Sportsnet 960: Derek Wills on the Big Show with Rusic & Rose: Should the Flames Consider Moving Noah Hanifin? episode, on the idea of trading forward Elias Lindholm.
** NHLRumors.com transcription
Host: “Our pal Julien MacKenzie in his mailbox, in his piece for The Athletic, kind of threw out the idea of potentially trading Elias Lindholm to the Columbus Blue Jackets for the third overall pick in next month’s draft. That’s something that could potentially happen, with obviously the Johnny Gaudreau connection there and if Columbus could sign him to an extension, Aaron Portzline was saying in that article that that would be something the Columbus Blue Jackets would absolutely explore.
Would that be something you’d be interested in doing?”
Wills: “I don’t want to trade Elias Lindholm. I want to build around Elias Lindholm. But if he told Craig Conroy that he’s not open to signing a long-term extension, and you have to trade him, then that would be the type of return I would be looking for.
He is an elite two-way centerman. One of the best in the league.
Another team that I wonder about with Elias Lindholm, if the Flames have to trade him, cause clearly they don’t want to trade him, but if they have to, what about the Boston Bruins guys?
When you think about replacements for Patrice Bergeron, is there a better one in the league than Elias Lindholm?
Host: “Okay, but what are you getting back? That would be my next question. What do you want back from Boston?”
Wills: “Great question. It would probably be futures and I’m not sure the Bruins, they would probably have to be a combination of a good roster player or players and some sort of futures. It would be a tough thing to match that third-overall pick that the Blue Jackets own.
But I just think, again, I would love to see the Flames sign Lindholm to a seven- or eight-year extension but if he says he’s not open to that and they have to trade him, getting the third overall pick, you’re probably getting a player who can help you, if not right away then pretty quickly but the player who’s not going to be at the level that Elias Lindholm is at.
Now you do have depth down the middle but that would put some pressure on you to sign Mikael Backlund to an extension wouldn’t it? You’ve got Nazem Kadri locked up for the next six years, so you got a guy who can play top-six or at least top-nine minutes. He should be top-six, let’s be honest.
But that’s the type of return I’d be looking for but I would much rather see the Flames sign Lindholm to an extension than be put in a position to trade him.”