Calgary Flames

The case for Elias Lindholm as the Calgary Flames’ next captain

News of a new Calgary Flames captain should be announced in the coming weeks. With some NHL teams already announcing additions to their leadership groups to start this week, you can bet the Flames are going to be following closely behind.

Or, maybe they are waiting a bit longer, because perhaps the captain they want to name is still in the heat of contract negotiations.

You read that correctly: could the Flames potentially be looking to name Elias Lindholm as the next captain? Let’s take a look at the case.

What makes Lindholm an enticing captain candidate?

It’s safe to say that Lindholm’s entire case for becoming the next captain of the team hinges on the status of a new contract. If Lindholm is unable to come to terms on a new deal prior to the season, then there is a guaranteed chance the team will go in another direction.

As it was for Mikael Backlund and Chris Tanev, there is absolutely no point in giving out the “C” to someone and then having to repeat this process 12 months later. The team needs stability here.

Now if Lindholm decides that he is truly willing to stay in Calgary for the next eight year of his career, naming your number one center as captain is one of the most common occurrences in the NHL. Regardless of the trend, Lindholm would be a fitting captain for the franchise. 

As one of the team’s more veteran and longer tenured players, which is saying quite a lot, Lindholm bring historical leadership experience. He held an “A” with team Sweden in both the U18 and U20 teams, as well as wearing an “A” last season with the team alongside Backlund, Tanev, and Jonathan Huberdeau.

The team clearly values his leadership pedigree, which combined with his strong two way play, is clearly a main driver behind why the team is doing whatever they can to sign him to a new deal.

There is also the argument of how much better Lindholm makes his playing partners. Although highly up for debate based on his drop in production after the departures of Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk, the team is clearly looking to make a long-term Lindholm and Huberdeau pairing work. Having those two players wearing the “C” and “A” for eight more seasons would hopefully give them that drive up front that they need.

Lindholm may not be the most outspoken member of the roster, but he has clearly garnered the respect of his teammates. Very familiar to past Flames captains as well.

Oh captain, my captain

The Calgary Flames may not be overtly stating this in contract discussions, but it could be that a new deal includes the captaincy for Lindholm. Although the team appears to be throwing in every possible tactic to retain Lindholm’s services, the team needs a player like him if they ever want to win games moving forward.

Signing Lindholm to an eight-year deal may be a costly move from a cap perspective, but announcing a new deal combined with him wearing the “C” would be a huge step in the right direction for a franchise that has been plagued with players wanting out.

Lindholm is one of the league’s best two-way players and it would be a perfect fit to see him in the flaming C, and the “C” on his chest.

Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire

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