Pat Verbeek wasted no time making an impression as the Anaheim Ducks’ new general manager. Less than a month after taking office, he has indicated his intention to trade pending free agents Hampus Lindholm, Rickard Rakell and Josh Manson if he cannot re-sign them by the trade deadline. March 21st.
He kept that vow with Manson, sending the 30-year-old defenseman to the Colorado Avalanche on Monday for a prospect and a draft pick. Whether Lindholm and Rakell end up being traded depends on the progress of contract negotiations until deadline day.
Following the Manson trade, The Orange County Registerby Elliott Teaford reported Lindholm was looking for a longer-term deal than the five-year deal he was offered by the Ducks. The 28-year-old defender could hit the trading block soon if Verbeek is unwilling to move.
A skilled top-four defender, Lindholm will attract considerable interest from playoff contenders. Sportsnet’s Mike Johnston recently suggested the Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers as potential trade destinations.
Rakell, 28, is a former 30-goal double scorer on track to top 20 this season for the fourth time in his career. Suitors looking for scoring depth on the right wing could come calling. NBC Sports’ Adam Gretz suggested the Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins as logical landing spots.
Given the need for defenders among playoff contenders, Lindholm may attract more interest than Rakell. However, Cape Friendly indicates he carries an annual salary cap of more than $5.2 million, making him a tough acquisition for cap-strapped clubs like the Leafs and Blues. Rakell, meanwhile, carries a more affordable cap of $3.789 millionwhich could prove attractive to teams looking for cost-effective scoring depth.