Blow It Up And Build Through The Draft
Seemingly another critique is the trading of players for more draft capital. While I am certainly a big proponent of building a team via the draft process, I do not believe that trading away key players is in the Anaheim Ducks’ best interests. At least not at this time.
For instance, many have called for the trading of Josh Manson and Rickard Rakell over the past year. Both players are probably not performing as well as they might like over the two-year period, not discounting Rakells current 10-points in 5-games streak (at the time of writing).
Yet, the question should seriously be asked whether burning it all down to build through the draft is the way to go? It hasn’t worked for the Buffalo Sabres. It’s hard to argue that the Edmonton Oilers have done a good job either, considering their abundant wealth of #1 overall draft selections over the years.
On the team that held onto a star player, playing below his best (and at the time somewhat disgruntled), was the Colorado Avalanche. It’s somewhat hard to remember back to 2017-2018, but the Avalanche team then had what was one of the historically worst seasons in living memory. Hard to imagine, but they didn’t move on from that disgruntled and struggling player at that time (nor did they fire their coach or GM).
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Moving forward to the present day, and the Avalanche are one of the league’s most exciting teams with an abundance of wealth that makes even the league’s elite green with envy. That star player they didn’t trade back then? Matt Duchene, whom they turned into (eventually) Bowen Byram and Sam Girard. Key pieces of a young and electric blueline.
Thus is now the right time to move Josh Manson? To move Rickard Rakell? There is always going to be a positive case for moving either player and many others. However, that piece has to unique enough to warrant making the move. Any first-round pick is probably not going to cut it.
Consider that the Anaheim Ducks have recently drafted Brayden Tracey at the back of the first round. At present, he’s a strong maybe to become a role player and almost no chance at becoming a star. Would that kind of value be worthwhile over a 27-year-old who still got the chops to put up 10-points in 5-games? Is it really pushing the rebuild forward?
The answer is a resounding no. Sure, we can choose to take a hit from the metaphorical crack pipe and believe that the new hotness will be better than the current product. We want it now and we want it fast. But the reality is that it very likely will not be the case, and we’ll be selling anything not glued down for our next hit.
Can you say Jeff Skinners 7-year, $9 million AAV contract? Because that’s what we’d be looking at down the line. You know it and I know it. Or maybe you don’t. After all, you can quit any time you like… right?
All statistics sourced from naturalstattrick.com