Hampus Lindholm is one of the two restricted free agents still without a contract (Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba being the other) and his absence is having a pretty big impact on the Anaheim Ducks early in the season because they clearly miss his presence on the blue line.
On Wednesday, Bob McKenzie appeared on NBCSN with Liam McHugh and offered an update on the situation.
McKenzie reports that at this point the two sides have not really closed the gap in their current talks, with the Ducks trying to get Lindholm signed to a slighter smaller contract than the six-year, $32.4 million deal Buffalo recently gave to defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen.
Lindholm wants a slightly larger average annual salary because he would be giving up an additional year of unrestricted free agency than Ristolainen did.
According to McKenzie, the two sides are about $250,000 apart when it comes to yearly salary.
The 22-year-old Lindholm has 23 goals and 69 assists in 236 games over his first three seasons in the league, including 10 goals and 28 points a year ago.
In terms of salary the two sides obviously aren’t that far apart, and as McKenzie mentioned with the lines of communication still remaining open it only takes one phone call to change everything. Even with that, it still seems like it’s going to be a tough deal to complete given how long this has gone on and how close to the league’s salary cap the Ducks currently are.
That is going to be a problem for a Ducks team that has won only two of its first seven games and needs its best defenseman back on the ice.