When the Anaheim Ducks traded away Andrew Cogliano this morning to the Dallas Stars, many took it as a sign that the team was looking to break up the core group and move in a different direction. That was understandable given their recent lack of success, so it was easy to look at the roster and expect a pending unrestricted free agent like Jakob Silfverberg to be next on the chopping block. Not so fast apparently, as Ducks GM Bob Murray told Craig Custance of The Athletic that the team would “take another crack” at signing Silfverberg to an extension.
Silfverberg, 28, is in fact one of the few pending unrestricted free agents the Ducks have on the roster this season, and perhaps the one that would draw the most interest near the trade deadline. The two-way winger has consistently performed for the Ducks since being acquired from the Ottawa Senators as part of the Bobby Ryan trade back in 2013, and actually leads the team in goals this season with 12. That kind of reliable performance would be coveted by many teams, especially ones looking for right-handed help at forward. He only carries a $3.75MM cap hit and can fit into several different roles.
That flexibility and consistency could very well be why the Ducks want to retain Silfverberg though, as the team does not appear to be ready for a true rebuild. With Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry still under contract for the next three years, Anaheim will likely try to retool things and take another run next season. If they truly believe Silfverberg is part of the solution and not the problem, re-signing him during a relatively down year could potentially be a bargain for the team. For the player, there could be a glut of players just like Silfverberg on the market this summer driving his price down. If he’s comfortable in Anaheim perhaps something can be done over the next few weeks—if not, you can bet he’ll be pulling on another team’s sweater in late February.