The calls didn’t come in until just before the deadline, but the Anaheim Ducks were able to wrap up two trades without a problem prior to the 3 PM EST deadline on Monday. They acquired defenseman Haydn Fleury and a 2021 fifth-round pick in two separate deals and shipped out blueliners Ben Hutton and Jani Hakanpaa. These deals prove to be good value, at least on paper.
Related: Trade Deadline Tracker
Hakanpaa signed a one-year contract with the Ducks during the summer of 2019 and spent a majority of the 2019-20 season in the AHL with the San Diego Gulls. He made his NHL debut on March 4, 2020, against the Colorado Avalanche and scored his first career NHL goal on March 11, 2020, against the St. Louis Blues, the team that originally drafted him. The Finn was rewarded with a one-year contract extension this past offseason and impressed during this season’s training camp. He partnered with Cam Fowler after Josh Manson suffered an oblique injury early in the season, and the pair were inseparable for the remainder of Hakanpaa’s time with the Ducks.
Hutton wasn’t even on the Ducks’ roster when the 2020-21 season began, as the defenseman was on a PTO and not officially part of the organization. He did eventually sign a one-year, $950,000 contract and spent most of his time as part of the third defensive pair with Jacob Larsson. Hutton essentially replaced Christian Djoos — whom the Ducks lost via waivers during training camp — and did so at a slightly cheaper rate. Hutton and Djoos’ stats this season have been fairly identical, and it was tremendous work for general manager Bob Murray to garner a return of any kind for a player that hadn’t been on the team to start.
Fleury comes to Anaheim with the opportunity for more playing time. He was buried on an extremely deep defensive depth chart in Carolina and was unlikely to be protected for the upcoming expansion draft as well. His contract runs until the end of the 2021-22 season with an AAV of $1.3 million. Fleury, along with players like Josh Mahura and potentially Brendan Guhle and Kodie Curran, will have plenty of opportunities to showcase his abilities as the season winds down. News that Hampus Lindholm is unlikely to return this season from a wrist injury improves matters for the aforementioned players.
This was among one of the quieter trade deadlines in more recent seasons for the Ducks. There was a possibility the Ducks moved players like Manson or Rickard Rakell. Murray is never one to shy away from making “hockey deals,” and moving one of either Rakell or Manson would have fit that mold. Even shipping out someone like Danton Heinen wouldn’t have been unheard of given the 25-year-old’s impending restricted free agency status this coming offseason. Prior to the Fleury trade, there was talk of Manson being dealt to the Hurricanes in a much larger deal.
Deals That Didn’t Happen
Reports on Sunday afternoon were that Nicolas Deslauriers was on his way to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but that deal did not come to fruition. The winger has one year remaining on his contract after this season and could be a trade candidate next season, given his relatively low cap hit.
Lastly, it was a welcome sight to see Ryan Getzlaf remain in Orange County. A trade to a contender and one final shot at another Cup was always going to come down to what the captain’s decision was. There were suitors, but ultimately, the former Calgary Hitman decided that the return was not substantial enough to help the franchise.
Getzlaf has been a wonderful servant for the Ducks for the course of almost two decades. His work on and off the ice for the Ducks has been extremely notable, and his leadership — especially during the more recent downward seasons — to his younger teammates has been invaluable.
Now that the deadline has come and gone, the Ducks are unlikely to experience any major changes, injuries notwithstanding. More moves may happen during the offseason, but that’s still a long way from now. The only thing the Ducks can do now is continue to improve. They sit 29th overall in the league following their game against the San Jose Sharks on Monday night.
Derek has been a hockey fan for 10 years and a sports fan in general for more than two decades.
He graduated from UCCS in Colorado Springs, CO in May 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Sports Communication and spent the last several years as part of UCCS’ on-campus student newspaper staff–both as a reporter and editor. He is now creating Ducks-related content from his home in Southern California.