The Anaheim Ducks‘ offence has been nothing short of atrocious this season. A Western Conference finalist in 2015, Anaheim is the lone NHL club averaging less than two goals per game this season (1.95), and yet the team sits just four points out of a playoff spot in the soft Pacific Division.
A sturdy, eighth-ranked defence has kept Bob Murray’s team in the race, and the Ducks’ general manager has been open with his desire to add a scorer before the Feb. 29 trade deadline passes.
“If you listen to everybody and listen to all the… we’re one of the front-runners in that. Aren’t we in that? Every time I turn the page, I hear we’re making a deal with a certain team on the East Coast,” Murray told reporters, via the Los Angeles Times.
“There’s more than just him that’s probably out there and available right now. Let’s just leave it at that. We’re looking at a whole bunch of things. We know he’s there, but there’s a few others out there, too, that haven’t requested trades. Requesting trades on entry level, that’s something new for you and I… Entry-level players requesting trades. Amazing.”
Murray admitted to Hockey Central a couple weeks ago that he’s not a patient man, and over the weekend he dealt away speedy Carl Hagelin to Pittsburgh for impending free agents David Perron and Adam Clendening.
The transaction opens up salary cap space for the Ducks to re-sign defencemen Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm and forward Rickard Rakell — three valued players under the age of 25 who will all hit restricted free agency on July 1.
But are the Ducks done dealing? Don’t bet on it. Murray has more than $16 million in cap space today.
Toronto, Buffalo, Carolina and Calgary are among the teams willing to sell forwards as the deadline nears.
“I don’t have anything going,” Murray said of potential trades in the works, “but we still have to get better.”