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John Gibson could be Ducks’ last major trade piece in rebuild

June 4, 2022, 3:09 PM ET [39 Comments]
Ben Shelley
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The Anaheim Ducks finally dealt away many of their trade chips at the deadline this season, moving Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson and Rickard Rakell. The moves marked a step in the right direction, after multiple years of delaying the inevitable and with Pat Verbeek now in control, it seems like the Ducks are finally committing to legitimately building for the future.

At this point, there aren't a ton of notable veterans left to deal though. Cam Fowler is likely to stick around to be a key fixture in a depleted defense group, while the likes of Adam Henrique and Jakob Silfverberg really don't carry a ton of trade value. Kevin Shattenkirk could be moved before next year's deadline but again, he wouldn't bring back a big return.

The one name that certainly still stands out on the Ducks’ roster as a potential trade candidate though is goalie John Gibson. As reported by The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta back in March, the Ducks were willing to listen to offers on Gibson.

The netminder's play and consistency have seen a steep decline over the last few years though, to the point where instead of a save percentage around the .920 mark from year to year, Gibson hasn’t even reached a .905 in the last three seasons. So while the price to acquire Gibson a few years ago would’ve been astronomical, it's almost certainly dropped since then.

Gibson did have a great start to the year and was even named as an All-Star but his performance in the back half of the year was disastrous. This is all to say that if you’re a team looking to acquire Gibson, the five years remaining on his contract at a $6.4 million cap hit look like at least a bit of a risk. Of course, Gibson’s numbers weren’t aided by the team in front of him but in turn, just look at Anthony Stolarz’s .917 save percentage across 28 games and it's pretty clear Gibson wasn't at his best.

The Ducks are a rebuilding team and trading Gibson is likely to speed up the process. He turns 29 years old next month and by the time Anaheim is truly competitive again, he’ll be into his 30s with minimal term remaining on his deal. Meanwhile, Anthony Stolarz has been great and Lukas Dostal could already be capable of a minimal NHL workload, meaning the Ducks do have options if they trade Gibson. Perhaps the lack of experience there is a concern but Anaheim probably isn’t expected to be a playoff team anyways next year and worst case, they could add a cheap short-term solution.

With Gibson’s value likely not as high as it could be though, the Ducks are faced with a situation in which they can either hold onto him and hope he can return to form from a few years ago or move him and take what they can get for him. Given the recent decline, there would likely be some hesitation from potential suitors to give up a huge package in a trade at this point. On the flip side, there’s no guarantee Gibson regains his previous form or levels of consistency and getting a decent return for him now could be the way to go.

While it’s no guarantee that we actually see Gibson get moved, it does seem to be becoming increasing likely that he won’t be with the team for the entirety of his contract. With the Ducks rebuilding and Gibson as one of the last major trade pieces, an offseason deal is certainly a possibility.


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