In the wake of the Kings trading Tyler Toffoli, the Ducks have several pieces with some term that should absolutely be dealt to kick this rebuild into overdrive. Bob Murray should be doing everything he can to make this team’s future prospects as bright as possible as opposed to waiting on development.
Josh Manson is the obvious candidate here with term left on his deal and numbers similar to Jake Muzzin. Dealing him for a 1st round pick, a high-end prospect (#3-4 ranking) and a mid-round pick should be the starting point in negotiations.
The Ducks will sell off their main expiring assets in Michael Del Zotto and Derek Grant. For Del Zotto the Ducks will get a 5th round pick and Grant will fetch the Ducks a conditional 3rd rounder (thank you unsustainable scoring). Along with these two moves, the Ducks will also move one major piece. I believe that will be Josh Manson as myself and CJ have speculated with articles. The Blake Coleman trade over the weekend shows what the potential return could be for a guy with term. Yes, Coleman is a forward and Manson is a defenseman, but value is value. So I think Manson will get the Ducks at least a 1st, a roster player to offset the salary, and a good prospect.
The Anaheim Ducks have not been good this year. So far the the kids have not produced the performances that were hoped for. What was branded as a “retooling” is going to plummet into a full blown “rebuild”. Teams cannot rebuild without draft picks and cannot rebuild if their best selections are in the middle of the first round. Bob Murray will start to feel the heat and needs to make moves which secure the future of the team, or he will not secure the future of his job.
Kase. As sad as it is, Bob Murray had his fingers burnt with the long term contracts and injuries of Ryan Kesler and Patrick Eaves. Despite his great advanced metrics, Kase has an injury history. Bob Murray will trade Kase to Boston in a deal that brings David Backes to Anaheim along with a 1st round pick and a prospect.
Henrique. Bob Murray understands the fantastic year that Trevor Zegras is having. Assuming that Zegras moves to Anaheim for the 2020-21 season, there is a log-jam at centre ice. The Anaheim Ducks will trade Henrique to a contender for a second round pick and a prospect.
Grant. Contenders will look at a high scoring and strong penalty killing 4th line forward as a good and cheap option for a Stanley Cup run. Grant will fetch a conditional second round pick.
Hot take. This is Bob Murray’s last trade deadline. Although not traded, Bob Murray will be fired at the end of the 2019-20 season.
I predict that Bob Murray will trade Jacob Larsson, Daniel Sprong, Antoine Morand and Devin Shore in a package for a 4th line defenseman and/or forward. I think they will trade Michael Del Zotto for a future 6th round or later pick. They will shop Ondrej Kase, and perhaps trade him if they can get a good forward as a return. I do not believe that they will trade Josh Manson or Derek Grant. I would hope that they would trade Nick Ritchie for a high pick (3-5th round). I predict the Ducks world will not be satisfied, but the argument will come that we are building from within and need time to train and mentor our current Ducklings.
There are only three options here: (i) they do something big; (ii) they do something small; or (iii) they do nothing at all. Nothing at all has to be off the board. Murray isn’t stupid. He knows this team isn’t competing any time soon. What he’s ultimately going to have to decide is how far away he thinks they are.
Elliotte Friedman has reported it’d take a hell of an offer to get any of the core pieces out of Anaheim and while NHL GMs are traditionally the most risk adverse group in the world, we’ve already seen a couple of big returns going to the Kings and Devils. Add in the fact that most of the buyers are teams that are a lot better than their record, caught in a tight wild-card race in the East (which gets us around Bob Murray’s ridiculous insistence on not trading within the conference), and there is reason to be hopeful.
Players like Henrique, Rakell, and Manson could fetch serious returns if the prices we’ve seen over the last two years are anything to go off of. I’m not sure I want to get my hopes up, but it certainly seems like the Anaheim Ducks could make some serious hay this deadline.
At the very least I expect Del Zotto (4th or 5th rounder), Grant (3rd rounder), and Kase (2nd and a decent prospect) to all be eating room service this time next week.
I also expect one of Henrique, Manson, and Silfverberg to be somewhere else as well, each of whom should bring back a first, a high-end prospect, and salary filler.
In a perfect world, Murray would capitalize on Fowler’s amazing season and Rakell’s amazing contract to bring in multiple picks and prospects for arguably Anaheim’s two most attractive trade chips. For obvious reasons, I do not expect either of them to be moved, but a guy can dream, eh?
My gut tells me that he won’t do anything beyond helping the San Diego Gulls. BUT...if he does anything, he will trade Michael Del Zotto for the same as last season, a 6th round pick. Derek Grant and Josh Manson both stay. Murray loves the bite that Manson provides on the blue line and Derek Grant is too much of a feel-good story to trade him off again.
I hope I’m wrong.
I’m going to be very specific with my predictions. First off, the Ducks will trade Derek Grant to the Florida Panthers in exchange for a 2021 second round draft pick. Michael Del Zotto will again be on the move this deadline when Bob Murray deals him to the Edmonton Oilers, getting forward prospect Aapeli Räsänen in return. Räsänen, who currently plays center at Boston College, could be an NHL third liner in the future. More transactions could be in the offing, but I don’t have a great deal of confidence that they will.
I honestly don’t know what the Ducks will do. This season has been one in flux due to the team’s transition, “re-tool” if you will. Anaheim is not stocked with many valuable players and may just make AHL depth changes. Bigger question is what does GMBM’s vision for the team look like? Is he still thinking the team can compete next season, or has he come to the conclusion that the winning window is closed? If he thinks they can still compete next season or the one after, I can see him making the big changes during the off-season instead of at the Trade Deadline. As for now, I think we can agree on that currently the team is in a funky limbo.
Most Ducks fans, media pundits and analysts all agree the Ducks should be “sellers” by Monday’s deadline. Some core names (Josh Manson, Ondrej Kase and Adam Henrique) have been thrown out there along with some complementary player types (Derek Grant, Michael Del Zotto and Ryan Miller). While I do think one of the bigger, core names is moved at some point, I am not sure that type of move is a must at this deadline. A move like that may come at the 2020/2021 NHL Draft or in the off season. With that said, Ducks’ GM Bob should be selling whatever “non-long term” pieces he can to continue to try to recover as many longer term, higher upside pieces he can. Below are the names of the guys I think will be moved at the deadline and what they may bring back in return. Although these moves are not needle moves, they do favor the side of a positive asset management (something that GMBM has been very fairly criticized for in the past).
Derek Grant - Traded for a 3rd round pick. Could see the pick having a condition where it changes to a 4th if he re-signs in Anaheim. Conditions like that are all the rage these days.
Michael Del Zotto - Traded for a 5th round pick. He was traded for a 6th last season, but that arguably could have been higher. He has made the most of his playing time this season and is probably wanting an opportunity to get regular games in on another team.
Ryan Miller - Traded for a 3rd round pick. This seems like a long shot seeing as the rental goalie market is a cold. Fact is, there are not many contending teams in need of a back up goalie. However, I could see the Colorado Avalanche taking a chance given that Philipp Grubauer just sustained an injury that could be both short term and long term (what the Avs actually said).
Daniel Sprong - It seems like Sprong is not in the long term plans for the Ducks (whether you agree or not). Can’t imagine his value being that high, but I could see him traded in a hockey deal for some depth defense of maybe a 4th or 5th round pick.
As the Ducks are almost certain to miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second straight year, GM Bob Murray is at a bit of a crossroads. Murray, knowing his job is likely at stake, hasn’t made a ton of moves in the last calendar year that indicate he’s interested in a full-scale rebuild, though the Ducks’ aging core and lack of blue-chip prospects suggests otherwise. Murray’s roster decisions over the next four months, starting with Monday’s trade deadline and continuing through the 2020 Entry Draft, could be the most important of his tenure.
Because Anaheim has been an annual playoff contender since 2008-09 under Murray, there’s little precedent for his approach as a seller at the trade deadline. Last season with the Ducks well out of the playoff picture, Murray’s only consequential deadline move was trading defenseman Brandon Montour for a conditional first-round pick and defenseman Brandon Guhle, an intriguing prospect.
Murray should be more aggressive in selling off assets during this year’s deadline, but the bet here is that he largely stands pat and waits for the draft to make major moves. Expect veteran role players like Derek Grant and Michael Del Zotto to be dealt for mid- to late-round picks, while other intriguing assets like Adam Henrique and Josh Manson stick around until the summer.