Ducks News & Rumors: Perry, Zegras & More

The Anaheim Ducks will need to get it together if they want to make a playoff push as they’ve struggled for consistency as of late.

Former Duck Perry Scores 400th Career Goal

While the current Ducks have been having trouble finding the net lately, a former member of the team reached a career goalscoring milestone on Wednesday. Corey Perry scored the 400th goal of his career Wednesday night against the Edmonton Oilers and he did it in typical Perry fashion.

Perry drove to the net after the puck came back to Mikhail Sergachev in the high slot and the defensemen’s shot deflected off the shaft of Perry’s stick. It’s fitting that a milestone goal for Perry was scored like this as he’s made a career out of scoring similar goals, where he gets into the dirty areas and scores the greasiest of goals.

Ducks Concerned About Term With Pending UFAs

Sportsnets’ Elliotte Friedman reports that the Ducks are worried about term when it comes to negotiating contract extensions with any of their pending unrestricted free agents. This could pose a problem when it comes to extending any of them but doesn’t make negotiations impossible.

The Ducks were reluctant to move any of their pending unrestricted free agents without a general manager in place, writes The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta. But now that Pat Verbeek has been appointed, the Ducks are expected to take calls on the likes of Rickard Rakell, Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson.

Related: Ducks News & Rumors: Rakell, Vatanen & More

Lindholm will likely attract the largest number of suitors, but many playoff teams will be in need of scoring depth, which Rakell can provide. Manson is currently on injured reserve and is the most willing of the three to remain in Anaheim for the remainder of the season.

The Fourth Period’s Dennis Bernstein reported earlier last week that Lindholm is leaning toward testing free agency this summer and if Verbeek and Lindholm’s camp can’t find common ground on a contract extension before the deadline, then it’s likely that the Swede will be shipped out.

The Tampa Bay Lightning, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers are reportedly interested in both Lindholm and Rakell, and all three teams have the assets needed to acquire both. It’s just a matter of whether they would be willing to relinquish these assets.

Zegras Tied for Rookie Scoring Lead

Don’t look now, but Trevor Zegras is now tied for the rookie scoring lead. He did have his three-game point streak snapped after last night’s 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings, but Zegras has made up ground in the rookie scoring race and has done so in five fewer games played than the man he’s tied with at the top, Lucas Raymond of the Detroit Red Wings.

It’s no secret that Zegras has been one of the Ducks’ biggest drivers of play this season and he’s arguably their most dynamic playmaker. Along with Troy Terry, Zegras has been responsible for a majority of the Ducks’ offense this season and the responsibility that he’ll carry will only continue to grow.

Gibson Struggling with Form

Since the All-Star Break at the beginning of the month, goaltender John Gibson has a record of 1-4-0. He’s allowed at least four goals in every single one of those starts, including the lone win. The netminder was pulled with 5:43 remaining in the second period of last night’s loss to the Kings. So, what’s up with Gibson?

Head coach Dallas Eakins attributed some of Gibson’s poor showings of late to fatigue, stating that coming back from the All-Star Weekend — which Gibson attended and played in the All-Star Game — and getting back to practices and games right after means that the Ducks’ star goaltender might not be fully rested (from, ‘Kings build early lead, chase John Gibson, beat Ducks’, Orange Country Register, 02/25/22).

Related: Ducks’ Prospect Ethan Bowen Reflects on 4 Years in Chilliwack, Ready to Take Next Step

Gibson probably could do with a bit of rest, given how his performance has regressed since returning from the All-Star Weekend. Backup Anthony Stolarz is no slouch either. He made 21 saves in relief in an ugly loss to the Calgary Flames on Feb. 16 and made 40 saves in a 4-3 shootout win over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.

Anthony Stolarz Anaheim Ducks
Anthony Stolarz, Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images),

Giving Stolarz a couple more starts here and there could take a load off of Gibson’s shoulders and hopefully keep him fresh if the Ducks truly want to push for the playoffs this season.

The next month will truly be an interesting one for the Ducks. How they fare over the next 30 days or so will decide what decisions are made at the trade deadline and could potentially decide the fate of Eakins as well, whose contract is also expiring after this season.

Sign up for our regular 'Ducks Newsletter' for all the latest.