The Anaheim Ducks have a few key players with limited term remaining on their contracts. As the Ducks enter a rebuild, management will have difficult decisions to make with these players, to determine the best course of action for the team going forward.
One of these players to watch will be Hampus Lindholm.
Lindholm missed the back half of the season with a wrist injury, suiting up for just 18 games before then, where he had six points. He’s a top-pairing defender with the Ducks who takes on tough matchups and is capable of playing on both the power play and penalty kill. However, with Lindholm now 27 years old and due for a long-term contract next offseason, the team needs to consider dealing him to speed up the rebuild.
Anaheim is still a few years off from competing, at which point, Lindholm would be around 30 years old, likely with quite a bit of term still remaining on his deal. It could make sense to trade him now, as he’d bring back the greatest return of any player on the roster, aside from maybe John Gibson.
I think one of the more recent comparables for a potential deal would be the trade that sent Jake Muzzin from the Los Angeles Kings to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Here’s what that deal looked like:
TO TORONTO: D- Jake Muzzin
TO LOS ANGELES: 2019 1st Round Pick, F- Carl Grundstrom, D- Sean Durzi
Muzzin was 29 years old when he was traded and was averaging around 21:30 per game with the Kings, which was a bit less ice time than Lindholm averages with the Ducks. The players included in the return – Grundstrom and Durzi – were both recent second-round picks for the Leafs.
The comparison in value may be slightly different, but I’d imagine the Ducks would be asking for a similar return for Lindholm, if they did opt to move him for assets. Muzzin had an extra half season remaining on his deal but the Ducks should have no problem retaining salary if needed, which could bring down Lindholm's AAV to as low as $2.6 million for the year, making him a very attractive option. If Anaheim did trade Lindholm prior to the start of the season, the return could be fairly similar to what we saw for Muzzin.
So as a result, if Lindholm was moved, we could potentially see a return featuring a first-round pick, a prospect in the range of a recent second-round pick, and then either another prospect or potentially a second-round pick. Either way, it could end up being a three-piece trade, involving a first-round pick as the centerpiece.
While it may be more likely that the Ducks re-sign Lindholm as opposed to Josh Manson or Rickard Rakell, they should heavily consider dealing him instead, provided they can get a solid return.
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What do you think the Ducks should do with Hampus Lindholm?