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Report: Canucks could flip Lindholm to Bruins to enable Guentzel trade

Could the Canucks trade Elias Lindholm to the Boston Bruins just over a month after acquiring him from the Calgary Flames?
Elias Lindholm might not have a long tenure as a member of the Vancouver Canucks.

The Vancouver Canucks got in on the trade market early with their deal for Elias Lindholm at the beginning of February.

According to a report from The Athletic's Chris Johnston, they could move on from Lindholm just over a month later. 

The Canucks are in pursuit of Jake Guentzel from the Pittsburgh Penguins but numerous obstacles are in their way. They have limited cap space available and a shallow prospect pool to draw from, with the Penguins looking for prospects more than draft picks in a potential Guentzel trade.

One potential solution to those obstacles would be flipping Lindholm to another team, thereby clearing cap space and acquiring assets that could then be sent to the Penguins for Guentzel. According to Johnston, the Canucks have had talks with the Boston Bruins about Lindholm.

The Canucks acquired Lindholm from the Calgary Flames for their 2024 first-round pick, Andrei Kuzmenko, and prospects Hunter Brzustewicz and Joni Jurmo. If the asking price from the Bruins is similar, the Canucks would then have a first-round pick and a couple of prospects available.

Lindholm scored two goals against the Carolina Hurricanes in his Canucks debut, then another two goals against the Detroit Red Wings in mid-February, but has otherwise been kept quiet, giving him just 4 goals and 6 points in 14 games. The Canucks were hoping Lindholm could be the top-six forward they need to complement one of J.T. Miller or Elias Pettersson, but he's instead found himself centring the third line in recent games.

The Canucks' front office headed up by Jim Rutherford and Patrik Allvin hasn't been shy about quickly correcting mistakes — if they view the Lindholm acquisition as one of those mistakes, it would certainly be in character for them to flip him in order to acquire the player they really want.

Still, this would be a wild move from the Canucks. Lindholm may not be putting up points, but still has value to the team as a two-way player and injury insurance. It's entirely likely that the scoring will come in the future — the Canucks' on-ice shooting percentage with Lindholm on the ice 5-on-5 has been just 6.58%, which is easily the lowest on the Canucks this season.

At the same time, Guentzel is a two-time 40-goal scorer and makes perfect sense as the solution to the Canucks' need for a top-six winger. It will be intriguing to see how this plays out.