One of the most speculated-about scenarios at every trade deadline is one where a team, out of the playoff race, trades away an important pending free agent only to re-sign him a few months later. After all, why not lease the player for a nice deadline return of future assets, that make the team even stronger upon his return.
In practice, this rarely happens. Those deadline additions are either extended by their new team or reach free agency and suddenly find themselves surrounded by new suitors.
This year, it appears the Anaheim Ducks will be trying to pull off the unlikely scenario of bringing back a sold-off veteran. Pierre LeBrun reports on TSN’s Insider Trading that Anaheim has an interest in a reunion with Josh Manson, once his run to the Stanley Cup Final is finished with the Colorado Avalanche.
Manson, 30, has been a nice addition for the Avalanche, giving their defense corps some additional snarl while adding some nice (and likely unexpected) offense at key moments. As LeBrun notes though, it will be very difficult for Colorado to retain him, given how many other free agents they have on the roster–some of which they’re hoping to sign after the playoffs come to an end.
Meanwhile, Manson had seen his reputation around the league take a bit of a hit in recent years, as his minutes and effectiveness waned in Anaheim. That doesn’t mean the Ducks are done with him though, as he is extremely well-liked in that dressing room and could still be a nice veteran piece to help the team transition into the next phase of their build.
Currently carrying a $4.1MM cap hit, it will be interesting to see what Manson can command on the open market. His playoff performance has only driven his value back up but defensemen who don’t offer much offensively rarely get big paydays–at least in relative terms–in free agency.