Anaheim Ducks: Flight Path to the Future of the Franchise

ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 3: J.T. Compher #37 of the Colorado Avalanche reacts as ;the Anaheim Ducks celebrate after defeating the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 in the game at Honda Center on March 3, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Foster Snell/NHLI via Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 3: J.T. Compher #37 of the Colorado Avalanche reacts as ;the Anaheim Ducks celebrate after defeating the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 in the game at Honda Center on March 3, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Foster Snell/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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BOSTON, MA – FEBRUARY 28: Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point (21) skates in warm up before a game between the Boston Bruins and the Tampa Bay Lightning on February 28, 2019, at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Out with the Old, In with the New

It’s no surprise that changes are coming, behind the bench as well as who will be on the roster. For example, there have been talks about having Dallas Eakins behind the bench as the new coach, there has also been talk about fans wanting Coach Q, aka Joel Quenneville, who is more proven. If it would be up to me, I would consider Eakins, partly because he knows the younger guys and can implement his new system to the big leagues.

However, if we do get someone like Coach Q, I wouldn’t mind that acquisition at all, because there would be championship experience. Either way management goes, one thing needs to be made clear: keep up with the times. As much as the team must play defense, they need to play the type of game that everyone else is, and that is playing with speed and efficiency.

As for who I would go after in free agency, I’m going to split it up into offense and defense. On the defensive side, there are a few options I would go after:

Jake Gardiner: He’s in his prime, at the age of 29, and though he doesn’t have a lot of points in Toronto, I think a new change in scenery in the OC would be awesome for him. We could trade him for either Manson, Lindholm or Fowler. Gardiner can also be a better quarterback on the power-play, allowing Fowler to focus on more of the defensive responsibilities and saving his legs.

Tyler Myers: like Gardiner, Myers is in his prime as well with the Jets, and he might be another option that the Ducks should consider going after in the offseason. He would be a good option, considering that he wouldn’t be lost in the shuffle in the OC like he is in Winnipeg. He would improve the power-play considerably.

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Zach Werenski: A young defensemen like Werenski in Anaheim would be a good addition to the Ducks. Though he’s a restricted free agent, Murray could do some finagling and bring in someone who can use his defensive skills. Though I know some people wouldn’t want to lose someone like Megna, Werenski would be a serious upgrade. His style under Eakins or Q might be used as a plus instead of a minus.

I would use Jaycob Megna with either Lindholm or Manson as trade bait to snag one of these three. The reason why I don’t have a lot of options for defense is that the younger players in the AHL affiliate in San Diego are going to get better in the next few seasons. That is why I look at these three as the main options the Anaheim Ducks might look at to trade for.

Now for the offense. To start off, I’m keeping the younger guys on the team, like Terry, Jones, and Sam Steel, as they are the future Ducks for years to come. As for some of the players that can be used as trade bait, along with those I mentioned above, I would also consider Daniel Sprong as another trade option along with Carter Rowney or Devin Shore.

One of the options to look at is Artemi Panarin, but he’s a bit out of our reach since his salary wouldn’t allow us to get more players to add to our young offense. Another option that could be considered is Brayden Point from Tampa Bay. He’s a cheap restricted free agent but he’s also an elite scorer, eighty points for the best team in the NHL and thirty-six goals so far. He’s gritty, fast and can help in the top six forward lines.

Another young forward that Anaheim could go after that might not cost much would be Alexander Kerfoot from Colorado. He’s young and the type of forward that the Ducks need; right now, he has 33 points, and that’s impressive, considering that he’s on a team with probably one of the most dangerous forward lines in Mikko RantanenGabriel Landeskog-Nathan Mackinnon. I would also consider JT Compher or Gabriel Bourque, but they may be tougher to get since they have been productive as well, but maybe a Silfverberg or Henrique with some picks might go a long way to persuading the Av’s to trade him away.

Travis Konecny is also an option from Philadelphia, someone who can put the biscuit in the back of the net, as well as create space for everyone else. With a willing passer in Getzlaf, Konecny could spread things around for the rest of the guys like Henrique or Rakell. Though he’s not considered an all-star, he would be a welcome addition for the Ducks because of how much he could rise up in a new system.

A wild-card option is Michael Ferland in Carolina. With the Ducks money-strapped at the moment, someone like him might be less expensive as well as someone who can fit right into the system that the new coach may implement. He’s also in his prime, so that’s another thing to include as well.

Next. Anaheim Ducks Re-tool Player Evaluation: Ryan Getzlaf. dark

In the end, the Ducks must make several moves if they want to return to being Stanley Cup contenders, and though it might be a few years before they win the Stanley Cup, it would be nice to dethrone teams that have knocked us out such as Nashville, Los Angeles, San Jose, Vegas, and the like. Though this year wasn’t special like we hoped, maybe a fresh start and some new guys in the mix may be what we need next year.