DONE DEAL : Calgary Flames confirm the departure of another fantastic star

The Calgary Flames traded all-star Elias Lindholm to the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night.

In exchange, the Flames received forward Andrei Kuzmenko, defensemen Hunter Brzustewicz and Joni Jurmo, a 2024 first-round draft pick, and a conditional 2024 fourth-round pick.

Lindholm, 29, joins the NHL-leading Canucks after scoring nine goals and assisting 23 times in 49 games for the Flames this season (2023-24).

Carolina moved Lindholm to Calgary in 2018, and he had the best years of his 11-year career with the Flames, including a career-high 42-goal season in 2021-22.

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Kuzmenko, 27, has struggled this season, scoring only eight goals and 21 assists in 43 games and being a healthy scratch several times.

Kuzmenko signed a two-year contract extension for $11 million in January 2023.

The forward has been upfront about his point production issues this season, and Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet has shuffled him up and down the lineup.

Tocchet described Kuzmenko’s performance this season as “OK,” and said the forward needs to “start playing a little harder.”

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“I recognize that I need to improve. That’s why I haven’t played (as much) this season,” he explained in November.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin, who signed a three-year deal on Wednesday, praised Kuzmenko’s performance in Vancouver.

“First and foremost, I’d like to thank Kuzy for everything he done for the Vancouver Canucks. “Andrei worked hard to improve his game and adjust to life as a pro in North America,” Allvin stated.

“In acquiring Elias Lindholm, we believe he significantly strengthens our hockey club. He is an experienced front-line performer who will provide head coach Rick Tocchet with extra choices when assembling our top two lines.

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