If you aren’t sure who I am referring too, it’s a pair of impending unrestricted free agent Anaheim Ducks: Defenceman Hampus Lindholm and Winger Rickard Rakell, both at the age of 28.
Ducks General Manager Pat Verbeek is still trying to ink his two Swedes but the clock is ticking and a decision on what to do with one or both will most likely come before the start of trade deadline on Monday.
Lindholm is open to signing an extension with the Ducks, but it is believed term is the sticking point as he is looking for the maximum 8 years allowed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Yours truly has learned that he would be willing to discuss an extension with three teams if a trade can be reached with one of those teams being the Boston Bruins. A couple of reports today suggested that there are 4 teams on Lindholm’s list that he would negotiate an extension with.
Lindholm doesn’t hold a no movement or no trade clause, so he can’t hand pick his destination if he can’t work out an extension with the Ducks. However, by limiting the number of teams he would have those discussions with, it minimizes the possibilities for Verbeek.
Rakell, like Lindholm is willing to negotiate an extension with the Ducks, but unlike Lindholm, he is not willing to negotiate an extension with another team and that would make him a pure rental. He doesn’t hold a NMC or NTC either, so there will be plenty of suitors.
If the Bruins could somehow work out a deal with the Ducks, it would solve two issues for the B’s: A true top pairing left shot defenceman who can eat a lot of minutes and help you at both ends of the ice. It would also get you a right winger who you could put on the top line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.
Lindholm comes with a cap hit of $5,205,556 so they could fit him in under the cap now without moving out salary. It gets a little trickier for Rakell. He comes with a cap hit of $3,789,444 so the Bruins would need to shed some salary.
Enter Jake DeBrusk and his $3,675,000. We’re talking pennies in terms of cap dollars in the difference between DeBrusk and Rakell, and I am told the Ducks are definitely interested in JDB.
It’s one stop shopping for GM Don Sweeney here if he can pull this off. And if he can do it before Monday, that will allow him to go shopping for depth on trade deadline day.
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