When it comes to the trade deadline, mediocrity and lower point totals get you a lot of attention. Aside from "mediocrity," a better way to describe Anaheim's 2011-2012 club might be to call them a group of "underachievers." This label can garner trade talks and roster moves on any team and is no respecter of record. Considering the Ducks are a team that has spent almost the entire first half of the season at the bottom of the standings, "trade talk" is a foregone conclusion.
The question then becomes this: Who is going to be let go and for what in return? The Ducks' roster boasts a mix of veteran talent and young stars, and as I have said before, it would not surprise me to see anyone go, aside from Corey Perry and Cam Fowler.
This is a list of five possible trade scenarios for the Anaheim Ducks by the trade deadline. Thoughts and disagreements are welcome.
If the rumor mill has anything to say about it, Bobby Ryan could be on his way out of Anaheim. Though the hiring of Bruce Boudreau helped quiet the Ryan trade talks, the coaching change has not turned things around at all. It also remains true that Anaheim's top line is not generating as much offense this year, and since Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf are assumed by many to be untouchable (we'll get to that later), a Bobby Ryan exodus seems to be the most reasonable conclusion.
Anaheim has already admitted once to fielding offers for Bobby Ryan and revisiting this scenario is not out of the question (via SB Nation).
Even while leading all defensemen in scoring last season, Lubomir Visnovsky is the embodiment of Anaheim's problems, as he is perceived to be weak on the defensive side of the puck despite his ability to contribute offensively. While he remains one of Anaheim's top defenders in terms of minutes and because of his ability to generate offense, a lack of a Bobby Ryan trade could mean he would be on the move, likely for another defender and draft picks.
Return Speculation: Calgary Flames - Olli Jokinen or Marc Giordano and draft picks.
Teemu Selanne has been very faithful to the Ducks' organization and the Anaheim community over the years, yet his age and Anaheim's place in the standings demand at least considering that he could be moved to a contender. Though it would be glamorous to see Selanne in a Jets uniform one last time, it might not be the best option for him if he wants to take another run at the Stanley Cup.
The Jets, while only one point out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference, are not one of the first names that come to mind when you consider teams that are "serious" cup contenders. Selanne does, however, have a high offensive upside and could be a valuable addition to any team looking to make a run.
Return Speculation: Philadelphia Flyers - Braydon Coburn or Andrej Meszaros and draft picks.
I will start this slide by reiterating: This is purely speculative and not meant to be taken as the gospel truth of what is going on in the upper chambers of Anaheim's front office. Yet I have been consistent in saying that no one on Anaheim's roster is safe aside from Corey Perry and Cam Fowler. In an earlier slide I stated that Perry and Getzlaf were considered "by many" to be untouchable. I simply disagree.
If Bobby Ryan is tradable, then Getzlaf can not be far behind. He is as much responsible for the poor offensive production of Anaheim's top line as anyone, and he has not found his rhythm this year as he is on pace for only 55 points this season. For a player who is thought to be capable of 100-point seasons, this must be considered a disappointment.
Though his movement is unlikely, it is not entirely out of the question given his recent performance.
Return Speculation: Pittsburgh Penguins - Jordan Staal, Kris Letang and draft picks.
Again this is all just conjecture, and the reason it seems so unlikely and outrageous is that Anaheim does actually have a lot of talented players on its roster who simply are not performing well in a Ducks uniform. Regardless of which team you are talking about, this type of scenario is where you get blockbuster trades, and no one should be surprised to see this club be the source of such a trade this year.
Only time will tell, and at this point Anaheim's management needs to consider the possibility that its season is not salvageable and whether or not this core of players moving forward, gives it the best chance at future success.