September 18, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes center Elias Lindholm (16) smiles during the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at PNC Center. The Blue Jackets defeated the Hurricanes 5-4. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Should The Hurricanes Send Elias Lindholm To The Minors?

When the Carolina Hurricanes drafted Elias Lindholm with the fifth overall pick in this year’s draft it was expected that he would earn a spot on the roster and make an impact with the third line.

Instead the Swedish center has dealt with injuries before the season started and during the early part of the season, which has led him to only play in six games and recording one goal.

But perhaps even worse is the fact that he’s playing on the fourth line with guys like Brett Sutter and Kevin Westgarth and averaging nine minutes a game.

That’s not necessarily Lindholm’s fault – the Hurricanes have better depth than expected on offense and Riley Nash played well in preseason to earn the third-line center spot.

So with little playing time and a lack of skill from his linemates, doesn’t it make sense to send Lindholm to the Charlotte Checkers, where he can play more minutes and gain confidence?

I think so.

It’s not that Lindholm has played bad with the Canes. I’ve felt that he’s belonged in the NHL, but things could go better for him in the AHL especially when he’s playing less than 10 minutes a game.

For one, he could take over the first line with the Checkers playing with Chris Terry and Zach Boychuk, two guys that are proven scorers in the minor league.

If Lindholm does end up becoming a prolific scorer with the Checkers, it will only increase his confidence and make him more ready for the NHL.

Also, it’s important to remember that if Lindholm is sent to the Checkers, it does not mean the move is permanent. The Canes could recall him at any time if they feel he’s ready for the NHL again.

Some will argue that playing in the NHL is better competition for Lindholm and by being with the Hurricanes, he will learn more just from practicing against guys like Eric Staal and Alexander Semin, but there is still a lot that can be learned in the AHL.

The AHL is still a professional league and there’s veterans there, like Manny Malhotra, that can teach Lindholm the game from an offensive and defensive standpoint.

It may not be as prestigious as the NHL, but the AHL and the Checkers could help Lindholm’s future hockey career.

What do you believe: Should Lindholm stay with the the Hurricanes or be sent to the Checkers?

Should the Hurricanes send Lindholm to the minors?

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