SUNRISE, Fla. – Ducks general manager Bob Murray was angry at the rumors he would trade goaltender John Gibson. In fact, Murray was so ticked his face got red when he talked about how he was not going to deal the young netminder.
“John Gibson is not getting traded … put that (bleeping) out there,” he said when asked about some of the “Twitter” rumors on Gibson.
Two minor notes here.
One, Murray’s complexion is always tomato-ish.
Two, never ask a general manager about speculation based of Twitter. If you use the word ‘Twitter’ or ‘social media’ in your question, matchstick, meet gasoline. KABLOOM!
At the 2015 Draft, goaltending was all the rage. The Dallas Stars appear ready to go with two starters in Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen. The Rangers traded Cam Talbot to the Edmonton Oilers. The Ducks picked up Anton Khudobin from the Carolina Hurricanes. Vancouver's Eddie Lack got traded to the Canes.
Anaheim already had Frederik Andersen and Gibson on the roster. Andersen played well in the postseason, which made it seem like Murray would use Gibson as a trade asset. Nope … not gonna happen.
“This wasn’t to make any moves, this was because of what went through last year chasing around goalies, now we have some depth again,” Murray said. “We’ll see how things work at the start of the season. Last year one guy got injured, the other guy got injured, we just weren’t good enough. Now we have a legitimate backup.”
Strangely, Khudobin is the most expensive goaltender on the Ducks. He carries a cap hit of $2.25 million. Andersen is at $1.15 and Gibson is at $721,666. Once again the Ducks have an embarrassment of riches, and in a spot that seems to be valued at the moment.
Does Murray’s solemn vow mean it won’t happen in the future? Anyone’s guess. But for the second straight offseason, the Ducks have this feel of a team in the driver’s seat. Their trade for Carl Hagelin essentially replaced Matt Beleskey, a pending unrestricted free agent who is probably asking for too much, and gave them some more speed.
“You see how we got beat, the speed element of the game is getting bigger and bigger and bigger so we have to move along with the times and we got a guy who can really skate,” he said.
It’s funny that Murray is giving coach Bruce Boudreau three goaltenders to deal with. Boudreau is famous for never being able to choose the right one at the most crucial points of the season.
Whatever. The point is the Ducks suddenly have $24 million of salary cap space this offseason per generalfanager. They will have to give Jakob Slifverberg a raise and re-sign Hagelin – both are restricted free agents. If they bring back pending unrestricted free agent Francois Beauchemin at a high price, that would be a mistake, simply due to Anaheim’s depth on D and Beauch’s age – he’s 35.
This is a team that was one win away from making a Stanley Cup Final. They have their core locked up. They’re all around 30, and they have the room to make improvements and they have assets.
Murray is dealing from a strong spot. We saw that this weekend, which should be pleasant news to big-time Ducks supporter Emilio Estevez amongst others who live around the Magic Kingdom.
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