We’re getting close to wrapping up these Better Know a Seller posts, and we’ve saved one of the biggest train wrecks for last.
Looking at the Ducks cap situation is both hilarious/terrifying. And interestingly enough, while Silfverberg would be the Ducks most moveable asset and help them start their rebuild/clear cap space, they’ve committed to re-signing him.
The thing about the Ducks is that they have some players you can imagine the Leafs want. Mainly defensemen. Let’s talk about those players now…
Who the Leafs could want
Cam Fowler & Hampus Lindholm & Josh Manson & Brandon Montour.
Let the Leafs know which one is available and let them start making offers. With Montour and Manson being the cheaper contracts and being the right handed shots, that’s probably where the Leafs focus is/should be. And with Montour looking like the better player, that’s the player we’re going to hear about the most.
There is going to be a very significant price tag associated with one of these players, and acquiring one of them would lead the Leafs to a situation where there will be some tough decisions in the summer, but the blueline could still use a little help.
Ondrej Kase is another target for the Leafs, but we have to ask ourselves why a team that should be starting a rebuild soon is going to move on from a talented 23 year old with a good contract.
The more I look at the Ducks, it seems like this is a mess that Bob Murray is going to have to figure out in the summer which the organization has figured out its direction.
Ryan Miller is a very experienced backup, and would be both an upgrade over Sparks and a goaltender capable of handling some workload down the stretch to rest Andersen and get him to 100% health. He’s not going to cost the Leafs a lot either, but it’s doubtful that he’s interested in accepting any trades to teams not on his list.
Andrej Sustr is a big boy defenseman rental, who is a right shot, but hasn’t been good enough to crack the bottom of a bad team’s roster. So he’s a pass.
Michael del Zotto is another left shooting D-man that the Leafs don’t really need, but gets mentioned here since the rest of the options are Leafs alumni Adam Cracknell, Korbinian Holzer, and Sam Carrick that we know the Leafs will avoid.
What the Ducks want
Cap space has to be a big one for them. And if they are taking this season as just a rough patch they suffered through with a bad coach, well, then they aren’t necessarily going to be loading up on futures like they probably should. They’ll be looking to find a way to be as competitive as possible for the last couple of years of the Perry and Getzlaf deals or at least try to win next season before blowing the Ducks up at the 2020-21 deadline.
What they really should want more than anything else is how to rid themselves of Ryan Kesler, who seems to be the lynch pin in their remaining problems.
Well, we’ve acknowledged that the Ducks have a pretty good blueline, and Zaitsev certainly isn’t going to help that, but we’ve also looked at how they probably want to rid themselves of Ryan Kesler, and Acquiring Zaitsev saves them just over $2M. A Kesler buyout would save the Leafs just under $2M on Zaitsev’s contract, which probably isn’t enough to make it worthwhile for the Leafs. Where this idea makes no sense is that Ryan Kesler is not waiving his no movement clause to be bought out (unless for some reason he does).
Likelihood of a deal
Probably nothing until the summer. I’m not sure if two teams that have a shared interest in shedding salary can find a way of working something out at the deadline, but there may be some potential for hockey trades in the future where salary is lined up to the penny. For now we’ll just reflect on how the Ducks could make us feel better about our blueline.