The Anaheim Ducks are in the midst of transitioning from veteran players to younger talent as they build for the future. While pending free agents such as defensemen Josh Manson and Hampus Lindholm and winger Rickard Rakell have been mentioned as trade candidates, goaltender John Gibson also surfaced in off-season speculation.
Cap Friendly indicates Gibson is entering the third season of his eight-year contract with an annual average value of $6.4 million and a 10-team no-trade list. There's no indication the 28-year-old netminder wants out of Anaheim or of the Ducks shopping him but that hasn't stopped some observers from musing about his status.
In an Aug. 23 mailbag segment, The Athletic's Eric Stephens addressed a reader's suggestion that the Ducks move Gibson now while his trade value remains high. He wondered if Gibson would ask to be moved if the Ducks show no sign of improvement. Stephen also believed the Ducks should entertain offers if they languish in the standings again.
Stephens' colleague Daniel Nugent-Bowman was asked on Sept. 6 about Gibson as a trade target for the Edmonton Oilers. He cautioned his numbers have been average at best over the past two seasons on bad Ducks' teams and also noted his modified no-trade clause.
Don't be surprised if Gibson pops up more frequently in this season's rumor mill. Despite his recent inconsistent play, he could draw considerable interest if the Ducks become sellers at the March trade deadline. There could be clubs willing to bet on him regaining the solid form he displayed earlier in his career when the Ducks were among the better teams in the Western Conference.