The Anaheim Ducks are at an impasse with defenceman Hampus Lindholm, who has announced his intentions not to report until there’s a deal in place. The 22-year-old is, along with Rickard Rakell, a restricted free agent.
According to multiple reports, the Ducks and Lindholm are far apart in terms of a new contract. Both sides are in line with respect to term, but the issue at this point and time appears to be money. Lindholm is asking for more than Anaheim is willing to pay.
It seems that the blueliner is asking for Aaron Ekblad money. The Florida Panthers D-man signed an eight-year extension to the tune of $7.5 million a year and it’s believed that Lindholm wants at least $6.5 million annually, while the Ducks are hoping he comes down at least a million per year.
Obviously one of the issues in Anaheim relates to cap space. The club has about $7.5 million available to lock up Rakell and Lindholm, so something has to give.
That’s led to reports of the Ducks trying to make a deal or two, with trade talks rumoured with a team in the Eastern Conference. According to TSN’s Blake Price, Anaheim is hoping to shovel off a “significant contract.”
If such a significant contract can be traded away, the Ducks will have the chance to sign both Rakell and Lindholm.
But which contract does Anaheim shed?
There are options, with Ryan Kesler inked to a pretty big deal until 2022 and Kevin Bieksa making $4 million a year for each of the next two years. Cam Fowler and Sami Vatanen each make over $4 million a year on multi-year contracts.
There are variables at play, like no-movement clauses on the Kesler and Bieksa deals. And both are big pieces of the Anaheim puzzle, even if they’re more seasoned than Rakell and Lindholm and have less theoretical upside over the long haul.