Ironically, part of what could get restricted free agent Hampus Lindholm dealt out of Anaheim is the length of time that he would actually like to stay in Anaheim. As was reported yesterday, Lindholm is hoping to re-sign with the Ducks for at least $6MM per year. However, it has also been revealed that he is looking for the maximum eight years as well. This puts Anaheim in a tough situation. They would like to sign the 22-year-old defenseman long-term, but at a cap hit closer to $5MM annually. Generally if two sides are far apart on a lengthy deal, they then turn to a bridge deal with less years and less money. However, if Lindholm holds tight to his demands of both money and term, than the Ducks have few options. With Rickard Rakell still to sign as well, and only about $7.5MM in cap space, Anaheim cannot afford to meet Lindholm’s expectations without moving other salary. It remains to be seen whether they are willing to do so.
While the two sides try to work around the impasse, Lindholm has no plans of taking part in the Ducks’ pre-season camp. Agent Claude Lemieux, who has brought his toughness from the ice to negotiations, says that until Anaheim agrees to a long-term extension, Lindholm will train in his native Sweden. “Our plan is to report to the team once we have a contract signed,” Lemieux said, showing the resolve of the young defenseman and his representation. Unlike Sabres’ RFA blue liner Rasmus Ristolainen, who showed up to camp without a contract in a show of good faith, Lindholm will take a hard stance on his demands and wait for the Ducks to make their move.