According to Bob McKenzie, the Anaheim Ducks have come to terms with RFA defenseman Hampus Lindholm, signing the Swede to a six-year deal with an AAV of $5.25MM. It had been reported in recent days that the chasm between the two sides had shrunk to around $250K annually but that each had “a line drawn in the sand.” Now, with the new pact coming in short of the recent contract inked by Buffalo blue liner Rasmus Ristolainen, it’s fair to speculate it was Lindholm who lowered his salary demands in order to get a deal done.
At this point Lindholm likely concluded it no longer made sense to miss any more paychecks. If the two sides were in fact hung up on just $250K per year, the Ducks defender will earn more than that in four games under terms of his new deal.
Given the two sides seemed to be locked firmly into their relative positions just 24 hours ago, it’s clear significant progress was made last night in order for the deal to be announced this morning. In fact, Chris Nichols of Today’s Slapshot provides a timeline demonstrating the “shift” in negotiations based on the reports of insiders Darren Dreger, Elliotte Friedman and McKenzie.
Cap Friendly reports that the Ducks are now about $1.4MM over the salary cap ceiling meaning the team will have to make a roster move or moves in order to clear sufficient space. As Cap Friendly further notes, even if the team sends Emerson Etem – who cleared waivers yesterday – and Dustin Tokarski down to San Diego of the AHL, the Ducks will still be approximately $150K over the cap ceiling.
It’s been widely rumored that the team could look to deal a player like Cam Fowler – $4MM cap charge – and that still might be the case; especially if the Ducks can acquire an impact LW in the trade. It’s also possible the club could simply put C Nate Thompson and his $1.6MM cap hit on LTIR. Thompson had surgery to repair an Achilles tendon injury in June and his return date is unknown.
Of course with Simon Despres already on LTIR and temporarily clearing his $3.7MM cap hit from the books, it’s likely the Ducks will still have to trim salary at some point this season when Despres and or Thompson are healthy enough to return.
Despite officially being under contract, Lindholm likely won’t see the ice for Anaheim for at least another week to 10 days, according to McKenzie. Lindholm, who has been in Sweden during the holdout, will require a new work visa and the process, as McKenzie notes, can take up to two weeks.