Leading up to the 2016 NHL draft Anaheim Ducks’ defenseman Cam Fowler had his name thrown around quite a bit.
From the Buffalo Sabres to the Montreal Canadiens, among a few others, there were no shortage of teams rumored to have considerable interest in the 24-year-old blue liner.
When all was said and done both the Sabres and Canadiens elected to hang onto their top-10 picks, which the Ducks coveted, rather than moving them for Fowler.
As such Bob Murray did not part ways with Fowler and, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, he now may end up staying in Anaheim altogether.
Trade talk involving Fowler seems to have died down after the draft. I think it's because had he moved, it would have involved Anaheim getting a top-10 pick back as part of the package, whether that was No. 8 from the Buffalo Sabres or No. 9 from the Montreal Canadiens, perhaps.
Either way, there's no telling for sure whether Fowler moves or not this summer but I think the Ducks -- loaded with talent on the back end -- are ready to start the season with him in their lineup unless somebody really steps up and makes a quality offer. They're not giving this guy away.
This could just be word play from Murray, or someone within the Ducks’ organization, to try and drive up the price.
There is plenty of off-season left so the Ducks can afford to play the waiting game. If they convince interested parties they are serious about keeping Fowler teams looking for a top-4 defenseman will be more willing to part with quality assets to get a deal done.
The alternative for some of the interested teams, obviously, is heading into the season with a big hole on their blue line.
I think the Ducks are seriously content with keeping Fowler if it comes down to it. That said, I still expect someone to pony up and give Murray a deal worth taking this summer.
Time will tell if that’s the case. For now, Fowler remains a Duck.