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Prying John Gibson Away From The Ducks Would Be Expensive

John Gibson's name has been a popular one in the NHL rumor mill in recent days. Finding a new club for the 28-year-old goaltender, however, would be easier said than done.
John Gibson

A report on Monday by Sportsnet's Nick Alberga claiming John Gibson had informed the Anaheim Ducks that he's open to being traded generated a buzz in the NHL rumor mill. Finding a new club for the 28-year-old goaltender, however, would be easier said than done.

Gibson told The Athletic's Eric Stephens that the rumors were false, adding he first heard about the speculation during a call with his agent. Nevertheless, Stephens suggested it was possible Gibson could be traded if a rival club approaches Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek with an offer too good to pass up.

Steven Ellis observed the Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils and Edmonton Oilers are among those that could seek a goaltending upgrade this off-season. Washington Hockey Now's Sammi Silber suggested the Capitals should at least make inquiries if Gibson is available.

In recent years, Gibson's stats suffered as the Ducks became an also-ran in the Western Conference. Still, some teams could gamble on his numbers improving backstopping a deeper roster.

Gibson's contract, however, is a significant sticking point. Ellis indicated he has five more years left with an annual $6.4-million salary-cap hit plus a 10-team no-trade clause. Verbeek would also likely seek a return that includes a first-round pick and either a promising young NHL player or a high-quality prospect.

Silber doubted the Capitals would be interested unless the Ducks retain some of Gibson's cap hit. Cap-strapped teams like the Leafs and Oilers would expect the same. Verbeek, however, could be reluctant to carry any portion of Gibson's contract as dead cap space to the end of 2026-27.

A Gibson trade remains possible but his contract and the Ducks' high asking price could ensure he remains in Anaheim for the foreseeable future.

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