The news regarding Anaheim Ducks restricted free agent defenseman Hampus Lindholm has been increasingly positive on the hockey Insider front of late. Both Elliotte Friedman and Bob McKenzie have weighed in over the past few days with views on what seems to be a decreasing gap between the rearguard’s camp and general manager Bob Murray.
The gist from McKenzie Wednesday morning was that his understanding was the two sides are “probably about $250,000 apart a year on a six-year deal.” He also, after explaining the situation further, speculated that “my sense of it is at 5.5 this deal gets done in a heartbeat, I would think. If I had to guess.”
That would seem to indicate the gap has narrowed considerably, particularly given part of what Darren Dreger had to say during a Wednesday afternoon radio hit on Winnipeg’s TSN 1290.
After updating the latest on Jacob Trouba, Dreger was asked how it was that Hampus Lindholm was not signed yet with the Ducks.
“Well, I mean obviously he wants a lot more money than Bob Murray and the Anaheim Ducks are willing to spend,” said Dreger. “I’m not going to throw out a number because that would be a bit reckless and irresponsible, but if the number that I’m told Hampus Lindholm is looking for is accurate, it’s pie in the sky.
“Sometimes it’s not what you’re worth, it’s what you negotiate. Mike Keenan always used to say that. But Bob Murray is no different than Kevin Cheveldayoff. No different than Steve Yzerman and the general managers who have tackled these restricted free agents. You don’t want to give too much, too soon. They value Lindholm. They know that he’s a key piece to their success on the short term and on the long term. But if you blow his contract out of the water, then that upsets everything. And they’re not willing to do that yet.”
Dreger also dropped another informational nugget a short time later, while on Toronto’s TSN 1050 Wednesday evening, during a longer conversation on the early struggles of the Anaheim Ducks.
“They’ve got to figure out whether they can get the Lindholm deal done,” said Dreger. “And because of the uncertainty there, or maybe wanting or not wanting to pay him as much as he thinks he’s worth, maybe that comes at the expense of Cam Fowler. The Detroit Red Wings have sniffed around him over the last few months, along with Jacob Trouba and others.
“So when there’s reason to make a deal and there’s enough interest and you’ve got quality players potentially in play, you can get a deal done. But you’ve got to have certain guys who can pull the trigger, and we’ll see if that involves Bob Murray, Kenny Holland, or anyone else.”
Source: TSN 1290, TSN 1050
For reference: Covering the Insiders