Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm doesn’t seem to be turning his back on Stampede City entirely as he enters the final year of his contract.
“I am willing to stay,” he told Swedish outlet Hockeysverige, as translated by Uffe Bodin. “My agent and Calgary will handle most of it. There’s a lot we have to agree on, but I’ve said that I can consider staying.”
He added: “I have one year left, but if things don’t go as I’ve planned, then I’ll become a free agent. Nothing strange about that. We’ll see what happens.”
Lindholm was initially more non-committal about staying in Calgary after a disappointing 2022-23 campaign that saw the team miss the playoffs by two points. When asked in April if he’d be open to discussing an extension, he said, “We’ll see what happens.”
Lindholm will likely be due a substantial raise from his current $4.85-million cap hit. He posted 22 goals and ranked second on the team with 64 points in 80 outings last campaign.
The 28-year-old Swede is one season removed from a stellar 2021-22 campaign that saw him chip in 42 goals while being named a Selke Trophy finalist for the first time in his career.
Lindholm is far from the only Flame to have a cloudy future ahead of the 2023-24 season. Mikael Backlund, Noah Hanifin, Chris Tanev, and Nikita Zadorov are all entering the final seasons of their deals as well.
The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reported in June that Hanifin isn’t keen on signing an extension with Calgary, making a trade likely. The Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins, and Pittsburgh Penguins were apparently among the interested parties earlier this summer, but there’s since been no movement on that front.
Backlund, meanwhile, expressed his desire to win a Stanley Cup once the Flames’ 2022-23 season ended, adding that he “might want to see what this group can do” before making a decision.
The Flames fired veteran head coach Darryl Sutter in May, replacing him with newbie Ryan Huska. Puck drops on Calgary’s 2023-24 season Oct. 11 against the Winnipeg Jets.
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