2024-02-01 · 2 min read · NHL/Hockey
Calgary Flames are sending stalwart center Elias Lindholm to the Vancouver Canucks

Sportsnet | Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports

The Calgary Flames are sending stalwart center Elias Lindholm to the Vancouver Canucks for a package headlined by Andrei Kuzmenko. Lindholm was in the final year of his (four year?) pact signed back in 2019, he carries a 4.85 million-cap hit. There have been no reports of a possible Lindholm extension so far, Lindholm was ironically set to be the Flames sole all star representative this week but now will join the plethora of Canucks attending. Lindholm who again will be a UFA at seasons end has 32 points in 49 games so far this season. While these are solid stats part of the 29 year olds impact does not always show up on the score sheet. The Swedes apex was in the 2021-22 season where he scored 42 goals and 82 points in 82 games while also finishing as the runner up for the Selke due to his two-way prowess.
Lindholm will give the Canucks flexibility and depth, in particular down the middle of their top 9. As well as another quality playmaker for their power play and faceoff stalwart for their penalty kill. Selected by the Hurricanes with the No. 5 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, Lindholm has 545 points (212 goals, 333 assists) in 792 regular-season games with the Flames and Carolina Hurricanes, and 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in 27 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
In exchange for Lindholm the Canucks are sending Andrei Kuzmenko, Hunter Brzustewicz, Joni Jurmo as well as a first and fourth round pick in the upcoming 2024 draft. Kuzmenko who interestingly enough had a no trade clause he waived to go to Calgary, is coming off a stellar rookie year in which he piled up 39 goals and nearly a point per game (points?) to this year only managing eight goals and (25?) points so far across 43 games. Brzustewicz and Jurmo are solid blueline prospects; Brzustewiz in particular looks like a good bet to make an impact at the NHL level in the future. The 19-year-old D-man leads the all OHL blueliners in points and has great vision for the ice. Lastly the fourth round pick is conditional as it will turn into a third round pick should Vancouver make the conference finals this year.
Fun fact(s) this is the second trade between these two teams this season as the Flames traded Nikita Zadorov to the Canucks for a fifth (2024) and third (2026) round picks back in late November. In addition it was a particularly busy few days for the Vancouver general manager Patrik Alvin as he signed a three-year extension to remain as the GM of the Canucks. After missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the two years since Allvin was hired as the first Sweden-born GM of an NHL team, the Canucks are tied with the Boston Bruins (.724 points percentage) for the best record in the NHL and are in position to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2020 and the second time in nine seasons.
I think it's a good deal for both sides, one of the truly rare win-win deals that feels fairly even. Calgary did clearly give up the best player in the deal but they seemingly got some clear signs that Lindholm was not going to resign. It is always hard to lose a player of his calibre for nothing in free agency, thus trading him for the best move episodically for this level of return. The Canucks meanwhile possibly overpaid a bit but Lindholm seems to be an ideal fit for them and I like the aggression in making this move instead of tweaking or waiting for the deadline.
Grade for Calgary B+
Grade for Vancouver A-
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By: Chase Howard


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