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Could Ducks Decide to Embrace Full Rebuild and Sell High on Gibson?

The Anaheim Ducks might be well served to embrace a full rebuild and move John Gibson, according to one source.

Not only does NBC Sports’ James O’Brien not believe the search for a new general manager in Anaheim affect the Ducks’ willingness to truly embrace a rebuild, but it should motivate them to look at it immediately and with much greater intent.

Following Bob Murray’s resignation as general manager O’Brien believes this is the opportunity the Ducks need to move pieces that will speed up their rebuild. Change is already inevitable. But the Ducks are playing some decent hockey and this is a chance to sell high on a few players, specifically goaltender John Gibson.

O’Brien writes, “the Ducks should consider this in their rebuild: whether Gibson is elite or not, he’s most likely to serve the team best in a well-timed, sell-high trade.” He adds, “Gibson’s 28, with a $6.4 million cap hit that runs through 2026-27. If you (understandably) believe Gibson is elite, then that’s a heck of a bargain.”

John Gibson Anaheim Ducks UD
John Gibson Anaheim Ducks UD

O’Brien believes that if the Ducks plan to hold onto Gibson until the team is truly ready to compete, it could be too late to move him should they want to as his production is likely to decline. This is the time to move Gibson and collect some key pieces to jumpstart the rebuild. To that end, O’Brien also suggests the Ducks consider shopping Ryan Getzlaf, Rickard Rakell, Hampus Lindholm, and Josh Manson who are all on expiring contracts.

The Ducks have salary cap space, which is rare in today’s NHL. If they choose to move useful players and weaponize their cap space at the same time, the organization could really land some interesting assets, including NHL-ready prospects and high-end draft picks.

The question will be what some of these players are willing to do. Gibson has a 10-team modified no-trade clause in his contract, while Getzlaf has a no-move.

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