Elias Lindholm isn't worth what he thinks he is to remain with the Canucks

The reality is that Elias Lindholm is simply asking for too much and the Vancouver Canucks would be best-served just walking away from the All-Star.
Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks - Game One
Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks - Game One / Derek Cain/GettyImages

There's no disputing that Elias Lindholm is a quality two-way centre. It's why the Vancouver Canucks believed he was worth overpaying for by way of a trade with the Calgary Flames, where they gave up Andrei Kuzmenko, two prospects and first and fourth round draft picks.

Clearly the Canucks saw Lindholm as a vital addition after their surprising start to the 2023-24 season, to help them in their quest to reach and then progress through the playoffs. However, it's debatable to this day, whether he was worth what the team gave up to acquire him.

Yes the Canucks knew the 29-year-old was effectively a gamble, with no guarantees he would re-sign with the team. And this is now where we apparently are, with the majority of media speculation claiming that he won't be back in Vancouver next season.

As we've written ad nauseam, the Canucks have plenty of difficult decisions to make, with nine unrestricted and two restricted pending free agents to consider. Thanks to the salary cap, the team has to prioritise the importance and financial worth of all 11 players.

Canucks have set their limit

In respect of Lindholm specifically, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman recently indicated what the Canucks are prepared to offer. During last Friday's 32 Thoughts Podcast with Jeff Marek, he said the team was looking at around seven years, with an annual value of $7 million.

This would certainly be an improvement from Lindholm's six-year deal which he signed with the Flames back in 2018, with an annual average value of $4.85 million. And yet it seems this still isn't enough for the player (and his agent).

As a result, all signs are pointing towards the Sweden native testing free agency on July 1. Certainly this makes financial sense for the player, with him in demand and more than likely to receive a long-term deal worth more than $7 million annually. (He is apparently looking for at least $8 million per season.)

Losing Lindholm might not be THAT bad

From the Canucks' perspective, assuming Friedman's reporting is correct -- and he is one of the most highly respected and well-connected members of the hockey media -- you can't accuse them of not making a genuine effort to re-sign Lindholm. In truth though, missing out on him might actually prove to be a blessing in disguise.

Harsh or not, the 2013 fifth overall draft pick is already looking like a player on the decline, even allowing for his excellent production during the playoffs. Prior to this, he had done little in Vancouver and, combined with his form in Calgary, had arguably his worst regular season since 2017-18.

Combine this with Lindholm turning 30 later on this year, and you have to wonder about the wisdom of being tied to a contract which would last seven seasons. This is a big commitment, for a player who actually spent the majority of his time with the Cancucks playing on their third line.

Next. Canucks preparing for life after Filip Hronek. Canucks preparing for life after Filip Hronek. dark

Overall, as we've previously written, the Canucks just need to accept Lindholm will not be back next season. As good as he is (or has been), he's just not worth as much as he believes he is, especially not on such a long-term deal.

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