As much as it pains me to write, Ondrej Kase is possibly one of the easier contracts for the Anaheim Ducks to move; much like Brandon Montour. His AAV of $2.6M is a relatively cheap contract that wouldn’t break the bank for many teams. There were rumors that Murray was considering the possibility of trading the 24-year-old Czech winger earlier in the season, and if the opportunity arises again, there is little to no doubt that GMBM would move Kase for the right price.
His injury history is cause for concern, and likely a big reason Murray considered moving him for Justin Faulk. Concussions have plagued young Kase since he joined the San Diego Gulls during the 2015-16 season. He’s missed a considerable amount of time because of head injuries already, and should he sustain another concussion, that doesn’t just mean more time sidelined, but the possibility of permanent brain damage and early retirement. This could be a major turn off for many GM’s, but that doesn’t mean he’s unmovable.
Kase still has several other redeeming qualities that could make him a desirable acquisition. The Energizer Bunny has a spirited fire that cannot be tamed. His energy is infectious, vibrant, and transcendent. Positivity radiates from him. If Kase is ever criticized for anything, it will never be for lack of effort. He has also developed instant chemistry with almost all of his linemates, making him a versatile player up and down the lineup.
Despite the dumpster fire that is blazing ever so brightly in Anaheim, Kase is, more often than not, one of the Ducks better forwards out on the ice. The big disconnect, however, is in his inability to finish this season. Kase has gone from a 20 goal scorer to barely scoring 5 goals in 40 games. Even last season, he was on pace to have a 30 goal year had he remained healthy.
So, how does a player go from 20 goals to 5 in only 40 games? There is a possibility that Kase’s style of hockey doesn’t fit in with the system Dallas Eakins is implementing. The entire team has had issues finishing and getting pucks in the back of the net, not just Kase. A little more consistency on another team might get the ketchup flowing again for the Czech winger.
Would trading Kase get the Ducks another first-round pick as the Montour trade did? The reality of that happening is very slim. Nevertheless, if Bob Murray can snag a younger prospect or even a second or third-round draft pick, he’d be crazy not to ship Kase to whatever team is willing to trade for him.