Calgary Flames Rumours: Top Star Linked To Columbus Blue Jackets
Last season, the Calgary Flames saw their top star Johnny Gaudreau depart, to the Columbus Blue Jackets of all places, and now, according to a Blue Jackets reporter, the two sides could be looking to do business this off-season.
The target of that business? Elias Lindholm, who the Flames need to make a big decision on this season, as the 29-year old’s contract expires after the 2023/24 season, meaning that the team will need to either extend him or move him, unless they want another Gaudreau situation.
According to Aaron Portzline, the Flames could potentially land the No. 3 overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft by moving Lindholm, with the caveat that he signs a long-term extension in Columbus, and while it’s tough to see this deal being made, new GM Craig Conroy has indicated he would like to infuse this lineup with youth.
If a deal were to be done, many factors would come into play. Do Columbus believe reuniting Lindholm with Gaudreau and pairing them with Laine would help this team moving forward? Are they willing to risk landing either Adam Fantilli or Leo Carlsson to make it happen? Do Calgary value the No. 3 overall pick the way they do a 1C that has produced for them at a high level? Would Lindholm want to be in Columbus?
If discussions were to even begin, all of these questions and more would have to be answered, but from Calgary’s perspective, would anything help a re-tool more than landing a young star that they can mold for the future of this organization?
Ultimately, it appears unlikely that all of those factors would come together to make a deal, but the Flames will have to make a decision on 7 upcoming free agents for next summer, and if they get the sense that this deal could happen, keep your eyes open.