Talks between the Anaheim Ducks and defenceman Hampus Lindholm did not result in a contract extension and now the team is preparing to move him before the NHL trade deadline, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reports.
Lindholm is in the final year of a six-year, $31.5-million deal and is a pending unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. General manager Pat Verbeek said in early February that he would trade the defenceman before the deadline if both sides are not able to come to an agreement on a deal.
“I’m trying to sign these players, but if it doesn’t work out, I might have to make some tough decisions and trade them,” Verbeek said via The Orange County Register. “I’d be worried if they walked out the door without getting anything in return. I wouldn’t be doing my job well if I let that happen. We’re going to do our best to get it done and, if not, we’ll have to go in another direction.”
The 28-year-old has five goals and 22 points in 61 games this season while averaging 22:32 of ice time this season.
In his latest edition of 32 Thoughts, Friedman reports that the Toronto Maple Leafs have Lindholm as a top trade target ahead of the deadline. The Leafs GM has made it known that he would prefer to not trade his top prospects or Toronto's first-round pick for a rental.
Anaheim traded defenceman Josh Manson to the Colorado Avalanche for prospect blueliner Drew Helleson and a second-round pick in the 2023 draft. The Ducks also retained half of Manson's $4.1 million AAV in the deal.