Boston Bruins

NHL trade rumors: Latest update on Elias Lindholm contract talks

Lindholm's future in Calgary remains uncertain.

NBC Universal, Inc.

The NHL trade deadline isn't until March 9, 2024, but teams still can begin prepping their trade target boards and laying the groundwork for potential deals to come.

One player who will likely generate plenty of trade rumors and speculation in the coming months is Calgary Flames No. 1 center Elias Lindholm. The top-six forward is in the final year of his contract, and unless he signs an extension before the trade deadline, there will be plenty of discussion over his future with the Flames.

What's the latest on Lindholm's situation in Calgary?

The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun reported last Thursday that "All remains quiet on the Elias Lindholm contract front."

LeBrun also added: "The positive is that the dialogue continues, and I don’t sense any lines being drawn in the sand. But the negative obviously is that going back to the Flames’ contract offer being made a week after the June draft and the Lindholm camp sharing its counter position, there really hasn’t been much movement as far as I can tell."

LeBrun noted that Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele's contract extension from last week -- a seven year, $59.5 million pact -- is a good comparable for Lindholm. The Flames center hasn't been as potent offensively as Scheifele, but he's better defensively and two years younger.

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman said last week on his 32 Thoughts podcast that "as long as there are players like Lindholm and (Mark) Scheifele unsigned, Boston will be lurking." That episode was taped before Scheifele signed his extension, but the Lindholm part was notable.

The Boston Bruins often come up when people talk about potential landing spots for Lindholm. It makes sense given the Bruins' need for a top-six center, although that might change if 19-year-old forward Matthew Poitras continues to impress and remains in Boston for the entire season.

Lindholm's excellent two-way skill set -- he finished second in Selke Trophy voting two years ago -- would make him a good fit in Boston, too. The B's ask their centers to be responsible defensively, kill penalties and contribute to special teams. Lindholm fits that description.

There's no point in the Bruins acquiring Lindholm as a rental. A trade and an extension -- similar to what Boston did with Hampus Lindholm in 2022 -- makes the most sense if a deal is made. If Lindholm's extension ultimately comes in around Scheifele's new salary cap hit of $8.5 million, that's a lot of money. The Bruins could have around $26 million in cap space next offseason, per CapFriendly, but they also need to re-sign important players such as Jeremy Swayman and Jake DeBrusk, among others.

The cost of legit top-six centers is pretty high, though. The only way to get them cheap is to draft and develop, and if there's one position the Bruins have consistently failed to draft and develop stars at, it's center.

Lindholm makes a lot of sense for the Bruins in terms of talent, fit and need. But do the Bruins have enough quality trade assets to outbid any other interested teams? It's important to remember the Bruins don't have a ton of elite-level prospects, and they don't have a 2024 first-round pick nor any second-rounders in 2024 or 2025. But if he does become available, the Bruins should at least try to make a deal. Lindholm is worthy of a large trade package.

Based on all the reporting, it doesn't look like anything is imminent on the Lindholm front, but his situation in Calgary is definitely worth monitoring as long as he remains unsigned. It's possible he could be the most talked about player as the trade deadline nears.

Contact Us