Unironically, Lindholm is the third of the UFA players the Ducks have traded away and is also the last of the three players who Jamie Drysdale has played the most minutes with since entering into the NHL last season. Lindholm, like Josh Manson a few days ago, and Haydn Fleury last offseason, is now no longer a Duck after “struggling” over this period.
Like Josh Manson above, Lindholm is considered a top-4 defenseman, and one who is better defensively than offensively, despite his perhaps surprising use on the power play in recent times. Though one wonders if the power play time was manufactured to present the opportunity to drive trade value with inflated scoring numbers.
It’s tough to pry away what happened with Lindholm this past season. His defensive efforts on zone entry defense are still a solid as ever, however, the raw counting stats are somewhat less rosy. This season, he sits below 50% for CF%, GF%, xGF% and SCF%, and each are tanked by his defensive contributions. With that said, he was also the third best defenseman on the Ducks roster for many of these stat’s which is in the same manner as losing Manson, likely to increase the Ducks goals against average.
Also, like Manson above him, Lindholm has primarily played with younger players these past two seasons and struggled. Whether that is the fault of himself falling away, the coach’s system being suboptimal for his skill set, the younger players not being very good, or a combination of all the above is hard to tease out. It appears that Verbeek has decided that finding out isn’t worth the money that he was asking for and decided to move on from him.
Given the Ducks have moved their third best defensive player (behind Manson and Cam Fowler), we can surmise that the Ducks will struggle to a somewhat greater extent than they have thus far.