Bruins Named ‘Most Interesting Suitor’ for Canucks’ Elias Lindholm

Elias Lindholm #23 of the Vancouver Canucks

Getty Elias Lindholm #23 of the Vancouver Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks considered trading Elias Lindholm ahead of the trade deadline with the Boston Bruins linked to the forward back then. The pending free agent might leave Canada on his way to the United States in the summer.

That is what will happen in the eyes of Eric Beaston, who writing a column over Bleacher Report on June 18 has projected that the Bruins are likely to sign Elias Lindholm.

“The most interesting potential suitor would be the Boston Bruins, a team that has Stanley Cup aspirations but has fallen short each of the last two seasons, despite loaded rosters,” Beaston wrote.

Adding credence to this scenario, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman also mentioned on the Jeff Marek Show on June 10 that it seems unlikely the Canucks will be able to re-sign Lindholm, allowing him to enter free agency.

Elias Lindholm’s Possible Departure from Vancouver

Elias Lindholm’s tenure with the Vancouver Canucks has been brief but impactful, although to varying extents and not when it mattered the most.

The Canucks acquired Lindholm in a trade with the Calgary Flames in February. Lindholm scored 12 points in 26 regular-season games for the Canucks, but Vancouver fell in Game 7 of the conference semifinals to the Edmonton Oilers

According to Friedman, appearing on The Jeff Marek Show on June 17, Lindholm’s departure is increasingly likely due to financial constraints and other pending free agents.

“I’ve been watching Vancouver because I’ve been kind of waiting. Like, I think Elias Lindholm is out and the trade opens the door to others. We most likely are–but I’m not willing to pronounce that one officially done yet–I do think that there’s a framework of a Tyler Myers deal there,” Friedman said.

The Canucks are also interested in pursuing other top-tier forwards in free agency, which could leave Lindholm on the outside looking in and up for grabs.

Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff, for one, reported on June 18 that Vancouver could be positioning itself as a contender to “make a strong play” and sign winger Jake Guentzel when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Bruins’ Approach to Signing Lindholm

The Bruins have shown a keen interest in acquiring Elias Lindholm, especially as he approaches free agency and after being linked to him in a potential deadline trade, as reported by NHL insider Chris Johnston on March 5.

CapFriendly projects the Bruins to enter the offseason with $21 million in cap space, although they only have 17 players out of 23 under contract in their active roster.

Beaston doesn’t think the Bruins will have a problem managing their cap and potentially landing Lindholm, considering they can still create some bonus cap room before July 1.

“The team has its own decision to make in regards to goaltenders Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman, which would theoretically free up cap space and make pursuing Lindholm easier,” Beaston wrote.

In another analysis by Michael DeRosa of The Hockey News, the analyst made clear Lindholm could be the final piece missing on Boston’s puzzle to get over the hump and contend for the Stanley Cup.

“There is no question that the Bruins need a top-six center, and Lindholm would give them that,” DeRosa wrote on June 11. “When playing at his best, he is an outstanding two-way forward who chips in well offensively and is effective defensively. If the Bruins signed Lindholm, he would immediately become their best center.”

Lindholm averaged 17:42 of ice time with the Canucks, the lowest figure since his 2017-18 season with Carolina, yet his overall point total for the season was the highest of his career.

The Flames signed Lindholm to the contract he just completed, worth $29.1 million over six years, in 2018. Evolving-Hockey projects Lindholm to sign a four-year deal with an annual cap hit of $8.7 million.

Read More