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Anaheim Ducks Win Big in Mathieu Perreault Deal

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COMMENTARY | While trades usually require years before they can properly be evaluated, it's pretty fair to say that the Mathieu Perreault deal made about a month ago was one the Anaheim Ducks came out ahead on.

Through just 16 games, Perreault has turned heads, scoring five goals and nine assists and could realistically hit the 60-point plateau at the end of the season.

His versatility, faceoff accuracy, and passing abilities are perhaps his three best traits.

At the start of the year, he immediately clicked with Jakob Silfverberg and Teemu Selanne. When those two went down, he started producing at virtually the same level with Devante Smith-Pelly and Emerson Etem on his wings. In fact, it doesn't seem to matter who his linemates are, as he just seems to have a natural chemistry with other players.

Perreault is also a skilled faceoff man, currently winning 56.1 percent of draws---about four percent higher than his average last year.

His passing abilities have also been impressive, as six of nine assists this year are primary.

It seems like a man of these talents was probably worth more than what Washington demanded in compensation on Sept. 29.

For his services, the Capitals received journeyman John Mitchell and a fourth round pick, along with some needed cap space maneuverability.

Mitchell is currently playing for the Hershey Bears, Washington's AHL affiliate. He has been a healthy scratch in all games this year and is a target for further demotion.

While the Caps have clearly lost in the asset-to-asset exchange, the move did clear up about $1.05 million in salary, which they will say was the motivation behind the trade and the reason the Caps don't feel like losers in the deal.

While this argument does have merit, it probably would have been a better idea for them to keep Perreault and trade a guy like Jay Beagle instead.

Beagle has been a frequent scratch this season and only makes about $100,000 less than Perreault, although his contract carries an additional year.

The Caps could also have traded Perreault to another team where the return would have been greater.

But they didn't and the Ducks are smiling because of it.

This could end up being Anaheim's best trade of the year.

For a fourth-rounder and a guy who has trouble making the farm team, the Ducks received a potential 60-point scorer who can literally play with anyone and produce.

What makes this trade even more lopsided is that Perreault is a restricted free agent, meaning that Anaheim will have the leverage this summer when trying to resign him.

But if they're smart they don't wait that long.

A guy with this type of potential should be inked to an extension as soon as possible.

While some may want to wait until he's actually finished the year with 60 points, it's probably smarter and cheaper to ink the guy to three or four-year extension now.

Regardless of what Anaheim does, one thing is clear.

The Ducks won this trade.

Kenny Lindberg is an award-winning journalist with a bachelor's degree in journalism from Chico State. Lindberg proudly covers the Anaheim Ducks as a Yahoo! Sports Contributor. In 2003, he served in Iraq as a U.S. Army combat engineer.

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