The Vancouver Canucks have set the maximum price they are willing to pay to retain Elias Lindholm.

Getty The Vancouver Canucks have set the maximum price they are willing to pay to retain Elias Lindholm.

The Vancouver Canucks and pending unrestricted free agent Elias Lindholm might be destined for a quick split after they first joined forces before the March 2024 trade deadline.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, speaking on the June 7 episode of the 32 Thoughts podcast, the Canucks have set a maximum offer for the center that could fall short of his demands.

Friedman believes the Canucks are prepared to offer Lindholm a seven-year contract with an average annual value of $7 million.

“I think the Canucks are willing to go in the seven-times-seven range (seven-year, $7 million AAV). I’m just not sure it’s going to get it done. I think the Canucks want this player.

“I was having an argument with someone. Someone said to me, ‘Why would you do that? You’ve got Pettersson at $11.6 million, you’ve got Miller at $8 million. Why would you go to Lindholm at $7 million? Do you need your third-line center making $7 million?’

“I called it loser’s thinking.”

Elias Lindholm’s Contract Demands Could Top $49 million

If Friedman’s guess is correct and the Canucks are capping their contract offer to Lindholm at $49 million total, then the franchise could fall short of re-signing the forward.

According to Friedman, reporting on an October 4, 2023, “32 Thoughts” column, Lindholm’s value could reach $9 million annually. Assuming the term stays the same (a seven-year deal), the final figure would amount to $63 million instead of the $49 million reported by the insider on June 7.

Mikael Backlund‘s extension is a great sign, and others are positively reconsidering their futures,” Friedman wrote when Lindholm was still a member of the Calgary Flames. “But I don’t get the sense anything is close, yet. And it’s possible Elias Lindholm’s number is going to be higher than I initially thought—in the $9-million range.”

The Flames traded Lindholm to the Canucks on January 31. In exchange, Calgary received Andrei Kuzmenko, Hunter Brzustewicz, Joni Jurmo, a 2024 1st-round pick, and a conditional 4th-round selection.

Canucks & Nikita Zadorov Still In Negotiations

Nikita Zadorov’s contract negotiations with Vancouver are on a different, yet kind-of-similar stage for the Canucks.

Friedman reported on the same June 7 podcast that Zadorov might accept a figure slightly below market value to stay with the Canucks. That adds another chapter to the ongoing saga between the player, his agent, and the franchise.

“I don’t think they’re far, but they haven’t gotten there,” Friedman said. “I think Zadorov is inclined to give them a bit of a break. They have to get there.

“I don’t want to handicap it, I don’t want to say it’s this percentage or that percentage. I think Vancouver is trying to make the best deal they can. They’re not there and we’ll see where we go here.

“I don’t think this is impossible but I think they have to get there because I think Zadorov knows if he gets to the open market, he’s going to be happy with what is out there. So it’s going to be up to the Canucks to get to the number he wants.”

Zadorov completed his contract this year scoring 20 points in 75 regular-season games and adding 8 points in the 2024 postseason.

Canucks Defenseman Ian Cole to Reach Free Agency

The Canucks are also expected to lose defenseman Ian Cole to free agency on July 1. Rick Dhaliwal reported on June 5 that Cole is likely to test the open market on July 1.

Looks like defenseman Ian Cole will hit the free agent market on July 1st.

More on Donnie and Dhali at 10am

Cole, who provided depth in the team’s bottom four, played 18:41 minutes per game through 78 regular-season appearances. Evolving Hockey projects Cole to land a one-year, $2.5 million deal on the open market.

Vancouver Canucks’ Challenging Offseason

The Canucks will face significant challenges ahead of free agency, with multiple key players needing new contracts.

CapFriendly projects the Canucks to have $23.7 million in cap space entering the offseason but only 15 of 23 players are on their active roster.

In addition to Lindholm and Zadorov, the Canucks have several other pending unrestricted and restricted free agents, including high-profile players such as Tyler Myers and Filip Hronek.

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