The Calgary Flames still haven’t been told by forward Elias Lindholm what his plan is when it comes to his playing future in Calgary. The Flames are hoping he’ll re-sign with the team and the club doesn’t want to go through a rebuild, nor does Lindholm. Unfortunately, the thought here is that no answer might be an answer.
The concern, as Salim Valji of TSN points out is that history might be set to repeat itself in Calgary.
It wasn’t that long ago, that the Flames thought they had a deal with Johnny Gaudreau and it turned out the player elected to test free agency and left Calgary for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Then-GM Brad Treliving was under the impression that they could work out a deal and had offered Gaudreau and solid contract extension. In Lindholm’s case, speculation is that the Flames are ready to pay $9 million per season to Lindholm on a nine-year extension. That he’s not taking a huge payday like that is troublesome and suggests Lindholm believes he can potentially get more next summer as a free agent when the salary cap jumps.
The Flames Will Have to Make a Decision
At some point, the Flames potentially need to move on. If he won’t commit to what the organization sees as an extremely fair deal, the best play is to get as much for the player in a trade as possible. He’s on a great team-friendly deal at $4.85 million, so he’s affordable in a tight cap situation for teams that don’t have a lot of money to spend. The issue becomes locking him in long-term and if it’s just Calgary that he’s hesitant about or anywhere. Teams won’t want to pay a huge price to acquire him if he’s not willing to sign an extension and plans to test free agency regardless of where he winds up.
The longer it takes Lindholm to make up his mind, the less business the Flames can do.
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