The Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames have been linked in NHL trade rumors throughout the summer, but the chance of the two teams hooking up on the NHL trade market seems unlikely now.
On more than one occasion, Boston Hockey Now has confirmed that, like multiple NHL general managers, Bruins GM Don Sweeney has done his due diligence on the NHL trade cost of Flames center and potential 2024 unrestricted free agent center Elias Lindholm. Sources have also confirmed that Sweeney looked into one of his longtime NHL trade targets, Flames defenseman and Norwood, MA native Noah Hanifin.
As has been the case, though, with most major NHL trade talks involving the Bruins, the Bruins don’t have the first-round draft picks and blue-chip prospects needed to pull off such a trade without sacrificing a key roster player in addition to a top prospect like winger Fabian Lysell or Mason Lohrei. Even if Sweeney could swing a trade or two to acquire a first-round pick and another high-end prospect, it may not matter now when dealing with the Flames. The NHL betting odds of either player being dealt soon or at all have seemingly dwindled.
On Wednesday, Lindholm and Hanifin – who can also become an unrestricted free agent next July – told the Calgary media they are willing to sign extensions with the Flames.
“I’ve been pretty clear, I’m willing to stay,” Elias Lindholm said before playing in the Calgary Flames Celebrity Charity Golf Classic. ” … We’ve got to work it out. Right now, I’m focusing on the season, and the rest will take care of itself.
“I love it here. I love Canada as a country and Calgary as a city. Ever since I’ve got here, it’s been great, fans have been good, everyone’s treated me well, great teammates. So far so good.”
Flames general manager Craig Conroy expressed a mutual desire to sign Lindholm, who is entering the final year of a six-year, $29.1 million contract with a $4.8 million salary cap hit.
“We’re just talking to him and talking to his representation and just moving forward,” Conroy said. “Everybody wants something to be quick, but it’s just been a slow process. We’re going to continue to work at it.
“He’s open to it. Now, it’s just a negotiation. It never goes quite as quickly as everyone would like. We’re just in that process. The one good thing is these are all good guys; they’re all happy to be here, and there are no issues with that. That’s the one thing. They’re not saying, ‘Hey, I’m not coming to camp,’ or ‘I’m unhappy.’ With Elias, we’re working on a deal. That’s where it is. Can we get something worked out? That’s really the main focus right now.”
As for Hanifin, who is entering the final season of a six-year, $29.7 million contract with a $4.95 million salary cap hit?
“He wants to see how it goes this year … He did indicate that he wouldn’t re-sign in the summer. But that doesn’t mean he won’t ever re-sign.” Conroy said.
Hanfin also expressed an interest in staying with the Flames, but before he does, he’d like to see how the team bounces back from a rough 2022-23 season.
“Yeah, absolutely,” the 26-year-old defenseman replied when asked if he’d entertain an extension. “I just think there was a lot to digest this summer after the year we had. …not making the playoffs and has a lot of expectations on the team. For me personally, I just wanted to see how this year played out a little bit and take my time a little bit.”