Anaheim Ducks: Could Verbeek Make a Big Splash at the Deadline?

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 18: Sonny Milano #12 of the Anaheim Ducks looks on during the first period of a game against the Carolina Hurricanes at Honda Center on November 18, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 18: Sonny Milano #12 of the Anaheim Ducks looks on during the first period of a game against the Carolina Hurricanes at Honda Center on November 18, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 04: Troy Terry #19 of the Anaheim Ducks leaps to avoid a shot on goal as Laurent Brossoit #39 of the Vegas Golden Knights defends during the third period of a game at Honda Center on March 04, 2022, in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 04: Troy Terry #19 of the Anaheim Ducks leaps to avoid a shot on goal as Laurent Brossoit #39 of the Vegas Golden Knights defends during the third period of a game at Honda Center on March 04, 2022, in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

For the first time in over a decade the Anaheim Ducks have a new GM in Pat Verbeek. And while the rumors are out there of what the Ducks could do at the trade-deadline, Verbeek has no loyalty to anyone on the roster. Is every Ducks fair game?

Much has been said about the Ducks pending free agents and what the new Ducks General Manager, Pat Verbeek, might do with them at the trade deadline.

However, very little has been said about the Ducks younger players. It is an unfortunate reality that not every prospect or young player will work out. The Ducks only need to look at Sam Steel to see what could happen with Brayden Tracey or Jacob Perreault. Not to say they’re the only young players the Ducks have, or that they could fall away like Steel seemingly has, however it’s an example that should be considered.

Perhaps even more exciting, or terrifying depending on your viewpoint, is that Verbeek has come from organizations who have swung some trades for younger, highly touted, players. Near enough to this time one season ago, the Red Wings moved young stud Anthony Mantha for Jakub Vrana and Richard Panik. In 2019, Detroit and the St Louis Blues swapped two players in their early 20’s with promise in Jacob De La Rose and Robby Fabbri.

Going further back to his Tampa Bay days, Verbeek saw his manager trade players such as J.T Miller, Jonathan Drouin, Ben Bishop, and Martin St Louis (although he was older at this stage of the game), amongst others. Additionally for fans of the old time Ducks, in his time, Tampa also acquired the Big Sexy, Dan Sexton, from Bob Murrays Ducks

All this is to say, that while the Ducks fandom may be accustomed to their GM’s making no notable trades, and almost never trading a player of consequence (hat tip to former-Duck legends Bobby Ryan and Kyle Palmieri), expecting the same from Verbeek might not be the watertight theory that some may hold. With that said, if Verbeek did want to shake up the Ducks and come it with all guns blazing who might be on the chopping block amongst the “young” players?

The names are on the list are extensive. Benoit-Oliver Groulx looks like prime trade bait in the AHL, as does Brayden Tracey and Jacob Perreault. On the NHL list, Sam Steel is practically crying out for a change of scenery. John Gibson is a name that might ruffle some feathers, but with Lukas Dostal in the wings and goalie prospects not being particularly valuable, could he be deemed surplus to immediate needs on this rebuilding team? Sonny Milano is another who might be considered a trade target, given he is due for a new contract, has just hit his career high for points and is riding the wave of being the guy Trevor Zegras bounces pucks off and into the net on highlight real assists.

However, given the Anthony Mantha trade just last season, would Verbeek consider Troy Terry as a potential outgoing piece to bring in more depth and talent to his team? Make no mistake, if this trade came to pass there would be no mistaking the size of Verbeek’s proverbial guts.

Terry is no doubt one of the Ducks fans favorite sons and many have joined the “#terryisverygood” cult. This past season has very much come out of nowhere, so much, that even his fiercest supporters couldn’t have imagined him scoring on 1 in every 4 shots before this. It seems he’s turned from “playmaker” to an Ovechkin caliber shooter overnight.

There are of course reasons that Verbeek could consider Terry as potential trade bait. The first is the evergreen “You can’t trade things you don’t want for things you do.” If you don’t want it, odds are no one else does either… well unless Peter Chiarelli gets a job again soon. With that said, if Verbeek wants a significant return, then he’ll need to trade a significant piece. Mantha allowed Detroit to pick up two decent pieces in Vrana and Panik. Trading Drouin found the Lightning in possession of Mikhail Sergachev. Looking at other trades in the NHL’s recent history, Patrick Laine was traded for Pierre-Luc Dubois and the list goes on and on.

There is also something to be said about trading high when the going is good. At some point Terry will stop shooting in the 20-25% range and the goals will somewhat dry up. He may still be a good player, but will he be a 30-goal scorer the Ducks would desire as their top line wing? Given his spotty history of scoring, it’s at least a worthwhile consideration for the new GM. Particularly with a new contract on the horizon. On one hand, the Ducks have one more season to work out what Terry would be worth in dollars, however, on the other hand his value on the trade block may never be as high as it is now.

If Verbeek throws Terry’s name into the trade mix, it will surely upset many in the Ducks fandom. It’s never nice hearing that your favorite player is being traded.  I personally took months to recover from Bobby Ryan’s trade, and I’m not sure I’ve ever recovered from Olympic Gold medalist Sami Vatanen’s removal from the Ducks blue line. Yet the idea that the Ducks new GM would trade a player at the peak of their powers to improve the team is a different type of excitement that the Ducks haven’t had since Brian Burke was running the franchise.

There are many things that Pat Verbeek can do to leave a positive stamp on the Ducks franchise. Simple things like adding analytics staff to work with sport science department, the coaching staff and the front-line management, would drag the Ducks from the 80’s into modern times. Implementing a clear long-term athlete development plan to bring prospects through to professional ranks would almost assuredly improve the Ducks strike rate on prospect development. Yet, signaling that he is willing to leave no stone unturned by immediately walking in and trading a big name in a big trade would send shock waves through the franchise in a way that those behind-the-scenes improvements can never do.

Next. Ducks and Predators; Time to make a Deal?. dark

Is Troy Terry on the trade block? Probably not. But it’s exciting to think that the Ducks have a GM who might just be crazy enough consider it.