Ducks not rushing GM lease or contract extensions – Orange County Register

ANAHEIM — As if the Ducks needed a reminder of his worth or worth, defenseman Hampus Lindholm provided a Wednesday, when he recorded a record 30:45 of ice time and was credited with four blocked shots, three hits and a shot on goal in a 2-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche.

Coach Dallas Eakins relied heavily on Lindholm because his best defense pair of Cam Fowler and Josh Manson were unavailable to play Wednesday, placed under NHL COVID-19 protocol. Eakins will need more heavy lifting from Lindholm until Fowler and Manson are cleared to play.

Lindholm’s true value to the Ducks remains to be calculated, but it could end up costing them dearly if they intend to re-sign him for a contract extension before he becomes an unrestricted free agent on the 13th. July. He is in the final year of a six-year, $31.5 million contract and due for a raise.

Lindholm, Manson and right-winger Rickard Rakell are three of the Ducks’ most important potential free agents. The Ducks are progressing at a measured pace in negotiations with each player’s representatives, a process that began last summer under former general manager Bob Murray.

Talks are expected to intensify after Murray’s replacement is hired, which could come as soon as the trade deadline on March 21. trade deadline.

There’s no certainty that any of the three players will agree to extensions before free agency begins, which could mean the Ducks risk losing them for nothing in return. If so, this opens up the possibility that one of the three could be redeemed before the deadline.

The Ducks interviewed interim general manager Jeff Solomon and assistant managers Martin Madden and Dave Nonis last week, according to a league source. Interviews with external candidates — up to 10 or more, depending on how many teams allow candidates to be interviewed — are expected to begin soon.

Not all potential candidates will be cleared for interviews. The Ducks did not give the Montreal Canadiens permission to interview Madden for their general manager opener, according to multiple reports earlier this month. The Canadiens signed Kent Hughes, a former players’ agent, earlier this week.

The Ducks said after Murray resigned on Nov. 10 that their search for a general manager could last the rest of the season and into the summer. But it is believed they did so in order to avoid unnecessary time constraints and widen their search to include potential candidates whose contracts have expired elsewhere.

Additionally, the Ducks’ search committee was expanded to include former Hall of Fame players Paul Kariya and Scott Niedermayer, allowing for more diverse opinions on candidates as well as eventual hiring. The Ducks have long sought Kariya’s advice on these matters and he has finally agreed.

Not only do Lindholm, Manson and Rakell need new contracts, but Eakins’ three-year deal expires at the end of the season. A new general manager must decide if the team has taken enough steps in its rebuilding process to warrant an extension for Eakins. A continued playoff push would help his cause.

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