9:15 pm: In his 32 Thoughts segment on Hockey Night in Canada Saturday evening, Elliotte Friedman reiterated the Anaheim Ducks desire to extend Hampus Lindholm if possible. However, he notes that the organization has expressed concern regarding the potential term of a Lindholm extension.
6:41 pm: With the trade deadline soon approaching, and the Anaheim Ducks on the outside looking in of the Western Conference playoff picture, speculation about the Ducks trade chips has started to heat up. Elliott Teaford of The Orange County Register reports that Ducks’ General Manager Pat Verbeek made clear to season ticket holders yesterday that his primary intention was to re-sign his impending unrestricted free agents, including defensemen Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson, and forward Rickard Rakell.
Verbeek had stated at an event for season-ticket holders that while he is working on extending those players, he would look to trade them if he did not believe he could extend them. Verbeek’s primary concern, he said, would be allowing those players to leave in free agency, not having gotten something back for them, or of course re-signing them. Teaford also added that while Verbeek mentioned having ongoing discussions with Lindholm on an extension, he did not mention any of the Ducks’ other unrestricted free agents by name.
If the Ducks do choose to re-sign the trio of Lindholm, Manson, or Rakell, it could come at a high cost. Lindholm is currently in the final year of a six-year, $31.5MM contract he signed with the Ducks in 2016, carrying a cap hit just north of $5.2MM. Lindholm has been one of the Ducks’ best defensemen the past few seasons, even during some lean years in Anaheim. This season, Lindholm has put up 20 points in 53 games, and is second on the team to Cam Fowler in average time-on-ice at 22:43 per game. Lindholm is expected to received a fairly significant raise over his $5.2M cap hit, however if he is dealt, the price for the 27-year-old could be rather significant as well.
Manson is in the final year of a four year, $16.4MM contract he signed with the Ducks in 2017, a contract which has seen Manson emerge as a sturdy, reliable defender for the Ducks through their rebuild. Manson could expect a similar contract this offseason, however a veteran, right-handed, shutdown defenseman like Manson could certainly be a valuable asset to sell on the trade deadline market.
Rakell has been a name mentioned in recent rumors and by Teaford here as well. The forward could be an intriguing name on the deadline market, as a proven point-producer carrying a cap hit just below $3.8MM. However, he may be a player the Ducks could look to extend at a reasonable cost. Rakell is in the final year of a six-year, $22.8MM contract he signed in the fall of 2016, before he began to truly break-out for Anaheim. However, Rakell’s production has dissipated since his stellar 34 goal, 35 assist 2017-18 season. While Rakell is almost certainly due a raise this time around, he may be a player the Ducks could keep at a fair price for a proven scoring touch.