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Should The Ducks Trade A Goalie?

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Both Andersen and Khudobin may be available. Is trading either one a wise decision?

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

According to TSN's Darren Dreger, the recent play of John Gibson may have made Frederik Andersen and Anton Khudobin expendable.

"Time to keep an eye too on the Anaheim Ducks. Not a strong market for goaltenders, but the belief is that either Anton Khudobin or perhaps Freddie Andersen could be available. It’s based on the play of John Gibson.

"As I said, not a strong market. But keep an eye on what’s going on in Montreal. Perhaps there’s some interest there. Maybe in Calgary.

"The asking price for Freddie Andersen is going to be extremely high, but word on the street is that those goalies are available."

— Darren Dreger, TSN's Insider Trading

Gibson has played well since his call-up from San Diego, and if he can solidify his position as a quality starter at the NHL level, his contract that takes him through 2018-19 with an AAV of $2.3 million would be a bargain for Ducks management.

Andersen (RFA) and Khudobin (UFA) are both sitting on expiring contracts, and with Sami Vatanen, Rickard Rakell, and Hampus Lindholm all in line for new contracts next summer, general manager Bob Murray is going to have to spend wisely. If Murray believes he is going to lose one or both free agent goaltenders, he may instead opt to trade one. Andersen's value is much higher than Khudobin's right now, and if Murray thinks a Gibson — Khudobin tandem can get his team through the rest of this season, he may be tempted to flip Andersen for a considerable return.

Dreger mentioned both Montreal (because of the injury to Carey Price) and Calgary (because they don't have a long-term solution in goal) as potential suitors.

My Thoughts

Given the salary cap situation and the way Rakell and Vatanen have played this season, Andersen might have to be the odd man out next summer. If Murray has enough confidence in Gibson, it might behoove the GM to move Andersen before the trade deadline to maximize the return, which would ideally include a top-six forward signed for more than just one year.

One team that has always intrigued me when it comes to trade talk is the Edmonton Oilers. If Edmonton general manager Peter Chiarelli can be convinced that Andersen might be his goalie of the present and future, he may be willing to part ways with a forward or two. Recent rumors concerning Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle seem far-fetched, but if any package could get a high-end talent out of Edmonton, it would likely be one consisting of a young starting goalie and a young defenseman.

Khudobin, on the other hand, will not fetch nearly the return that Andersen will. Perhaps the best course of action would be to keep him around this season to back up Gibson, and then either sign him or, if he is unwilling to take a pay cut, sign another replacement-level goaltender as a backup.