The Boston Bruins acquired defenders, Hampus Lindholm and Kodie Curran, from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for defenders, Urho Vaakanainen, John Moore, a 2022 1st round pick, a 2023 2nd round pick and a 2024 2nd round pick on Saturday afternoon.
The Ducks retained 50% of Lindholm’s salary ($2,602,778) in the transaction.
Lindholm and the B’s are reportedly working on an eight-year extension that could be finalized Sunday, according to TSN and RDS Hockey Insider and The Athletic writer, Pierre LeBrun.
TSN’s Chris Johnston tweeted that the average annual value of Lindholm’s extension may be around $6.500 million late Saturday night.
Prior to the trade, Lindholm’s cap hit with Anaheim was $5,205,556, so the otherwise pending-unrestricted free agent is due for a little bit of a pay raise given his age, status and longevity in the league as a top-four defender.
The 6-foot-4, 216-pound native of Helsingborg, Sweden was originally drafted by Anaheim in the 1st round (6th overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and has 57-165–222 totals in 582 career NHL games since making his league debut with the Ducks in the 2013-14 season.
Lindholm, 28, has five goals and 17 assists (22 points) in 61 games this season and set a career-high 34 points (seven goals, 27 assists) in 78 games in 2014-15, before recording a career-high 13 goals in 69 games in 2017-18.
He suffered a fractured wrist last season and was limited to 18 games as a result– recording two goals and four assists (six points) in that span.
He also leaves Anaheim with 743 blocked shots– ranking third in franchise history– and was one of three defenders to reach 200 points in Ducks history, alongside Scott Niedermayer and Cam Fowler.
In 55 career Stanley Cup playoff games, Lindholm has 4-17–21 totals, including 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 16 games in Anaheim’s run to the 2015 Western Conference Final, as well as four points in 17 games in the Ducks’ 2017 Western Conference Final appearance.
He’ll likely land a role alongside Charlie McAvoy on the first defensive pairing and on Boston’s penalty kill as a more traditional shutdown defender to McAvoy’s two-way style.
Lindholm arrives at a time when the Bruins could use a little more insurance on the blue line in the event of injuries down the stretch and in the long run, despite producing solid numbers as one of the league’s more effective defenses and having a more pressing need for a second line center in another transaction.
Curran, 32, had 1-15–16 totals in 37 games for the San Diego Gulls (AHL) this season and is destined to become the oldest defender in Providence upon his arrival to the Bruins organization.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound native of Calgary, Alberta, joined the Ducks as an undrafted free agent on June 3, 2020, after parts of five college seasons at the University of Calgary from 2010-15, a stint with the Hartford Wolf Pack and Greenville Swamp Rabbits from 2015-16, and four seasons in Europe from 2016-20, before spending parts of the last two seasons in San Diego.
He had 7-27–34 totals in 81 career games for the Wolf Pack and Gulls before the trade.
Curran carries a $1.000 million cap hit and is a pending-unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
The Bruins have about $1.230 million in cap space by the end of the season as a result of the trade and will have about $6.152 million to work with at the trade deadline itself on Monday as General Manager, Don Sweeney, seeks to find a second line center and/or more.
Vaakanainen, 23, has four assists in 15 games this season while with Boston and has been sidelined for at least 17 games due to injury/illness having most recently suffered an upper body injury on Feb. 1st against Seattle and exiting warmup on Feb. 21st prior to a matchup against Colorado.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound native of Joenssu, Finland has six assissts in 31 career NHL games– all with the Bruins– since he was drafted in the 1st round (18th overall) by Boston in 2017.
In 23 games with the Providence Bruins (AHL), he had 1-7–8 totals this season– bringing his American Hockey League career totals to 11-28–39 in 118 games in Providence.
Vaakanainen has yet to appear in a Stanley Cup playoff game and is a pending-restricted free agent at season’s end with a cap hit of $894, 167.
Moore, 31, meanwhile, appeared in seven games for Boston this season and has been out of the lineup with an upper body injury since Jan. 28th.
The 6-foot-3, 207-pound native of Winnetka, Illinois has 38-80–118 totals in 544 career NHL games with the Columbus Blue Jackets, New York Rangers, Arizona Coyotes, New Jersey Devils and Bruins, including 19 points (six goals, 13 assists) in 97 games over parts of the last four seasons with Boston.
In 11 games with Providence this season, Moore had six points (one goal, five assists) prior to the trade.
He was originally drafted in the 1st round (21st overall) by Columbus at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and has four assists in 49 career Stanley Cup playoff games.
Moore is signed through the end of the 2022-23 season with a $2.750 million cap hit.
Anaheim will undoubtedly benefit from Vaakanainen’s development– provided he can stay healthy and avoid further career derailment due to traumatic brain injuries– as well as from the acquisition of three draft picks from the Bruins in as many years in the first two rounds (2022 1st round, 2023 2nd round and 2024 2nd round).
Retaining half of Lindholm’s salary is a small price to pay for the Ducks with the added benefit of attaining about $11.631 million in cap space by the end of the season.
As a result, Anaheim will have about $58.154 million in deadline cap space to work with to facilitate trades or broker any potential three-team deals as the Ducks sit on the outside of the cutoff line looking in for the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Anaheim’s General Manager, Pat Verbeek, is ready to sell assets and commit to a rebuild with a plethora of picks at his disposal.