San Jose Sharks (6th Pacific Division, 21-22-4, 46 points)
Honestly, there is no trade here, but if there were it wouldn’t be for one of the good players. Thus as much as this pains me to write:
The Anaheim Ducks get Merkley who looks like a very capable prospect. The Sharks get the chance at paying for an NHL netminder.
St Louis Blues (1st Central, 30-10-7, 67 points)
Was Justin Faulk worth the multi-year $6.5 million dollar contract the Blues gave him? So far, you’d say no.
Murray finally gets his man. Sure he costs more now, but he gets him! Klim Kostin is another power forward the Ducks try to fit into a top 6 model, following the fading of Nick Ritchie and Max Jones under Coach Eakins. Ondrej Kase seems like he doesn’t fit in the current coaches system, thus, like the original rumor, he is moved on.
Tampa Bay Lightning (2nd Atlantic, 27-14-4, 58 points)
For the most part, the Lightning are a very well put together team and… no that’s all I have. They’re a really good team. However, Tyler Johnson is a little on the expensive side for just his 21 points.
Ducks get a 2nd line pivot and a pick, while the Lightning continue to pick up good young players. Groulx is having a great season and should slot into the Lightning in the future.
Toronto Maple Leafs (3rd Atlantic, 24-16-6, 54 points)
The Leafs are going to have some interesting hurdles to overcome in the next few years with all their big names on equally big contracts. Eventually, someone is going to have to go. Given Murray was batting off doing cartwheels over the chance to select Nylander in the draft, a package is built around him.
The Leafs get cap space and picks, while the Anaheim Ducks give up a bunch of youth for a really, really, good young player, who is instantly the Ducks best player.
Vancouver Canucks (3rd Pacific, 25-17-4, 54 points)
The Canucks are up against the cap and have a number of contracts that make you go hmm. In this case, they offload a smaller one.
The Canucks get some cap relief along with an NHL ready youngster. The Anaheim Ducks are sold on Woo’s name, and so am I. He might be good, might not, but with that name who cares? FYI, he’s good.
Vegas Golden Knights (4th Pacific, 24-18-6, 54 points)
So much talent, and so many contracts. The Knights are far enough against the cap that bringing in deadline talent will be tough. However, if they are free up the money currently being used for Ryan Reaves they might just have a chance.
Vegas free up some cap space and the Anaheim Ducks move up in the draft.
Washington Capitals (1st Metropolitan, 31-11-5, 67 points)
The Capitals will need to make some moves over the offseason, but it’s hard to know which direction they’ll go in. Nonetheless, it seems likely that Carl Hagelin will be a casualty.
Here, the Capitals get a little relief by trading away a veteran wing signed for a few more years and replace him with a shot happy, passing, winger. The American hero goes to the capital city. The Ducks, in exchange, get Hagelin to fill out their lines, as well as a high potential but oft-injured prospect.
Winnipeg Jets (4th Central, 24-18-4, 52 points)
The Jets have plenty of cap space, so there’s no trade here to speak of. All of their long-term contracts are really good players. But just for argument’s sake, let’s say they consider trading Mathieu Perreault.
The Jests only really need defense and Manson doesn’t seem to be fitting into Dallas Eakins’ new look no-defense defensive scheme. The Jets give up a contract and a pick for him.
All in all, I’m not sure there are actually any trades out there for the Ducks. But if they don’t mind hamstringing themselves for the near future, they should be able to pull a couple of things off.
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