Hampus Lindholm and Rickard Rakell are still unsigned by the Anaheim Ducks, as of this writing, with the Ducks set to open their season on the road Thursday evening against the Dallas Stars.
What’s going on?
“I don’t know if there’s been any developments today because I haven’t had a chance to check,” said NHL Insider Bob McKenzie during an appearance on Vancouver’s TSN 1040 Thursday afternoon. “But I can tell you as of yesterday, that it was all quiet on the Lindholm front in particular. Which is kind of curious. He’s probably the key guy. Top-notch defenseman.
“And the market is effectively set for him. That Ristolainen deal – he’s not taking less than that. No chance. No how. Because Ristolainen only gave up one year of unrestricted free agency on that six-year deal at 5.4. And if Hampus Lindholm takes a six-year deal at 5.4, he’s giving up two years of unrestricted free agency. So I would say that Ristolainen deal, to me, would be the floor for what Lindholm would want to take. I’m sure he probably wants more, but he also wants to stay in Anaheim – so maybe he’ll take the discount to get it done here.
“It also gets complicated too because the Ducks are not a cap team, but they are a very strong budget team. And I think when they get Lindholm signed they are going to be over budget. That means – and we’ve all suspected it for awhile – that they’re going to have to move somebody. We’ve all suspected for awhile – we don’t know if it’s true or not, it’s all speculation – but I think that somebody could very well be Cam Fowler. Pretty notable defenseman. So there’d be a nice return coming back Anaheim’s way. So I think there’s moving pieces there, the timing of which all has to kind of fall together.
“I would suspect that if they do get Lindholm signed it won’t be long before they make a trade and my guess would be Fowler will be moving, probably to an Eastern Conference team. I know Buffalo had great interest in him, and we thought there was a deal done at the draft – that Fowler might be going to Buffalo. Boston would be a team that has interest in Fowler, amongst others. There’ll be all sorts.
“So we’ll see what happens. I can tell you this. He’s in Sweden. He doesn’t have a visa. So even if he agreed to a deal today, I’m not sure how quickly he could even be in the lineup. But maybe Bob Murray’s not worried because it gives him time to do the other things that he needs to get done.
“Rakell is a little different situation because he’s still recovering from the surgery he had from complications of an appendectomy last spring. My best guess – and it’s just that – is that he’s at least two weeks away from being ready to play games. I do know that the Anaheim doctors and the Swedish doctors who have been treating Rakell – Rakell is also in Sweden, also doesn’t have a visa to come over right now – that there was some dialog there over the last number of days.
“So that one I think will get done. Six years at some number less than $4 million. But maybe they haven’t nailed down the exact amount.”
Source: TSN 1040/ Transcript: Nichols