Want to turn a retool into a restart rapidly? Enter a trade for disgruntled Patrik Laine.
To get a player with that caliber your going to have to give up a heap of talent in order to get a pure sniper. Our beloved Ducks have not had a top 5 goal scoring sniper in who knows how long.
The pieces involved are going to hurt to type out but just think of the reward that you will recieve.
WPG receives: Rickard Rakell (LW, C, RW), Isac Lundestrom (C,LW), Bredan Guhle (D-Man), 2020 first round pick.
Thoughts behind this trade are as follows. Anaheim receives a legit scoring winger who replaces Rakell on the wing paired with Getz who although Father Time is catching up can still dish em out like no ones business. That also gives WPG cap flexibility and a top line threat to replace Laine in the line-up. Isac Lundestrom is included because our Ducks have a bounty of young centers and wings waiting in the weeds such as Steel, Comtois, and Terry. Our core defense is locked up (Fowler, Manson, and Lindholm) which leaves our new young star Brendan Guhle up on the block in this particular trade scenario. With the potential emergence of Larsson and Mahura, and the depth of Holzer, Del Zotto, and Hakanpaa gives us veteran presence, back up in case the injury bug bites, as well as potential for two breakout seasons in Larsson and Mahura. The one sweetener that I am slightly hesitant about including is giving up the first round pick in the 2020 draft. The 2020 draft class is already being talked about as one of the deepest ones in recent memory so my teeth grit as I toss that gold nugget into my potential trade. What makes me sigh a breath of relief is the two first round picks we received in 2019 (Tracey and Zegras) and how elite the Ducks's have been at developing young talent (i.e. current prospect pool). As hefty as this would be to see FOUR great pieces move on, the thrill of a 21 year old pure sniper on our team of young 20 somethings just makes me want to jump out of my chair and call GM BM.
Why would WPG do this trade? First, Laine just apologized to Bryan Little about degrading comments about playing on the second line and how he hasn't had true first line teammates to play with. The Jets do not want a locker room riff with their biggest star. Although Laine apologized and Little put it under the rug the awkwardness might still be there. Just from reading stories throughout summer time multiple RFA's seem like it is just the process and that they truly want to be part of their current team. However, Laine seems different. Why WPG would like Rakell? Laine scored 30 goals last year and RR is a 30 goal threat each year at 26 years of age. Isac Lundestrom can slot in as a young gun with Jack Roslovic and make a speedy line with all of the high octane offense WPG has to offer with their offensive studs. Brendan Guhle adds that young gun effect on the highly depleted WPG blue line which has lost Tyler Myers, Ben Chiarot, and Jacob Trouba. Dustin Byfuglien has been granted a leave of absence to mull retirement and is a true question mark heading into the season. Guhle has great upside and fits in with a rebuilding WPG blue line. I personally don't think WPG does this deal without a 2020 first rounder in the mix to select TWICE in a highly touted draft class.
Why does ANA do this deal? John Gibson and current prospect pool. The Duck's have what I think is the best goalie in the NHL. Strong goaltending wins championships and we have one of the strongest duos and starters in the business. We have a 26 year old tender that is entering his prime and with the Duck's being dead last in goals for last year seems to be his only Achille's heal. What would help that? Oh a 21 year old who can put up 40 with his eyes closed. Everyone says the game is getting faster and we finally have players who have grown up in that era and a coach who fully believes in that system. When you acquire a player of Laine's caliber the playoff or bust implication is immediately put on you as a team. Is it a risk to put that pressure on such a young team full of inexperience? Yes, but that is why you have a system in place to set these players up for success throughout junior, college, and into San Diego. I don't know about you all, but I sense a hungry young group of guys who play speedy and are motivated to have NHL success.
Veteran Leadership: Getz, Silf, and Henrique are the veteran forward leadership group who have to acknowledge that the young guys are here to help. The reason I put such an onus on the young guys is because this is a young mans NHL. Look at all the 21-23 year old RFA's looking for top earnings in the league. Its true speed is taking over the game and I believe the Duck's have one of the best crops hitting the NHL. It used to be a watch them develop and early-late 20's is when we go for it kind of league, but tides have changed. I believe the younger and speedier you are with the right mix of veterans is the true key. Our defense is young and underrated with the likes of Lindholm, Fowler, and Manson. The last few cup champions (WSH and STL) in my opinion have a worse D group than ANA but have hit the promiseland. Do we have a Burns, Karlsson, or Subban? A Josi, Hedman, or Giordano? No, but we do have three D-Men all the teams would love to have. We also have 2 prospects in J Larsson and J Mahura that have immense potential. A steady group of veterans that can hold their own we also possess.
Screw the retool: Do you want to watch your team make a ten year tank like TOR to finally get good? I feel like VAN is finally starting to stretch their legs since the 2011 Finals! EDM has the best player I've ever seen and they in my opinion are still playing second fiddle to the Ducks in all aspects. OTT wants to be a "contender" in 2021.
Synopsis: I am not saying one trade and one player is going to make you a Stanley cup contender. However, I believe that the Duck's long standing development of young players and a solid veteran presence is worth this trade. If I were GM BM I would believe in this group and believe in the systems he has put in place for over 11 years now. Is it a gamble with the upcoming Seattle draft? Sure. Is it a gamble to bet on this team? Sure. That is why you keep developing young talent. When you see something great in life you have to go for it and while I respect the process sometimes things are worth the gamble.
Thanks for reading.
My best to all Ducks fans,