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Ducks Trade Bait
By Michael Walters
The NHL trade deadline is about a month away and the Anaheim Ducks figure to be active as the rebuild continues. General Manager Pat Verbeek traded Jamie Drysdale away earlier this season, which sparked more trade talks surrounding the Ducks. Let’s take a look at some Ducks players(in no particular order), who may be of interest to teams around the league.
Henrique is in the final year of his contract with the Ducks and would be a rental option for anyone trying to make a run in the playoffs. He is on pace to score over 20 goals this season and is tied for second with 15 on the team currently. He is also third in total points with 33. He is able to score on the power play and kill penalties as well. He is extremely solid in the face-off circle and can also play wing if called upon to do so. He can fulfill multiple roles in any team’s lineup.
Henrique is signed at $5.825 million this season and his current daily cap hit is about $2.3 million. So the Ducks may have to retain salary to get a decent return. He also has a modified no trade clause where he submits a 10 team no trade list. Some potentially good news is Elias Lindholm and Sean Monahan were just traded, which would leave Henrique as the last top six center of his caliber reportedly on the market. Verbeek may be able to capitalize with a higher return as a result.
Possible teams of interest: Boston, Carolina, Colorado, Florida, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Rangers, and Winnipeg.
Lyubushkin is only signed through the end of this season like Henrique. He has four assists in 47 games and an on ice rating of -9. He isn’t a flashy player, but he plays a solid two-way game limiting mistakes in the defensive end. He is good at clogging up the neutral zone and playing the body against opposing forwards. He is an attractive option for a team who needs a strong penalty killer on their blue line.
Lyubuskin is signed at $2.750 million this season and will be a UFA. His current cap hit is only $1.09 million. He is a low cost option for a contending team who may want to add to their blue line for a playoff run.
Earlier in the season Silfverberg didn’t seem like a potential trade option. However, lately he has reemerged playing with Mason McTavish and Isac Lundestrom. He has three goals and two assists in his last four games. He had two goals and six assists in the previous 45 games. He doesn’t have the skating speed that he once had, but he still has a dangerous shot when he gets close to the net.
Silfverberg’s contract is also up at the end of the season and he is signed at $5.25 million with a current daily cap hit of $2.08 million. There are some road blocks with trading him that include the price tag of his contract and he has a modified no trade clause where he can submit a 12 team no trade list. There were also talks he was going to play overseas after the season, which could affect his trade appeal.
Gibson’s name seems to come up every year for the past several seasons and he hasn’t been traded. Could this be the year he is actually traded? He had a slow start to the season, but has improved his play. He has started in 31 games and has a 10-19-1 record. His GAA is 3.05 and save percentage of .901%. His record would likely be better, but the Ducks have lost many one goal games this season.
The question here is how much does Verbeek value Lukas Dostal and where does he see him on this team. If Verbeek sees Dostal as the future number one goalie, then there is a good chance he could try to move Gibson. On the other hand, if Verbeek doesn’t think Dostal is ready, then he may hang onto Gibson for at least another season.
There are some challenges with trading Gibson as he is signed through the 2026-27 season with $6.4 million AAV. He also has a modified no trade clause where he submits a 10 team no trade list.
Possible teams of interest: Arizona, New Jersey, Pittsburgh, and Toronto.
Once the Drysdale trade was made, Zegras’ name was thrown all over the internet as a possible trade option. He was just recently dubbed the “most overrated” player in an Athletic poll consisting of anonymous NHL players. The trade rumors of Zegras won’t stop until the trade deadline has come and past.
There are some things to consider with trading Zegras. Verbeek traded earlier this season for Cutter Gauthier because he said he wants to improve the team’s offense. Trading Zegras would seem to go against that notion. Also Zegras is out injured right now and likely won’t be back until around the trade deadline. Lastly, if a deal is to be made, then it would likely be a blockbuster with plenty having to come back to Anaheim in return.
Recently Verbeek addressed the rumors of trading him and said, “Teams seem to think he (Zegras) might be available because of our depth at the center position.” It doesn’t sound like Zegras is being shopped, but the Ducks do have depth at the center position. When the Drysdale trade was made Verbeek mentioned he traded from a position of strength, his defense, for a position of weakness, offensive scoring. The Anaheim lineup has plenty of centers which include Adam Henrique, Sam Carrick, Ryan Strome, Isac Lundestrom, Mason McTavish, Leo Carlsson, Benoit-Olivier Groulx, and Zegras. There is a good chance one or two of these players could be gone come the trade deadline.
Possible teams of interest: Everyone. They can try to deny it, but many GMs would love to have Z on their team.
We discussed more about possible trades on our latest podcast.
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February 2nd, 2023