OUT: Ondrej Kase, Nick Ritchie, Derek Grant, Korbinian Holzer, Devin Shore, Daniel Sprong and a 2022 7th Rnd Pick.
IN: 2020 1st Rnd Pick, 2020 4th Rnd Pick, 2022 6th Rnd Pick, David Backes, Axel Andersson, Danton Heinen, Sonny Milano, Matt Irwin, Kyle Criscuolo and Joel Persson.
On a pivotal day for the franchise realizing it needed to go into full rebuilding mode instead of a simple retool, General Manager Bob Murray made a flurry of trades that don’t appear to commit to a clear and defined direction. Getting a 1st round pick for Kase was much needed, a 4th and an AHLer for Grant was good value, and the fact that he convinced David Poile to give up any asset at all for Korbinian Holzer were the good parts. Everything else was likely a wash or made the team possibly, marginally better. Maybe.
No core pieces were traded for good future assets, and the Ducks appear to not be any better today and maybe, if things break right, only slightly better for the future. It’s clear that unless the big moves we’ve been looking for happen at the draft, that the entire plan for the rebuild rests in the hands of Trevor Zegras turning into Getzlaf 2.0 and the rest of the prospects developing a lot more than they’ve shown so far.
Bob Murray added a 1st round pick, turned Grant into a pick, and managed to jedi mind trick David Poile into giving up an asset for Korbinian Holzer who is not good. Sprong for Djoos is fine. The organization had clearly made up its mind about him, so turning him into a player who might actually see the lineup is a positive. Shore for Milano is fine since Milano seems to have more offensive upside, though so did Sprong, so who knows if he’ll get a chance. Ritchie for Heinen is also fine. Heinen seems to be better defensively and can play all three forward spots, which is good. Though I suppose it’s hard to ignore the feeling that Murray traded Ritchie and Shore for different versions of Ritchie and Shore. Joel Persson sounds like the Swedish equivalent of John Doe and I have no proof is an actual person.
All in all, it was a perfectly decent day. But if none of the older, more expensive players get moved at the draft, it’ll be hard to fight the impulse that nothing of consequence was achieved today.
While each deal pulled off by Murray today and last week can be evaluated as getting a decent return for the market value established for each player, the overall plan when looking at all these trades together remains unclear. This is a massive issue for a team in the situation the Ducks are in. Some of these moves are meant for the future, like the Kase trade and Grant trade, while others are meant to shake the roster up and have an impact now, Shore for Milano and Ritchie for Heinen. I guess the best thing I can say is Murray didn’t completely screw up and trade for a 34 year old.... oh wait. He did that (I am actually good with picking up Backes, but the joke made itself). Overall this is a deadline that neither hurts the Ducks, but I don’t think it helps them a lot either. My biggest disappointment is that they did not take advantage of the sellers’ market and move a bigger piece for a bigger return.
Bob Murray didn’t make the kind of earth-shattering moves that fans clamored for, but the franchise is unquestionably better positioned moving forward. An additional first-round pick was a must, while swapping out Nick Ritchie and Devin Shore for Danton Heinen and Sonny Milano gives the roster a healthy infusion of skill and offensive upside. Derek Grant also fetched a fourth rounder, making for a solid, if unspectacular trade deadline.
The bar I set was REALLY low for GM Bob Murray heading into today’s trade deadline and we got exactly what I’ve come to expect from Murray: borderline moves that help a little but show a pack of commitment toward any one direction. While it’s too early to speak on some of the players coming to the Ducks, getting a pick for Derek Grant, anything for Korbinian Holzer, and replenishing some bodies on the blue line slightly improves the team, but we cannot state enough that you can’t win games unless you score goals. With two of the better play-driving forwards gone, you have to wonder where the goals will come from.
Murray has one more chance at the draft to push the team into a full rebuild, but until then, I’ll watch and hope that the younger players will step up now that they know they’re staying put for the rest of the season.
With Anaheim kind of doing as I expected, GMBM ships Ritchie, Sprong, Grant, Shore, and Holzer off to other teams in place of Irwin, Djoos, Milano, Criscuolo and Hienen, as well as claiming Agozzino off of waivers and a minor league deal with minor league goaltender, Redmond going to Edmonton for DMan Persson. All in all, not huge like trading Silfvy, Manson, or Rico but smaller lateral to slightly better moves. The bigger ones will come at the draft.
While the “big” deal did not go down, the Ducks did well in most of the trades. Below is the breakdown of the INs and OUTs when it comes to this year’s deals. All in all, most of the trades were “wins” in my opinion. These deals were not big time needle movers, but I believe the Ducks are in better shape than they were before today.
Ducks fans can be happy that Bob Murray made moves at the deadline—we expected that much. What we also expected were decisions of significance. Moving Shore for Milano and Holzer for anything were wins in a nutshell. Moving Grant was a solid rebuild move.
But then Murray’s vision kicked in. The man who said, “We can’t score and our power play isn’t good” went out and traded players with offensive upside for more two-way, bottom six forwards. The day concluded with more lateral moves and not enough for the future. We didn’t ship out players that could have brought in a hefty, future package, and we didn’t bring in players that can help us in the present. At the end of the day you need to score goals to win hockey games and this team doesn’t have that type of player.
And for the love of the hockey gods enough with all the Swedes.
The Kase, Ritchie outgoings will hurt in both the short and long term. But coming full circle on Marcus Pettersson to essentially salvage that deal into Christian Djoos - a serviceable defender with upside, as well as getting another forward project with talent in Milano for consistent scratch Shore are both wins in my book. Getting anything at all for Holzer is still...words can’t describe and the flipping expiring and regrettable contract Angus Redmond for a defender that could also work out. Some hidden gems in there.
I’m still very frustrated about the Ondrej Kase trade. Receiving a low first-rounder and a questionable prospect while potentially solving two problems for the Bruins seemed underwhelming to me. I also question the franchise’s usage of Daniel Sprong and Devin Shore while they were a part of the Ducks’ organization. I am not particularly encouraged about the way Bob Murray is managing this team into the future.
Regardless, the Monday moves were surprisingly decent if fairly low-risk. Sprong’s offensive upside was being wasted in San Diego and Nick Ritchie’s lack of discipline had likely caused him to fall out of favor long before his big game against the Vegas Golden Knights. I genuinely like the Sonny Milano acquisition even if expectations are modest for the former first round pick. Murray may not have won big by dealing Derek Grant, but it was a move that needed to be made in light of his expiring contract. Getting a minor pick thrown into the Korbinian Holzer swap was mildly surprising. There are legitimate questions to be raised about exactly who is going to score for this team in the nearer term.
Still, I give the deadline a C overall, even if I can no longer declare “Where’s the beef?” when Angus Redmond gets benched by his minor league team.
Bob Murray was way more active than I thought and got some good assets for players like Holzer, Grant, and Shore. Holzer and Grant are clearly pieces that the Ducks don’t need the rest of the season but could easily come back in the offseason, so it’s good that they were moved. Shore got a good piece back in Milano. Sprong wasn’t working out so it was good to move him and we got a young piece back. Ritchie was at his peak in terms of potential so I’m happy we got rid of him and we got a decent piece back with a higher ceiling. The Kase move confuses me a bit. I don’t really think the pick was worth it for his skill. I’m glad he didn’t trade Manson despite a lot of people’s opinions.
Overall I think the Kase move was bad, but the rest were okay moves when considering the team is trying to retool and not rebuild
The teacher refrains from giving a grade due to a lack of training in the incoming class. However, as all teachers must feel, there is a sense of accomplishment at the end of a semester when the child who gives you the fits and just doesn’t seem to learn the rules, respect the process, and move the class forward is finally released into the sunshine of another classroom and another teacher. Thus, there sits Ritchie. And I sit back at my desk, smile, and breathe.