The Flames have expressed interest in Hurricanes center Elias Lindholm, reports Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic (video link). He notes that the talks took place a couple of weeks ago and may not be on the front burner for the time being, however. The 23-year-old has been a consistent secondary producer over the past four years for Carolina, notching between 39 and 45 points each season. While he has mostly played down the middle, he has spent some time on the wing as well and Calgary head coach Bill Peters is certainly familiar with Lindholm’s game having coached him in Carolina until he resigned earlier this offseason.
In the meantime, LeBrun notes that the Hurricanes plan to resume contract talks with Lindholm’s agent in the coming days as he is slated to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights on July 1st.
Elsewhere in the East:
- The Sabres may be considering non-tendering goaltender Robin Lehner next week, suggests Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald. The 26-year-old is owed a $4MM qualifying offer which may be deemed too pricey for a player who posted a 3.01 GAA and a .908 SV% in 53 appearances this past season. Instead, Buffalo appears to be ready to hand prospect Linus Ullmark a much bigger workload and Hoppe believes that GM Jason Botterill may look to trade for a second goaltender rather than pursue a replacement for Lehner in what is a relatively weak free agent market.
- The Penguins have discussed the idea of pursuing pending Blue Jackets UFA defenseman Jack Johnson, reports Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The 31-year-old played with center Sidney Crosby back at Shattuck-St. Mary’s and remain close to this day. GM Jim Rutherford is also familiar with Johnson having drafted him third overall back in 2005. However, with the idea that he could get upwards of $6MM per year on his next contract, the team would certainly need to clear out a player or two to free up that type of money to bring Johnson into the fold.