It is already official that the Ducks will have to trade someone this offseason if veteran defenseman Scott Niedermayer and forward Teemu Selanne decide to come back to the team after contemplating retirement.
Although the jury is still out, the rumored players to be on the chopping block are:
A power forward that did not live up to expectations after his first year in Anaheim. He is currently expected to make $4 million this upcoming season, which, combined with his 32 years and declining production, makes him an easy player for Anaheim to let go. He could draw interest from teams such as Florida, Columbus, and who knows where else.
Ken’s take: I was really disappointed with Bertuzzi. He had a hard adjustment to Orange County, but I don’t think he will be Burke’s first option to trade. I look for him to remain in Anaheim.
A grinding forward making $2.66 million in 08/09. He was a huge help to the Ducks in winning the Stanley Cup, but is not a huge producer—even for a 33-year-old. Not as notable a trade target as Bertuzzi, but still would be good for a team needing help.
Ken’s take: Marchant is the third-most likely in this list to be traded. He is a good player and doesn’t make much of a dip into the cap. His age is a slight issue, but nothing too serious.
A great offensive defenseman brought in last season to replace Scott Niedermayer during his retirement phase. Instead, when Niedermayer returned, Schneider added great depth on the blue line. His offensive talent saw him light the lamp often in one of the final regular-season games against the Kings.
At 38, Schneider is the oldest player on the Ducks team and will be collecting $5.75 million in $0809. Schneider seems likely to be the player the Ducks most want to get rid of. That $5.75 million would be nice to have back in the bank.
Ken’s take: If Schneider is the one subtracted from the team, the Ducks could trade for a defenseman worth half as much and spend the remaining money on Teemu Selanne and signing another forward or defenseman. The Ducks know they need to improve some small issues over last season—such as goal scoring—and with that $5.75 million back, they'll have a better chance to do that.
Schneider’s age has me wondering why he isn’t one contemplating retirement, as he is older than both Niedermayer (33) and Selanne (37).
All three of these players would be good choices, and Brian Burke will certainly get the best deal possible for his team. Before any decisions are made, though, the Ducks need to know the return status of Teemu and Scott—which is the only way the trades will truly matter.
For example, if both leave the team, then Burke only needs to worry about obtaining enough money for Corey Perry—and getting that money should be fairly easily done with a minor trade.
For more Anaheim Ducks news and analysis this offseason, be sure to check out The Puck Drop: Your Source for Everything Anaheim Ducks.
Source: Salary figures came from nhlnumber.com