Saturday: Gibbons has cleared waivers, reports Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman (Twitter link).
Friday: The Anaheim Ducks have very few impending free agents to peddle at the deadline, especially as they continue to pursue an extension with forward Jakob Silfverberg. One of the few rentals of value was thought to be veteran forward Brian Gibbons. Well, instead the team placed Gibbons on waivers today, reports The Athletic’s James Mirtle, and contenders are now free to scoop him up.
Gibbons, 30, had played exclusively in the minors for more than two years before the start of the 2017-18 season. An aging, undersized forward, Gibbons was an unlikely candidate for a breakout year. Yet, he won a job with the New Jersey Devils and recorded 12 goals and 26 points in 52 games, both career highs and among the Devils’ top nine forwards. When he reached free agency this summer, Gibbons turned down opportunities elsewhere to sign a one-year, $1MM contract in Anaheim, where he saw a chance to remain in the NHL full-time through another season. Barring a claim in the next 24 hours, that might not happen.
Gibbons has been a non-factor for the Ducks this year, registering just five points in 43 games. With the team trying to turn their season around, and GM Bob Murray now at the helm as head coach, it seems they have opted to move on from Gibbons, who has not lived up to his performance from last season. However, that doesn’t mean another team won’t take a chance. Gibbons’ affordable cap hit is virtually meaningless at this point in the season, so a team with some roster flexibility looking for a veteran body may be interested in taking a risk-free, cost-free gamble. Gibbons showed last year that in the right situation he can still be a capable goal-scoring winger and even with the Ducks has shown consistent effort and two-way contribution. There are many players of Gibbons’ caliber available at the deadline, but not often are they up for grabs on waivers. A playoff contender could certainly put in a claim if they have not been scared off by the drop in production this year.