Anaheim Ducks Round Table: Breaking Down the 2021 Trade Deadline

Rickard Rakell #67, Josh Manson #42 and Ryan Getzlaf #15 of the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Rickard Rakell #67, Josh Manson #42 and Ryan Getzlaf #15 of the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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Anaheim Ducks
Ryan Getzlaf #15 talks with Ben Hutton #7 and Jani Hakanpaa #28 of the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Overall, what do you think of the Anaheim Ducks’ moves leading into the trade deadline? Give it a grade.

Ben Thomasian:  (B-) First, I think what the Anaheim Ducks did do was at least worthy of some praise. They opened up space on their blue line and accrued a draft asset by moving on from their free-agent signing Ben Hutton.

They acquired a “reclamation project” and got a little younger on their blue line by moving another one of their free-agent signings (Jani Hakanpaa) along with a late-round draft selection. They also moved a very late draft selection alongside a prospect that didn’t appear to have a great future in Anaheim for a bona fide NHL player in Alexander Volkov.

They’re each small and incremental improvements, however, they’re improvements nonetheless. It wasn’t a big splashy trade deadline like the Buffalo Sabres may have had, but the Anaheim Ducks turned some nearly not-relevant draft capital and some recently acquired free agent signings into two young players. Turning small investments into solid returns might be boring, but it’s one of the stronger ways to accumulate wealth.

Brad Senecal: (D-) While getting a younger defenseman who has a first-round pedigree for a guy you took a flyer on could be beneficial down the road, this is reflective of what the team did not do.

Garrett Brown: (C) The definition of average. I can’t complain too much— god knows the Anaheim Ducks fan base has been guilty of that for many moons now. However, it leaves much to be desired. The current position that the Ducks are in screams “rebuild” almost as loudly as the Buffalo Sabres franchise has been doing so for a decade.

And with many valuable assets at his disposal, Murray decided to play it quiet. That strategy works when you have a good team, he’s just out of his comfort zone now. On the flip side, it would’ve been sad to see a franchise cornerstone like Getzlaf shipped away, or even someone like Rickard Rakell or Adam Henrique.

Adam Tenenbaum: (B-) The Anaheim Ducks trade deadline was underwhelming in the sense they didn’t move their high-priced pieces to speed up the rebuild. However the moves they did make on the surface seem like good moves.

Ciara Durant: (C) I really like the additions that Bob Murray made. While it doesn’t really give us any idea what direction the Anaheim Ducks organization is taking during the rebuild, it was still a change nonetheless. Not to mention, Murray turned Jani Hakanpaa, who wasn’t even playing in the NHL two years ago, into a former Top 10 draft pick, is pretty impressive. Sure, Fleury has struggled in Carolina, but he’s also been buried under an incredibly talented blueline.

However, it’s hard to look past the fact that Murray didn’t move out any of the players he was rumored to be shopping. While I have my own opinions on that, I have to take into consideration that this has upset a lot of the fans, and justifiably so. It wasn’t an overwhelming trade deadline, maybe average at best. Murray could have done more but chose not to. Why? I don’t quite know, but hopefully, he will give the fans more insight into the direction he plans on taking this team.

Final Grade: C