3 Players The Toronto Maple Leafs Should Avoid In Free Agency

Edmonton Oilers v Dallas Stars - Game Two
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Elias Lindholm

Projection: Five years, $6.765 million AAV

At one point, Lindholm was centering one of the best lines in the game between Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau.

Since then, both his wingers have left and he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks. There, he struggled to fit in and was even rumoured as a possible trade candidate heading into the deadline for a second time. This highlights a few concerns involving Lindholm.

One was the glaring drop in production, specifically in goals when his elite line mates left.

This points to the possibility that he was either more of a product of their play or the line as a whole was greater than the sum of it’s parts. Neither would be good and investing that much money in him could be too great of a risk. 

To play devil’s advocate, the Leafs have the unique ability to put him in a position to succeed with their core. They could load him up a line with William Nylander and John Tavares. Or, they could always shelter him on the third line behind their core and deploy him in advantageous situations. 

There is some utility in that but paying him the money he could command to play that role, does not make sense. The money would be better spent on almost anyone else.

Lindholm is 29 and his production has dropped three seasons in a row.