Tis the season!...well...trade deadline season.
As this season’s deadline approaches, moves have just begun and will continue to happen until the last deals between GMs are made at 3:00PM EST. With eyes glued to their Twitter feeds, news gluttons are preparing for a frenzy of speculation.
But what does that mean for the Anaheim Ducks?
Many predicted that GMHM (yes, I’m still riding the Hob train. Big whoop. Wanna fight about it?) and Co. would not make any moves. Others assumed that Anaheim will be sellers. No matter how today ends, a few things seem certain: Jakob Silfverberg and Ryan Miller are staying put (Suck it, Jake!).
Now, some say that keeping them will be a bad idea because the two players could fetch picks to help the team in the future. I hear you. Trades, picks, and re-signees are an uncertain gamble. Your argument has some value, but brings up an understandable concern: what if Silfverberg and Miller end up completely falling utterly flat in the next few seasons?
I counter with caution: what if acquired players for these meaty trades so vociferously argued don’t work out at all? What if we trade for no observable result? It has happened, people, and more than once. We could end up going the way of Emerson Etem who was an absolute bust in the NHL after doing phenomenally well in the minors? As I said above: this is a gamble, and the Ducks are anything but predictable.
Who will the Ducks move?
Who will remain on the Ducks’ roster come this evening? This is difficult to answer. Perhaps everyone? Cam Fowler has always been a regular player of interest in the rumor mill. I, for one, can see Nick Ritchie fetching a couple of picks after he’s shipped out; my gut says that he lost some favor amongst Murray for his holdout at the beginning of the season.
Also, there’s word out as I type of Brandon Montour going to the Sabres for Brendan Guhle and a first round pick. The young, mobile defenseman could work well with a team like the Sabres. However, those who were listening to Murray and others preach since Anaheim was swept by the San Jose Sharks in last season’s playoffs — that the team needs to become faster and play quicker. Conundrum: it’s puzzling as to why Randy Carlyle wasn’t fired but instead brought the team in the midst of top-10 for draft picks.
There’s also Adam Henrique who some have pegged to on the trading block. As for Montour, this is what Anaheim will receive in return from the Buffalo Sabres:
First round pick and prospect Brendan Guhle going to Anaheim for Brandon Montour is my understanding— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 24, 2019
And as of 9:20PM Sunday night, this happened:
Anaheim has traded Brian Gibbons to Ottawa in exchange for Patrick Sieloff— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 25, 2019
I guess the biggest answer we will get will revolve around the Tank or No Tank school of thought. If Murray truly believes the team can make the playoffs and contend, there could be changes. If his leadership is beginning a slight re-build for next season, then the roster may be unchanged.
One unfortunate truth is that this decision is perhaps more political than talent-oriented, and we armchair GM’s aren’t armed for politics (see what I did there?) No matter how many fancy, squiggly stats, flow and pie charts, years of gathered numbers and sophisticated suppositions are rolled out...no matter how many hours of online discussion of what GMs should do, decisions happen behind closed doors by people wearing ties instead of team sweaters...and we are never privy to why. It happens in every business.
In any case, each armchair GM of their respective teams throughout the NHL will be out in full force, and many of them will be upset while some will be happy. We can all probably agree that dissatisfaction will indeed be inevitable. As for now, we should all brace ourselves until the end of day. Should be a wild and annoying ride.