Bruins Fans Want Boston to Sign $55 Million Canucks’ Center

The Boston Bruins fans have spoken and they have overwhelmingly identified signing a center as the team’s biggest need this offseason, according to a recent survey organized by Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic.

The poll revealed that 86.2% of the subscribers believe acquiring a center should be the top priority for the Bruins during the upcoming offseason, significantly outpacing other needs like a scoring wing (12.5%) or a left-shot defenseman (1.4%).

Shinzawa’s main takeaway from the results is that Boston, in fact, lacks a bonafide No. 1 center next season to use in place of 2023-24 center Morgan Geekie.

“Morgan Geekie finished the playoffs as the No. 1 center next to David Pastrnak. That is not who Geekie is,” Shinzawa wrote. “In a perfect world, Geekie is a No. 3 center. Same with Charlie Coyle.”

That links perfectly with the next question presented in the survey, which touched on potential centers the Bruins should target and sign in free agency.

The poll results were undisputed once again featuring upcoming Vancouver Canucks unrestricted free agent Elias Lindholm receiving the most votes (58.4%) and doubling Tampa Bay Lightning’s Steven Stamkos (23.5%) in second place.

“Whether Lindholm can approach his career-best of 82 points from 2021-22 remains to be seen. But the right-shot center brings enough of an all-around game,” Shinzawa wrote. “He wouldn’t necessarily need to be a high-end offensive driver for the Bruins. Lindholm could be another all-situations pivot, just like Coyle and Zacha, and reinforce the Bruins’ biggest deficiency.”

Lindholm just completed a six-year contract, signed with the Flames in 2018, worth $29.1 million. Evolving Hockey projects Lindholm to sign a seven-year deal with a cap hit of nearly $8 million and a total value approaching $56 million.

Bruins’ Reported Interest in Canucks’ Elias Lindholm

The Bruins and Lindholm would make for a rather smooth fit in free agency if both parties can agree to a deal.

In the eyes of hockey analyst Eric Beaston, writing a column over Bleacher Report on June 18, Boston is the “most interesting potential suitor” to sign Elias Lindholm.

Beaston’s opinion is not coming out of left field, but rather based on Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedma’s comments (appearing on the Jeff Marek Show on June 10 about the Canucks re-signing of Lindholm being unlikely, allowing the center to enter free agency.

“I’ve been watching Vancouver because I’ve been kind of waiting. Like, I think Elias Lindholm is out and the trade opens the door to others. We most likely are–but I’m not willing to pronounce that one officially done yet–I do think that there’s a framework of a Tyler Myers deal there,” Friedman said.

Lindholm arrived in Vancouver from the Calgary Flames in February 2024 but failed to deliver at times, scoring 12 points in 26 regular-season games with the Canucks.

After the trade between both Canadian franchises took place, however, the Bruins already tried to complete a trade before the March 8 deadline, according to insider Chris Johnston, who reported the interest on March 5.

With the #canucks believed to be among those pursuing Jake Guentzel, word is they’ve had discussions about potentially flipping Elias Lindholm to the #bruins as part of the machinations to make it happen.

Nothing concrete in place at this time. Still lots of moving parts.

— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) March 5, 2024


“The most interesting potential suitor would be the Boston Bruins, a team that has Stanley Cup aspirations but has fallen short each of the last two seasons, despite loaded rosters,” Beaston wrote.

In another post touching on the possible arrival of Lindholm in Boston, Michael DeRosa of The Hockey News thinks the center could be the final piece missing on Boston’s Stanley Cup puzzle.

“There is no question that the Bruins need a top-six center,” DeRosa wrote on June 11. “If the Bruins signed Lindholm, he would immediately become their best center.”

Elias Lindholm’s Short Stint in Vancouver

Lindholm appeared in 26 regular-season and 13 postseason games with the Canucks, scoring 12 and 10 points respectively. If he indeed leaves Vancouver in July, he’d have completed a short 39-game stint scoring 22 points for the franchise.

The center averaged 17:42 per game in Vancouver. That figure, which was the lowest for him since his 2017-18 season, might be the writing on the wall for his future outside of the Canucks organization.

Vancouver is interested in pursuing at least one top-tier forward in free agency, which could leave Lindholm up for grabs if the man they chase is not their current center. Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff reported on June 18 that the Canucks might aim to sign winger Jake Guentzel when he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

CapFriendly projects the Bruins to have $21 million in cap space entering the offseason, with 17 of 23 active roster spots filled. Beaston believes the Bruins can manage their cap and potentially land Lindholm, especially if they create bonus cap room before July 1.

“Expect the Vancouver Canucks to make a strong play for pending free agent forward Jake Guentzel,” Seravalli wrote. “They won’t be alone–as there are more than a handful of teams expected to be in the mix for the Stanley Cup-winning winger.”

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