Anaheim Ducks: Weaponizing Cap Space in 30 Potential Trades

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Anaheim Ducks

CALGARY, AB – FEBRUARY 22: Interim head coach of the Anaheim Ducks, Bob Murray watches his team during an NHL game against the Calgary Flames on February 22, 2019, at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Anaheim Ducks have made it known that they’ll take on bad contracts for young prospects or future assets. What potential trades could they make with the other 30 NHL teams?

The Anaheim Ducks have, as we all know, been wallowing at the bottom end of the standings for much of this season. Since their hot October, they’ve only been able to win 5 times in regulation since November 1st ticked over. Many of their underlaying statistics have also been trending downwards over this period of time.

Over the past week, we’ve seen both General Manager Bob Murray and Head Coach Dallas Eakins throw the players under the bus. Bob Murray, in his usual manner, gave a fairly stock standard comment as if he was an objective third party with nothing to do with how the roster is performing. Eakins, on the other hand, suggested that players were not engaged in the game:

“We just went out there and took up time on our shifts and that was the end of it. We woke up a little bit in the third. We can’t do that. We’re just not good enough yet to go out there and have one-off shifts. We have to be competitive — compete, compete, compete, every single shift, to a man.” -Dallas Eakins, Head Coach of the Anaheim Ducks

While that may be a slight deflection and distraction technique employed in an attempt to keep the wolves from coming to the door of the man most likely responsible for the teams’ emotional state, it does resonate somewhat with commentary Murray made last season regarding the state of the team. Let’s not forget that Murray wanted to get behind the bench last season so that he personally could see who should stay and who should go.

Granted, Dallas Eakins’ recent comments regarding the St Louis Blues digging themselves a hole and then going on to win a cup do show a profound lack of awareness, given the Blues had Vladimir Tarasenko and friends already on the roster. The comments essentially suggest that the team believes it can turn it around with what they currently have on the ice. However, as a coach ranking 231st for points per game percentage amongst the 264 coaches in NHL history, who have coached for at least 82 games, we can probably safely ignore much of what he has to say on the topic. Given that Murray recently made some comments regarding his hopes that Sutter would become more active behind the bench, it may be apparent that Murray isn’t going to listen to him a great deal either.

Additionally, we have the recent Friedman commentary regarding the Anaheim Ducks taking on salary for prospects. Specifically, he says:

“And finally Anaheim. The Ducks have let it be known that they have cash and cap space, they are willing to listen to you if you want to use them to help you clean up your cap problem, however, it’s going to cost you good young assets.”

Taking the Murray and Friedman quotes together almost sets the scene for what is essentially the first signs that the organization recognizes a rebuild might be in order. After all, last season the accumulated movements didn’t amount to much. Corey Perry was bought out and Marcus Pettersson was traded for Daniel Sprong. There were a couple of very minor moves outside of that, but none that really truly made a difference to the team. Jakob Silfverberg was extended until well into his 30’s. Michael Del Zotto was reacquired. However, at its heart, this is the same team it’s been for a great many years. It simply feels like change is on the horizon.

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