The 2016 NHL trade deadline is officially two weeks away. All of the attention is now being drawn to acquisitions each team should make to make them stronger for a postseason push or put them in a better position going into the offseason. However, there are some franchises out there that have already made some impactful moves that should not go unnoticed.
General Manager of the Anaheim Ducks, Bob Murray, may not be done acquiring pieces to strengthen his team. However, the moves he has already made this season cannot and should not go unnoticed.
Let’s take a closer look at the acquisitions of both David Perron and Ryan Garbutt, and discuss the impact they have had on the Ducks to this point.
Ducks Trade Hagelin to Penguins for Perron
On January 18th, Anaheim and Pittsburgh swapped players who were just not succeeding in their current situations. Carl Hagelin simply was not fitting into his new home in Anaheim after being dealt from New York over the summer and signing a 4-year, $16M extension. In 43 games with the Ducks, the 27-year-old left winger only managed to record four goals and eight assists. It can also be said that Perron’s stint in Pittsburgh was not going as planned either. In 43 games with the Penguins this season, the winger only managed four goals and twelve assists.
Many, including myself, were unsure how the Perron experiment would turn out Anaheim but few were worried due his pending unrestricted free agent status this summer. Now, I can almost guarantee that all of Ducks Nation hopes Perron and Anaheim will come to terms with an extension.
The 27-year-old winger has been one of the team’s most valuable assets since joining the franchise. In 13 games, Perron has managed to light the lamp on six separate occasions. In addition, he has had seven assists to his name. The nine-year veteran has also brought a sense of physicality that had been missing from the Ducks this season.
Perron has not only been a consistent producer during Anaheim’s resurgence in the second half of the season, he has also brought out the best in his teammates. He has become linemates with Ryan Getzlaf and assisted in his turnaround this season.
Hagelin has also seen an improvement since being traded to the Penguins. In twelve game in Pittsburgh, he has contributed one goal and six assists. In addition, Hagelin is averaging around 17 minutes of ice-time per game.
Anaheim Trades Sekac to Chicago for Garbutt
Three days after the Perron deal, the Ducks sent forward Jiri Sekac to the Blackhawks in exchange for Garbutt. Unlike the Perron deal, Murray’s trade for Garbutt was a bit of head-scratcher to most. It was clearly another move to add a more physical presence to the team but many still were uncertain why the deal was done.
Garbutt has turned out to be a great fit with his new team. The 30-year-old forward from Winnipeg has never been much of a jaw-dropper on the stats sheet, but producing offensively is not the strength of every player on the ice. In his eleven games with Anaheim, Garbutt has managed four points, which is only two less than he recorded in 43 games with the Blackhawks earlier this season. In addition, he is averaging a little over ten minutes of ice-time per game.
Losing Sekac is proving to be nothing close to a big deal at all. He has only played in five games with Chicago and is averaging less than ten minutes of playing time a game. In addition, Sekac has not managed to record a single point since joining the Blackhawks. The 23-year-old still has plenty of hockey left to play in his career so Chicago is banking on him developing into more of an impact player as he matures.
The Deadline’s Approaching
As I mentioned before, the trade deadline is now two weeks away. With the recent losses to the roster, it is still likely that Murray and the Ducks look to the trade market to better their chances at makes a serious run in the postseason. However, Anaheim could still make some noise in the Stanley Cup Playoffs thanks to their general manager making the right moves earlier on in the season.