his 30s.
But at the very least, Lindholm reportedly remains open to the possibility of remaining in Calgary.
“It’s certainly not a case where he wants out of town,” said Johnston.
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