By Michael Walters
Today the long anticipated wait has ended as Hampus Lindholm signed a six-year deal worth $31.5 million with Anaheim. TSN’s Bob McKenzie first reported the signing of the restricted free agent, which was later confirmed by the Ducks. The annual average cost is $5.25 million. He will make $3 million this season, $6 million in 2017-18, $6.75 million in 2018-19, $5.25 million in 2019-20, $3.75 million in 2020-21 and $6.75 million in 2021-22.
The Anaheim Ducks placed Nate Thompson on long-term injury reserve(LTIR) yesterday to create remain room to sign Lindholm. The Ducks also placed Emerson Etem on waivers yesterday. With those two moves and Simon Despres already on the LTIR, the Ducks had just enough cap space to get a deal done with Lindholm. Per capfriendly.com, the Ducks have only $180,197 left in cap space.
The Ducks will still have to make a move down the road when either Thompson or Despres are able to return because their cap hits will then be applied against the cap. For now, the Ducks have bought themselves some time before having to make any kind of move. Thompson isn’t due back until February or March. It is unclear when Despres will be able to return to the game, if at all.
Will Fowler Be Traded?
All summer long there were talks of the Ducks possibly moving Cam Fowler, but it appears Anaheim wants to keep him. In a conference call today, Lindholm told reports that he wanted a deal he was happy with, but he also wanted to keep the team intact.
“It was good this way because now I could play and they didn’t have to move anyone, so we still have the same team,” Lindholm said. “Which is really good because I think we got a real strong back end and we have the guys back from last year, a core group. So it’s going to be an exciting year.”
Like Rickard Rakell, Lindholm needs to get his work visa approved before he can play in Anaheim. He will likely miss a few more games as a result.
Eventually General Manager Bob Murray will have to make a move in the coming months, but for now, Fowler and Lindholm can focus on playing hockey in Anaheim.
Source: Quote provided by the Orange County Register
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