The 2021 Anaheim Ducks offseason needs to be actively successful to have better success next season. As we all know the Ducks didn’t do much to help their season. They played to the tone of worst in the NHL. What exactly happened and what do they need to improve on?
How did the 2020-2021 Anaheim Ducks fair?
The Ducks finished in 30th place in the league. They had a record of 17-30-9 and scored 49 points. Their goal differential was at a whopping -53. With special teams, the Ducks had one of the worst power-play percentages with 8.9% (one of the worst since covering this stat). The penalty kill was the 16th rank at 79%.
Due to this lack of success, the Anaheim Ducks will have chances to make some moves in the offseason. They will get a very high draft pick for the 2021-2022 season. The draft pick will be as low as fourth and as high as first. They will also have $22.5 million in salary-cap space.
The Anaheim Ducks offseason: Free Agents
The Ducks have six restricted free agents and five unrestricted free agents. The restricted free agents consist of Danton Heinen, Isac Lundestrom, Max Jones, Sam Steel, Max Comtois, and Alexander Volkov. The unrestricted free agents consist of Ryan Getzlaf, David Backes, Andy Wellinski, Ryan Miller, and Carter Rowney. All of these restricted free agents expiring contracts are important for the future to resign. Backes and Miller will both be retiring. Rowney spent most of the 2020-2021 season on IR.
The Anaheim Ducks offseason: Which Players need Protected
Every team that has a player unprotected will run the risk of losing a player to the Seattle Kraken in the upcoming expansion draft. One player that could be lost on the restricted free agent list would be Danton Heinen. This is the least likely of possibilities though as they could run the risk of changing their blue line.
There are three main players the Ducks need to protect. Cam Fowler, Hampus Lindholm, and Josh Manson are the likely defensemen they should protect. This will leave players such as Kevin Shattenkirk, Haydn Fleury, and Jacob Larsson unprotected from the expansion draft. There is a good possibility the Kraken takes a defenseman but they could take veterans from somewhere else on the team.
The Ducks could leave a veteran forward unprotected to cover someone else. Adam Henrique comes to mind. He didn’t live up to his contract last year so it is most likely they would still have him without protection. Either way, you look at it the Ducks will lose a decent player. The question remains.
The Anaheim Ducks Offseason: Addressing the Captain
The big question on the mind of many is what the Ducks will do with captain Ryan Getzlaf. Will he move on or will he return? It is believed that he will be open to waving his no-move clause with general manager Bob Murray before the NHL deadline. His intent was only wanting to go to the Vegas Golden Knights. He doesn’t want to go but if he had to it would only be for the Knights. The talk about going to the Knights didn’t go too far due to the cap room.
The best-case scenario would be to keep Getzlaf. If Ducks decide to keep him on the books it would be less than the right million dollar cap hit he is getting now. Hopefully, Bob Murray can sign him to a short-term deal. Keep Getzlaf as captain and let him pave the way for the next generation of Duck’s players.
The Anaheim Ducks offseason: Who will be Backup Goaltender?
A huge question to address in the Anaheim Ducks offseason is who will take over the backup goaltender spot? Former backup goaltender Ryan Miller is retiring so they need to address the backup this offseason. John Gibson can carry the workload since he was one of the better goaltenders in the league last season. Anthony Stolarz has already been in the organization. They can also go with Lukas Dostal which is one of the better goaltenders in Europe at the moment.
The Ducks could go after a veteran player outside of the organization in free agency. This is highly unlikely because the organization has great potential in their younger players. The look toward Lukas Dostal would be a great fit behind John Gibson. It might take a while for the organization to get competitive again so why not give the youngsters a chance.
In Anaheim, Ducks offseason look for General Manager Bob Murray to make some interesting moves. One move could be getting a veteran center like Jake Eichel from the Buffalo Sabres. They can throw in a first-rounder and a few players but it is unlikely the Sabres would let him go. It would be interesting if a move was made and how far they would go to pull this off.
The Anaheim Ducks offseason: Move Veteran Salary
Adam Henrique, Jakob Silfverberg, and Rickard Rakell had disappointing seasons last year. Some of this was due to injury but if the Ducks can do it this would be a wise decision. Henrique will be very tough to move. There should be a lot of interest in Rakell, who had interest from teams before the 2021 trade deadline.
The Anaheim Ducks Offseason: Who should be their First Round Draft Pick
This will all depend on where they land in the draft. The Ducks will have one of the first five spots. Owen Power should be the overall first-rounder. He is a big and strong defenseman. He has been drawing comparisons to Victor Hedman. Luke Hughes is another defenseman to look at. Brant Clarke will also be a solid choice.
The Anaheim Ducks Offseason: Conclusion
The Anaheim Ducks offseason summed up by four parts. They need to resign their Captain. They need to choose well in the draft. They need to move some vet salary. They will last find a new backup goaltender. This should be an interesting Anaheim Ducks offseason. This team will be better to watch next season.
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