The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reports that if the Ducks are going to trade forward Rickard Rakell, the current ask is a young, experienced NHL player and a first-round pick. That’s a high price, despite the fact there’s a lot to like about the player. The question becomes, will anyone be willing to pay that price? Or, will there be a lot of talk about the winger but, ultimately, no action before April 12th?
With another season on his deal after this one, Rakell is not a rental. That alone makes him a bit more valuable. He’s also having a productive season (19 points through 30 games). Teams will find that attractive. But, are organizations willing to pay a hefty sum when there are other options out there in a buyer’s market?
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman notes as part of his recent 31 Thoughts column:
Things can always change, but the price is also high for Anaheim’s Rickard Rakell. Calgary wouldn’t pay it, and I’m not sure there’s a match with Toronto. The Ducks, I think, want young players with a little more of an NHL track record for him.
Since Calgary has already balked at that price and the Maple Leafs are potentially out — even though GM Kyle Dubas has said he’s willing to trade a top prospect to land the player he needs — who is left? There are teams actively looking for a left-winger, but many of those teams (like the New York Islanders) would prefer to add a rental.
Ducks May Have to Lower Their Ask
We’ve already reported that some insiders aren’t convinced Rakell will ultimately go anywhere. And, if the Ducks are keen to move him, they may have to lower their expectations and their asking price. That could happen.
Friedman says that Ducks’ GM Bob Murray has been known to change his mind quickly. Friedman says he might be saying, “Not ready to do this, not ready to do this,” and then decide, “Okay, I’m ready,” almost catching people by surprise.
Friedman notes, “Let’s see where it goes with Rakell” and that even if reports are the Ducks aren’t “shopping” the forward now, he could absolutely be in play down the line.
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