Position: L Shot Defenseman
Status: UFA Season End
Possibly the Ducks most important of the three major UFA’s on their roster, (more on the other later). Lindholm is newly 28 and most likely looking for a big contract. There has been a lot of back and forth on what the Ducks could or should do with Lindholm over the last couple trade-deadlines. And what they should do is re-sign him. While the youth movement is in full swing you cannot have a roster of all kids under the age of 25. Lindholm is a top pairing defenseman, plays in all situations, can handle huge time on ice numbers as well as brings a steading force in big regular season/playoff games. Will he be the next captain of the Ducks, no but he could be a great choice for an assistant for a young Ducks team that is arriving perhaps ahead of schedule, and still has tons of young talent on the way.
Lindholm is on pace to break his career highs in assists and points and yes you could say that is the product of a contract year, but it could be more a sign of a vastly improved team. Lindholms current cap hit is just over 5.2 million, the highest paid defenseman on the team currently is Cam Fowler with a 6.5 million cap hit. With all that said giving Lindholm 6-7 years at a cap hit of 7.5 million would be a good deal. Even if he pushes to 8 million it’s understandable. Lindholm is arguably the Ducks best defenseman and allowing him to anchor through his prime years while the likes of Jamie Drysdale already and Olen Zellweger/ Jackson Lacombe eventually patrol the Ducks blueline.
If you really want a trade with Lindholm it needs to be for an impact player right away. As stated above the Ducks appear to have arrived a year or two early but show no signs of slowing down. You want to maximize and grow with the likes of Trevor Zegras, Troy Terry, Max Comtois etc. So, with that said who should the Ducks target if they were to trade Lindholm? Alex DeBrincat. It has been reported out of Chicago that only Johnathan Towes, Patrick Kane and Seth Jones are untouchable. So, the Ducks could pluck DeBrincat to add to an ever-increasing skill group of forwards. The Blackhawks could start their rebuild with Lindholm and Jones as the two anchors on the backend.