Over the past weeks, some talks about new additions to the Anaheim Ducks have been heating up. The two main names floating around are Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk and Winnipeg Jets forward Patrik Laine.
The thing to note about these rumors is that neither of them are close to being done deals, but they are quite intriguing for the team. Let’s take a look at what both of them could add to the team, and what they might take away.
Justin Faulk’s Fit With Anaheim
Starting off with Justin Faulk, he’s had eight seasons in the NHL to really show off what he’s capable of. Points wise, he’s been relatively consistent over the past four seasons in putting up over thirty points. His best season was back in 2014-2015 when he put up forty-nine points and only accumulated thirty penalty minutes.
His absolute best quality is that he doesn’t rack up too many penalty minutes, which is something the Anaheim Ducks are desperate for. Timely penalties have burned the Ducks multiple times over the past three seasons, and a roster with less time in the penalty box will be a more successful one. The highest amount of minutes Faulk has ever built up was forty-eight minutes back in 2017-2018. He had one less minute the next season, so he’s kept both his production and his penalties in good spots. He’d be a fantastic fit for the Anaheim Ducks as a reliable veteran defenseman that can produce points as well, but there are still some big downsides.
One downside to Justin Faulk is how many games he’s played in. He’s only played in all eighty-two games twice in his eight seasons, and usually finds himself finishing with about seventy games. It’s such a minor nitpick that it doesn’t matter though. The more significant downside is what the Ducks would have to give up for Faulk. Ondrej Kase has been the agreed-upon piece in every spreading of the rumor, and Faulk might not be worth the cost for Kase alone, let alone the picks that might be gone as well. Now that Kase is healthy again, he’ll get a supreme chance to show off how much he can do this season. Seventy-three points in 149 games total is just the beginning, and although he’s young, Kase is one of the better prospect pieces Anaheim has.
It’ll be a wait and see a game with Faulk, but considering that Bob Murray was quoted to be complaining about Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon and his actions in possibly leaking Kase’s name, things aren’t looking too hot. Unfortunately, Kase might be somewhat hurt by these rumors, but even as he alluded to, he doesn’t really care. Hopefully, it’ll be the shot of energy Kase needs to have a breakout season.
Patrik Laine and a Running Dream
The bigger talk of the two players would have to be Patrik Laine. A fantastic right-winger in Winnipeg, Laine made some big noise in his sophomore season by putting up seventy points in his first eighty-two game season. His scoring abilities were incredible, and getting to watch him skate was truly amazing.
Even though he didn’t hit the expectations that 2017-2018 left for him, 2018-2019 still saw him score fifty points and play another eighty-two game season. To have such a reliable and young player would be a real treat for any team. And for a long time, the Anaheim Ducks weren’t even in the talks to get Laine. However, Mike K Walters of Twitter made a few posts “revealing” the Ducks as the mystery Western Conference team in talks with Patrik. After much scrutiny, he deleted his account and all the tweets about Patrik Laine to the Ducks, and his claims of a quick signing were dashed after the Tuesday deadline passed. Considering that he wasn’t verified in having any reliable sources, and his page was pretty small, the rumors were highly suspect as it was before he deleted his page. It’s been almost a week since his claims of a Tuesday signing, and nothing else has come out about Laine and the Ducks as his possible landing spot.
Should Ducks fans give up on this rumor? Well, that’s all up to whether you’re a pessimist or an optimist. Patrik Laine’s interest in coming to Anaheim seemed very limited in the first place, but it seems like he’s really done with being in Winnipeg. There are other confirmed teams in the talks that would suit him better, but there’s still that one mystery Western Conference team that could be the Anaheim Ducks. It’s so up in the air that it really could end in any way. It would be amazing to sign such a young and fulfilled talent as Laine, but the only question would be in the money. Do the Ducks have that money? Only time will tell once again.
In closing, Justin Faulk would be a perfect fit as the reliable veteran defenseman the Ducks have been looking for, and Patrik Laine would be a bombshell signing that would give Anaheim a true facelift. But just because they’re both talented and good fits, does that mean the Ducks have the money or the pieces to give up for them?
If Bob Murray wants to rebuild using the farm system, then the clear answer to both of those for me is no. But, it’s all about perspective at this point.
Would you rather use the amazing prospect talent the Ducks posses to try and compete in the future, or would you rather squander money and get rid of important prospects for two veterans in the slight hope of competing for a playoff berth this year? Either way, you look at it, the Ducks will have their day, and the future is still bright with our prospect pool.
Statistics Courtesy Of: hockey-reference.com Pictures Courtesy Of: Sportsnet, Sporting News, and the NHL