Adam Henrique has been rumored to be a prime trade candidate for the Anaheim Ducks, but trading the veteran center could be very detrimental to the entire roster.
Leading up to the NHL’s tread deadline this past February, Adam Henrique was mentioned as a player Anaheim Ducks General Bob Murray was shopping. Despite signing a 5-year extension in the offseason, which doesn’t take effect until July 1, the pivot is one of the few players whose perceived return via trade would benefit the “re-tooling” Ducks. In a shocker, Murray decided to part with youthful blueliner Brandon Montour in lieu of the aging Henrique.
After the trade deadline passed, the notion of trading “Uncle Rico” has remained etched in the minds of fans and analyst. Although there is a belief trading Henrique is in the Ducks best interest, I break down why trading the veteran center can be devastating for a franchise that is opposed to a rebuild.
Down Stats, but Not Production
There’s no denying Henrique regressed on the point sheet. After posting 50 points and 24 goals during the 2017-2018 season, he posted a disappointing 18 goals and 42 points this season. It’s never great to see an aging player have a reduction in points, but there is a positive spin on his production.
First, Anaheim’s plethora of injuries is at the forefront of his offensive regression. Much of his success last season was a direct result of his chemistry with Ondrej Kase. Injuries limited Kase to only 23 games this season, which resulted in a multitude of forwards manning AH14’s wings. As a result, the instability prevented Henrique from maintaining the success he found in Anaheim.
Second, his regression can also be tied to Randy Carlyle. As much as anyone, Uncle Rico appeared off his game under RC’s reign this season. Once GMBM took over as coach, Henrique returned to form. During the final 16 games of the season, AH14 flourished with a total of 6 goals (30 goals pace) and 10 points (50 point pace). Both are respectable for a second line center, especially for one that is relied on defensively.
In addition to the talent influx coming from San Diego to start next season, Kase has been afforded ample time to be ready for training camp. Both are reasons for fans to be excited at the type of success Uncle Rico is able to achieve in the upcoming campaign.