The Anaheim Ducks are remaining patient as we approach the NHL trade deadline while other division rivals have begun to make their moves.
The February 29th NHL trade deadline is now just one week away and the market is beginning to open up. The Anaheim Ducks have done a full 180 this season not only in terms of on-ice play, but they’re deadline status as well. Through October and November the Ducks looked like they would turn into sellers. Through December and January they looked like they could turn into big buyers as they found themselves back in the playoff picture.
After winning their past five games and posting an 8-1-1 record in their last 10 games, will general manager Bob Murray keep this team as is and stand pat at the deadline?
It’s the question of the hour for not only the Ducks, but other teams around the league. Will the Ducks trade one of their young defensemen? Will the Ducks over pay and pursue a top rental winger like Andrew Ladd or Loui Eriksson? Will the Ducks trade Freddie Andersen?
These are the questions only Bob Murray and his staff have the question too, but the answers to all absolutely impact the market and what other teams will do.
Other teams, such as the San Jose Sharks, have begun to make some moves in an attempt to gear up for the playoffs.
Earlier today, the Sharks acquired defensemen Roman Polak and winger Nick Spaling from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Raffi Torres, a 2017 second round pick and a 2018 second round pick. No salary was retained in the deal.
The Sharks were clearly in the market for a defensemen but this trade was an interesting one due to the price San Jose GM Doug Wilson paid for Polak, the 29 year old veteran blue-liner.
Two future second round picks is a heavy price to pay for a guy like Polak. The Leafs walk away from this deal on top as they now have 23 draft picks through 2018.
The Kings will likely make a move before the deadline as well. Marian Gaborik could be held out of the lineup until the playoffs and the Kings were likely in the market for another forwards regardless. The Los Angeles blue-line could also use a boost but they may stand pat with Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin and Alec Martinez carrying the load.
Regardless, the Kings will likely make a move because both the Ducks and Sharks have erased LA’s once giant division lead.
Vancouver is another team stuck in the middle but they would be wise to become sellers this week. The Coyotes have stuck around the playoff picture all season but it’s unlikely they get in. Arizona’s pending UFA Mikkel Boekder is another name likely to be moved. As for Edmonton, they are once again in the hunt to land the number one overall pick at this year’s draft, shocking!
Bob Murray will watch his team play three more home games (Buffalo, Edmonton and LA) before next Monday’s deadline. Will performance’s in these games determine Anaheim’s deadline status? Maybe, there’s plenty to keep an eye on this week.