Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins


Elias Lindholm’s contract is listed as one of the worst in free agency.

The Boston Bruins‘ signing of Elias Lindholm is listed as one of the worst contracts handed out in free agency.

Boston needed to address the center position in free agency and on July 1 signed Elias Lindholm to a seven-year $54.25 million deal. It was a hefty contract for Lindholm who is projected to be the Bruins top-line center, but Jacob Punturi of Sports Illustrated lists the contract as one of the worst deals signed in free agency.

“This is another example of overpaying for a need. The Boston Bruins need a number-one center, and identified Elias Lindholm as the solution. They attempted to trade for him this past season, but couldn’t finalize a deal. They only had to wait a few more months to sign him to a massive extension,” Putnuri wrote.

“The Bruins signed Lindholm to a seven-year deal with an AAV of $7.75 million. It’s a huge commitment for a player with just two seasons of 70 points or more over 11 NHL seasons. He’s historically a 50-point player, and the Bruins are paying him like he is Patrice Bergeron,” Punturi added.

Lindholm is coming off a year that he split with the Calgary Flames and the Vancouver Canucks. In 75 games he recorded 15 goals and 29 assists for 44 points, while his career-high in points is 82.

The Swede did struggle in the beginning with the Canucks, but the hope for the Bruins is he can be the player he was in Calgary, especially in an increased role in Boston.

Analyst Believes Lindholm Will Underperform

Why Punturi thinks Lindholm is one of the worst contracts handed out in free agency is due to the length and the money given out.

Lindholm is a solid NHL center and Punturi knows he makes Boston better, but the analyst says they are paying him to be a No. 1 center, which the analyst doesn’t think he is.

“Lindholm will improve the Bruins, that isn’t up for debate. He may even reach the 70-point mark again, but there’s a far better chance that he underperforms for the next seven seasons, and the Bruins will still need a number-one center.”

Lindholm is projected to be Boston’s first-line center, according to However. Putnuri doesn’t think that will last and he eventually will be demoted to the second-line which will make the contract that much worse.

Bruins GM Expects Lindholm To Be Better

After the Canucks acquired Lindholm midway through the season, he struggled to produce offensively.

Lindholm skated in 26 games with Vancouver and he had just 6 goals and 6 assists for 12 points. But, in the playoffs, he did start to turn around as he recorded 5 goals and 5 assists for 10 points in 13 games.

After Boston was able to sign Lindholm to a multi-year deal, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney says he expects the Swede to be much better than he was in Vancouver.

“He doesn’t feel like he played as well as he was capable, and then went to Vancouver and played really well in the playoffs. This is a better opportunity for him to go and play with who we think is an elite player in a top-line role,” Sweeney said on July 1. “And the bumper on the power play is a really good fit for us and, ideally, for him. He talked a little bit about the anxiety of being a pending unrestricted free agent (last season).

“It’s a natural thing, I think, as a player to say, ‘Okay, who may be interested and where do I fit? So, I think we checked those boxes in our conversation in a short period of time as long as we were reinforcing that in his mind. I think they may align, and that’s why he joined our club,” Sweeney added.

Lindholm is 29 and has been in the NHL since the 2013-14 season.

Cole Shelton Cole Shelton covers the NHL for He has covered pro and college sports since 2016, including bylines at BJ Penn, USA Today, SB Nation, Rotowire, Canadian Baseball Network and more. More about Cole Shelton

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