Big thanks to cupie for having this up first in the Fanposts.
THE RUMOR MILL:
Jason Hendricks of Hendricks Hockey reports that the Ducks are the primary suitors for the Rangers' Christopher Higgins with Marchant likely headed back to New York in the deal.
Money-wise, I'm not sure if this deal could happen straight up. The Ducks have the cap space to absorb Higgins, who comes in at 2.25M (twice Todd Marchant's salary), but they're already over budget. And yet, there is something to be said for getting Marchant's money for next year off the books (as Higgins is a UFA this summer).
Logistically, I think this makes a lot of sense. Carlyle claimed that he had planned on using three scoring lines all summer. Higgins definitely moves the team closer to that goal. Anaheim would lose Marchant's defensive skill on the PK, but Farrish has seemed content to let Koivu replace him thus far this season.
I don't really see this trade happening. I think even Murray knows his main problems are on defense, so the only way this happens is if he thinks he can flip Higgins for some blue line help sooner rather than later. Moreover, the Top 6 is pretty full, and we should give Lupul a legitimate shot at being the LW on that Koivu-Selanne line before we start picking up extra talent.
If it did happen, I think it would be a bad trade for the Ducks. We take a struggling forward who can't get it together, and we lose a veteran center who last season did an excellent job putting the opposition's top scoring line in check. It might allow scoring to expand, but right now I think Murray needs to pay more attention to the blueline.