By Michael Walters
GM Bob Murray mentioned that trade talks were not going well with Frederik Andersen at the annual Select-A-Seat event held this past Saturday at Honda Center, which caused some to believe Andersen could be traded. Today many Anaheim Ducks fans had their fears confirmed as Andersen was indeed traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Andersen was traded for two draft picks(2016 1st round, 30th overall and a 2017 2nd round pick). Murray mentioned last Saturday that he would be looking to get more draft picks and he achieved that in this trade.
Anaheim’s current draft picks for 2016 look like this:
1st round (24th overall, 30th Overall)
3rd round (85th overall)
4th round (93rd overall & 115th overall)
7th round (205th overall)
Negotiations Didn’t Go Well With Andersen
Murray initially wanted to bring Andersen back next season, but he mentioned today that the negotiations were never even close with Andersen. One issue was the amount of money that Andersen wanted in his contract. He ended up signing a 5 year deal worth $25 million with Toronto. If the Ducks were to do some type of deal like that for Andersen, then it would have been difficult to re-sign Hampus Lindholm, Rickard Rakell, and some of the UFAs.
What’s Next For Anaheim?
There are a few different issues in Anaheim that Murray will have to address. First, he mentioned today that he is looking for a solid veteran back-up goalie that can take some pressure off John Gibson during the season. Second, he wants to try to re-sign several free agents. This past Saturday at the Select-A-Seat event, he stated he sent qualifying offers to RFAs Lindholm and Rakell. Brandon Pirri is also a RFA, but he is a low priority right now and is unlikely to return to Anaheim next season. Murray said today that after the draft he will start talking to the RFAs to try to get deals done. Also amongst the UFAs, there is interest in keeping David Perron and Jamie McGinn.
More Trades On The Horizon?
According to a Ducks team source, Anaheim is shopping Cam Fowler and Simon Despres. Murray mentioned last Saturday that he is looking for a left-shooting left wing. Rick Nash has been mentioned recently as a player of interest that would fit what Murray is looking for, but reports are unconfirmed if the Ducks are talking to the New York Rangers about making a deal.
The Anaheim faithful may not like this trade, but it was one that had to be made. As Murray mentioned, “This was a situation that just had to happen. There was no avoiding it.” The problem is with the expansion draft looming Murray would have been only able to keep either Andersen or Gibson. Instead of losing one of them at the end of next season for nothing, Murray elected to get draft picks instead. With the additional picks Murray has options to either draft more young players to build up the San Diego Gulls or he has more picks that could be used in another trade later this week.
Either way Murray has more options now and he has cap room to re-sign Lindholm and Rakell. If Murray would have signed Andersen for a similar deal as to what he received in Toronto, then the Ducks would have had only $8-9 million in cap space left according to Capfriendly.com. This would have meant that Murray could have traded Gibson, but only gained back about $2 million in cap space. Gibson is a younger goalie who can provide for the Ducks in a longer term than Andersen, which was also a factor in Murray’s decision.
The next hurdle for Murray is going to be to try to re-sign Lindholm. His agent is Claude Lemieux, who is also Andersen’s agent. Lemieux expected a big deal for Andersen and he achieved it. Lindholm is also going to look for a decent contract similar to Sami Vatanen‘s four-year $19.5 million deal. Any money that would have been spent on Andersen can now be used to re-sign Lindholm and hopefully Rakell.
Tomorrow Murray heads out to Buffalo, expect more to happen in the coming days.
Source: Bob Murray’s comments today were provided in the Anaheim Ducks’ press release found here: Ducks Acquire 1st And 2nd Draft Picks From Toronto In Exchange For Andersen
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