With the 2019-20 Anaheim Ducks well out of playoff contention, what’s next for them?
Over the remainder of the season, the Ducks have nine meetings with Pacific Division teams. That means even though they won’t be playing in the postseason they will affect it. They will have the chance to spoil seeding for contending teams. Along the way, they have the trade deadline giving the team the chance to make moves for the future. After the final horn on the season closer against the San Jose Sharks, the team can start making necessary adjustments for next season with the hopes of making a playoff appearance next year.
Pacific Division Sabotage
With the race for the Pacific Division being as tight as a single point, and the Ducks having nine games left to play against division rivals, the Ducks have the chance to change the standings. Seven of the nine meetings against the Pacific Division rivals are against teams fighting for home ice for the advantage in the playoffs. Since the Ducks will more than likely not be making an appearance in the postseason for the second consecutive season, the Ducks can at least undermine as many teams as possible.
With strong play from Adam Henrique, Troy Terry, and Derek Grant the team has an opportunity to relish in playing the spoilers. It does seem fitting for the Ducks to have a hand in making the playoff race a little more uncomfortable for some rivals.
2019-20 Anaheim Ducks Trade Deadline
The NHL trade deadline is also fast approaching, and Anaheim is “buying”. General manager Bob Murray has made it known that the team is willing to take on more strenuous contracts of some teams in exchange for draft picks and prospects. Teams like the Boston Bruins with David Backes contract or the Columbus Bluejackets and Brandon Dubinsky. They could move bad contracts off their books making room for other trade deadline deals. This gives the Ducks prospects and draft picks for the future. Perhaps they get lucky and players have a resurgence with a fresh scenery.
But the Ducks may not just be buying at the deadline. They have some players that have been in the rumor mill. Ondrej Kase has been the target of many rumors, so has Josh Manson. They are all just rumours, but anything can happen until the February 24th trade deadline.
This team can play good hockey. They have games that make fans believe in the future. But those games are few and far between. With the recent extension of Nicolas Deslauriers, he brings a bit of grit with him. He isn’t a huge point producer but he brings what is left of the enforcer role into Anaheim.
The team is also looking to take on some bad contracts for prospects, replenishing what’s left in San Diego with fresh players hoping to make a mark and play in the NHL. The Ducks had two first-round picks in last year’s entry draft. They have two promising players in Trevor Zegras and Brayden Tracey cutting their teeth in the juniors. They have players like Kiefer Sherwood and Max Comtois in the AHL. With any luck, these players will make an impact in the NHL sooner rather than later.