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Canucks expected to make strong push to keep Lindholm


The Vancouver Canucks are expected to make a strong push to keep pending unrestricted free agent forward Elias Lindholm, TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reported Friday in The Athletic.

However, LeBrun writes he suspects Lindholm's price will be too high for him to resist hitting the open market. LeBrun adds Lindholm is expected to receive significant interest given the scarcity in the centre market and his skill set.

The Canucks acquired Lindholm from the Calgary Flames on Jan. 31 in exchange for a first-round pick in 2024, a conditional fourth-round pick in 2024 and three players. The 29-year-old had six goals and six assists in 26 regular-season games with the Canucks but stepped up his game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, scoring five goals and adding five assists in 13 games before the Canucks fell to the Edmonton Oilers in Game 7 of the second round.

Lindholm is one of many decisions facing general manager Patrik Allvin this off-season. Other pending UFAs on the Canucks include Nikita Zadorov, Dakota Joshua, Tyler Myers, Teddy Blueger, Sam Lafferty and Ian Cole. Filip Hronek and Arturs Silovs are also restricted free agents. 

A native of Boden, Sweden, Lindholm is a veteran of 11 NHL seasons, spending his first five with the Carolina Hurricanes prior to being traded to Calgary in June of 2018. Lindholm then signed a six-year extension with the Flames after arriving that summer and played his next six seasons there before the trade to Vancouver earlier this year.

He has 218 goals and 339 assists for 557 career points in 818 career regular-season games.


The latest on Stamkos

LeBrun reported Friday that contract negotiations are underway between captain Steve Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Stamkos' agent, Don Meehan of Newport Sports, told LeBrun via text message on Thursday he has "nothing to report."

Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois said earlier this week the team still has cap space to re-sign Stamkos despite the re-acquisition of defenceman Ryan McDonagh coming via trade with the Nashville Predators.

LeBrun writes negotiations between Tampa and Stamkos could go "right down to the wire."

The 34-year-old is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer after wrapping up an eight-year, $68 million contract extension he signed with the Lightning in June of 2016. 

Stamkos had 40 goals and 41 assists in 79 regular-season games last season, reaching the 40-goal mark for the seventh time in his career. He also scored five goals and added one assist in five playoff games as the Bolts were eliminated by the Florida Panthers in the opening round.

Stamkos has played his entire 16-year NHL career with the Lightning.