The atmosphere around the Calgary Flames is notably different as they kick off their training camp, with a newfound positivity resonating throughout the team. This optimism extends beyond the ice, as several pending unrestricted free agents (UFAs) have displayed a more open-minded approach to remaining with the Flames—a stark contrast to the recent exodus of players. Moreover, it’s become increasingly evident that one of Calgary’s key forwards is eager to secure a long-term future with the team.
Elias Lindholm, a vital presence on the Flames’ roster, has been unequivocal in his desire to remain in Calgary. Entering the final season of his six-year, $29.1 million contract inked in 2018, Lindholm has been vocal about his intentions to sign an extension. He has communicated his expectations and now patiently awaits the Flames to finalize the deal.
A few days ago, Lindholm seemed openly frustrated when answering questions at the team golf tournament. On the opening day of training camp, there was a different one, more at ease talking about his future. Lindholm reaffirmed his commitment to the team and while he echoed the sentiments expressed during last week’s team golf tournament, he was joking with reporters and offering more than one-word answers. However, he did reveal that contract discussions with the Flames have slowed in recent weeks.
“We talked early on in the summer, and that was the last time we talked,” Lindholm shared. “There hasn’t been much.” He added that he’s been pretty clear on what he wants and the organization knows where he stands in terms of his next deal.
When pressed about the possibility of his agent, Craig Oster, engaging with the Flames once the season is underway, Lindholm maintained a focus on the immediate task at hand. “It’ll be handled when there will be time for that,” he stated. “For now, I’m focused on the season and trying to make the most of it, and try and help this team win as many games as possible.”
Since the 2018-19 season, he leads all Flames players with 139 goals and 325 points, and he donned the alternate captain’s letter on his jersey last season.
Lindholm Knows What He Wants, He’s Just Waiting
Lindholm has anchored the Flames’ top line for the past four seasons, consistently delivering standout performances. He wants to continue to do so, but all indications are that he’s just waiting for the offer to be right. Time will tell if the Flames meet him at his ask.
Losing Lindholm would necessitate a significant reshuffling of the team’s lineup, impacting the Flames’ offensive dynamics and potentially elevating Nazem Kadri to the role of the team’s top center. The situation also adds intrigue as fellow pivot Mikael Backlund enters the final year of his contract.
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