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Friedman: Ducks Could Take On Bad Contracts For Youth
By Michael Walters
On last night’s “Saturday Headlines” segment on Hockey Night in Canada, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported the Ducks are willing to take on big contracts in exchange for young talent:
“The Ducks have let it be known that they have cash and cap space. They are willing to listen to you if you wanted to use them to help you clean up your cap problem, however, it’s going to cost you good young assets.”
The Ducks currently have $4.817 million in salary cap space per Cap Friendly. Anaheim could free up just over $10 million more by the trade deadline if they place Ryan Kesler($6.875 million) and Patrick Eaves($3.15 million) on the LTIR for this season.
There are some things to consider with the Ducks cap space situation looking forward to next season. According to Cap Friendly, the Ducks are projected to have only $2.175 million in cap space at the end of the season. In terms of LTIR funds, the Ducks would have $6.875 available for the 2020-2021 season if Kesler can’t play.
Anaheim is also paying Corey Perry $6.625 million next season, so any LTIR money used from Kesler would almost be an even wash. So while the Ducks have significant cap space now(if utilizing LTIR funds), there is a chance that the current cap space may not be there next season depending on which free agents are re-signed.
The idea of taking on contracts with big cap hits in exchange for prospects and/or draft picks is nothing new in the NHL. Recently teams like the Arizona Coyotes and Carolina Hurricanes have made deals of this nature.
There are several teams with tight cap situations that might be willing to talk to General Manager Bob Murray. Teams like Boston, Buffalo, Florida, Philadelphia, Toronto, and Vegas are among those with limited cap space that might look to unload a big contract in order to pick up someone at the trade deadline.
Bob Murray typically doesn’t make significant moves at or near the trade deadline, but there is an opportunity to make a move now that would help improve the Anaheim’s young talent pool. Anaheim has 13 rostered RFAs and UFAs at the end of the season totaling around $13 million. With Eaves being one of the UFAs not returning, the Ducks will open $3.15 million in cap space next season. So depending on who Murray does and doesn’t bring back from the other free agents, he could try to take on at least one big contract to bring in some young players and/or draft picks. If Murray does try to make a move like this leading up to the trade deadline, then the rebuild will be set even faster in motion.
The question that remains though is will he pull the trigger?
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January 11th, 2019