To Trade Or Not To Trade

Photo: AP

By Michael Walters

As the Anaheim Ducks continue to struggle this season, the rumors and trade discussions surrounding the team continue to persist.

There has been plenty of discussion about changing the General Manager, Head Coach, and/or players. Many of the players names have come up in trade discussions, so that’s will I focus my energy. I have broken trade categories down based on those that could be traded to those most unlikely to be traded.

Could Be Traded

Rickard Rakell

Rakell has been on fire offensively lately(12 points in 6 games) and as a result his name appeared on two recent trade bait lists. He is listed as number 2 on The Athletic’s trade bait list by Craig Custance and Eric Duhatschek. They suggest since the Ducks have traded with the Boston Bruins recently that a deal for Jake Debrusk might be something to explore.

The TSN’s Frank Seravalli has him listed at number 3 on the TSN trade bait list. According to Seravalli, the Calgary Flames have inquired about Rakell, but the asking price was too high.

The TSN/Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun suggested that the Toronto Maple Leafs would be a good fit for Rakell. Pierre states that the Ducks aren’t shopping Rakell, but are listening to offers. He sees the cost as high for Rakell and that Toronto would have to start with 2020 first-round pick Rodian Amirov in addition to another asset. Amirov hasn’t played in the NHL yet, but he has tremendous speed, stick handing, and a solid shot. However, some of the other areas of his game need work writes The Athletic’s Joshua Kloke.

On the recent 31 Thoughts Podcast, Elliotte Friedman echoes Seravalli’s and LeBurn’s comments that the price for Rakell is high. He thinks the price may, in fact, be too high for Toronto and isn’t sure if the Ducks will move Rakell.

In addition to Calgary and Toronto, there have been multiple reports that Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are interested in Rakell. The question is not if the Ducks can trade him, but rather how much could they get in return for him. Rakell’s trade value is at an all-time high right now and if the Ducks want to trade him, now would be the time.

Josh Manson

Manson is also listed on The Athletic’s trade bait list at number 4. He hasn’t been talked about as much this season in regards to being traded, but he still has value. He is a strong stay at home defenseman that is solid on the penalty kill and he will mix it up when necessary. He is also appealing since he is a right handed shot and has just one year left on his contract.

His value right now probably isn’t as high as in the past because his game hasn’t been as great and he has also suffered injuries recently keeping him off the ice. The Ducks will likely listen to trade calls on him, but it’s unclear how high of a return they can get with him while he is out.

Speaking of returns, in The Athletic’s trade bait article, they state the Ducks aren’t looking for draft choices, but rather for “players in the 24-to-27 age range to mesh seamlessly with the maturing youngsters who are gradually finding their NHL way”. Over the past few seasons the Ducks have been using the draft and prospects to help the rebuild. Could there be a shift in strategy here?

Danton Heinen, Adam Henrique, and Jakob Silfverberg were also mentioned in The Athletic article as other forwards that could be traded.

Danton Heinen

Between Heinen, Henrique, and Silfverberg, Heinen would probably be the one more likely to be moved. A few weeks ago, Heinen’s name came up in connection with the Vancouver Canucks. According to The Athletic’s Thomas Drance, the Ducks and Canucks were “grinding away on a potential Jake Virtanen deal” but it seems those talks have cooled off for now. Drance believes that Heinen was a target that the Canucks were looking at in a deal for Virtanen.

The under utilization of Heinen recently, gives the appearance that the Ducks are willing to move him. He has played in 20 of the Ducks 29 games, but has been a healthy scratch recently. He played in 17 of Anaheim’s first 18 games, but then has only played in three out of the last 11 games. His days could be numbered in Anaheim.

Also Could Be Traded, But Are Hard Sells

Adam Henrique

Henrique made headlines when he was scratched against the St. Louis Blues and subsequently put on waivers. Henrique was not claimed on waivers, which sent the message that no one wanted to pick him up because of his contract. He is signed through the 2023-24 season with an annual price tag of $5.825 million. Only a team with a large cap space would have been able to take him and there were no takers.

He wasn’t producing as well offensively earlier in the season to help his trade value, but he has picked up his game slightly as of late. He has five points(2 G + 3 A) in his last six games. The issue with trying to trade him is his contract and the Ducks will likely have to retain salary to get any kind of trade discussion started.

Jakob Silfverberg

Silfverberg’s name has come up here and there this season. He is in a similar boat as Henrique as he is also signed until the 2023-24 season with a $5.25 million AAV. The issue with moving him will also be the Ducks willingness to retain any salary.

Nicolas Deslauriers

Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now, suggested the Pens might want more grit in their lineup and that Deslauriers could be a fit for them. The Ducks do like the role he plays on the fourth line and how he stands up for his teammates. He also meets the expansion draft exposure requirements for the Ducks. The element of fighting is also slowly disappearing in the league so there probably isn’t as much interest in him.

Questionable Trades Depending On The Return

Troy Terry

Elliotte Friedman brought up Terry’s name this past Saturday on TV. He mentioned that he might be available and in need of a change of scenery. The next day The Athletic’s Eric Stephens quickly refuted that notion.

Terry along with others like Max Comtois, Max Jones, Josh Mahura, and Sam Steel are players I feel you don’t move unless you get a high draft pick and/or NHL ready talent.

In The Driver’s Seat

Ryan Getzlaf

Getzlaf’s name came up in trade rumors before the season even started. Since he is in the final year of his contract and the Ducks won’t be going anywhere near a Stanley Cup this season, there has been some discussion as to whether he would want to go to another team to win a championship.

He was recently the topic of trade discussions on the DFO Rundown podcast with Jason Gregor and Frank Seravalli. The Getzlaf trade talk is from the 7:35 mark to 9:55 mark. Click here to listen: DFO Rundown

General Manager Bob Murray said recently he doesn’t have any desire to trade Getzlaf, unless he asks for it himself. The captain has a full no-movement clause, so it would be fully up to him. Getzlaf has also stated before the season that he wanted to stay with the team and help them be successful again. However, will he get tired of what’s going on currently and want to go to contender?

John Gibson

For some reason Gibson’s name keeps coming up. Earlier this season when Brian Burke joined the Pittsburgh Penguins organization there was some speculation that Gibson, being a native there and the past Anaheim connection with Burke, could be traded to the Pens. The report was based largely on speculation and I will leave it as just that, speculation.

Recently Chad Demonicis of Expected Buffalo wrote that the Sabres have inquired about Gibson multiple times. He said the Sabres asked about Gibson during the extended offseason and then again one month into this current season. Both times they were told by the Ducks that Gibson is not available.

It’s clear the Ducks don’t want to move him. Let’s stop beating a dead horse.

Ryan Miller

On occasion Miller’s name will come up because he is on a one year deal with the Ducks. There is some mention that he would maybe want to go to a team for one last shot at a Stanley Cup. Given the fact that he debated coming back this season and that his family is rooted in Southern California, it would be unlikely to see him be traded, unless like Getzlaf, he wanted to.

Listen to our hockey podcast for more trade discussion by clicking below or visit us at Podomatic, Rumble, Spreaker, or YouTube.

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March 15th, 2021


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