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Is Gibson’s Time Up In Anaheim?
By Michael Walters
As the NHL trade deadline approached in March, there were several Anaheim Ducks player names who were floated around as trade possibilities. Many of those players were in fact traded like Nicolas Deslauriers, Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson, and Rickard Rakell.
There was one big name player who wasn’t traded and it was John Gibson. There were multiple reports ahead of the deadline stating the Ducks were taking phone calls about Gibson, but in the end he wasn’t traded. The rumors surrounding him faded away as the Ducks concluded their season.
But recently the trade rumors have heated up like the SoCal summer weather. Last week, Frank Seravalli and Jason Gregor discussed on their DFO podcast(21 minute mark) how the Ducks are frustrated with Gibson and his body language. They talked about the instances where he would give teammates a “death stare” after a goal was scored on him. Additionally, they contemplated how much of Gibson’s frustration is due to the team’s overall performance recently. On Frank’s most recent top 25 trade list, he has Gibson at number seven.
The trade rumors picked up again today as NHL broadcaster Nick Alberga posted he heard “Gibson is open to being dealt and belief out of Anaheim is he’s informed the club of that.” Shortly after the post, ESPN and NHL Network analyst Kevin Weekes praised Nick and his “great reporting” about Gibson being open to a trade.
So it sounds like Gibson is going to be gone, right? Well, hold the phone.
Sports reporter Ryan Novozinsky of NJ.com, spoke to Gibson’s agent Kurt Overhardt shortly after the announcement of Gibson being open to a trade. According to Kurt, there has been “No discussion on (Gibson’s) desire to move. There’s no truth to it.” Kurt denied the report about Gibson by saying “John does not want to leave Anaheim.”
In one of the recent articles by Eric Stephens, he has Gibson listed a lock to return to Anaheim next season. He did wonder if the idea of trading him would gain some traction, but noted most team’s can’t just add a goalie with a $6.4 million cap hit, especially over the course of five seasons. In another recent article, Eric wrote his gut tells him Gibson won’t be traded unless he wants to be. And Eric hasn’t gotten the idea Gibson wants to be traded, which is in line with what his agent Kurt Overhardt stated today. We also heard Gibson was looking forward to being in Anaheim next season.
So we know the Ducks took phone calls about Gibson as early as March of this year. He was definitely frustrated at times this season and anyone who isn’t blind could notice when watching the games he played in. There are teams interested in Gibson and/or in need of a starting goalie. Pittsburgh constantly comes to mind since his personal connection there. Some other teams could include Buffalo, Chicago, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ottawa, and Seattle.
If the Ducks continue to take phone calls and the right deal comes along, then whether Gibson desires to stay in Anaheim or not might be a moot point. The key is it has to be the right deal for General Manager Pat Verbeek and have a solid return, which will help the Ducks get back to being a contender for several seasons.
John Gibson spoke to the Athletic and responded to the announcement of being open to a trade by saying, “None of that is true.” He also went on to say he wants to have success in Anaheim. In regards to being frustrated he said “I’m either frustrated at myself or frustrated at losing. Not frustrated with my teammates or anyting like that.”
So Gibson isn’t asking to be traded and clearly he has been frustrated, but it doesn’t mean he won’t be traded. The Ducks will still get phone calls about him during the offseason and it depends on what kind offers land on General Manager Pat Verbeek’s desk. He has plenty of cap space and draft picks to work with so it should be a busy and interesting summer in Anaheim.
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June 13th, 2022