By Michael Walters
Today Pierre McGuire spoke with Blake Price of TSN 1040 and stated the Anaheim Ducks were in talks with an Eastern Conference team to “unload a significant contract.” If true, then the Ducks could possibly make enough room to sign both Hampus Lindholm and Rickard Rakell.
Several reports have the value of Lindholm’s contract being discussed between $5 and $7.5 million per year. The Ducks appear to want the cost to be below $6 million a year, while Lindholm’s agent Claude Lemieux would prefer possibly $6 million or more. Other reports have placed Rakell’s contract around $4 million per year.
According to CapFriendly.com, the Ducks have approximately $7.5 million in cap space. In order for the GM Bob Murray to sign both Lindholm and Rakell at or near the above prices, then a trade would seem to be the likely scenario. The Ducks could put Nate Thompson on long-term injury reserve, but that would only gain the team $1.6 million more. The Ducks would then have just over $9 million in cap space, but it’s likely that $10 million will be needed to keep both Lindholm and Rakell.
The Ducks have solid depth at the blue line and as a result, there has been a belief that if a trade would happen it would involve at least one of Anaheim’s defensemen. Cam Fowler has been the name which has been mentioned the most during the offseason. Anaheim could also look to move Simon Despres or Clayton Stoner. Despres’ AAV is $3.7 million and Stoner’s is $3.25 million. Moving any of these players would help Murray in re-signing both Lindholm and Rakell.
Eastern Conference teams that have been mentioned in trade rumors before with Anaheim include the Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs, and the New York Rangers. Rumors going all the way back to last season’s trade deadline included Toronto’s James van Riemsdyk and Fowler. Around the NHL draft, it appeared like the Ducks could have talked to Buffalo to trade up in the draft, but that never materialized. During the summer Detroit looked like a possibility with the extra number of forwards they have, but with their current cap situation, a trade seems less likely now. Various players names such as Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello have popped up in regard to the Rangers, but their contracts are worth over $4 million per year. If the Ducks were to make a trade with the Rangers, then it would likely have to involve multiple players on the Ducks side.
With the NHL season right around the corner, hopefully, Murray can find a way to keep both Lindholm and Rakell.
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