Only a week has past since the start of the postseason, and already one National Hockey League team is out of the Stanley Cup running after getting swept in the first round of the playoffs. The Los Angeles Kings' postseason is already over now that the Vegas Golden Knights have continued to prove everyone wrong by winning the series 4-0, and there is another Western Conference team on the verge of getting the same fate. The Anaheim Ducks have struggled immensely in the first-round series against the San Jose Sharks, and if the club cannot win tonight's matchup, there are rumors that significant changes will take place following an early playoff exit.
Chris Nichols of FanRag Sports cited NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, who appeared on Vancouver’s Sportsnet 650 and pondered if a possible early exit could push the front office to “change their philosophy”. What if the Ducks "start to look and see is it time for some of the guys who have been there a long time,” such as veteran forwards Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler, to be traded. However, they all carry expensive long-term contracts with no-movement clauses.
Getzlaf and Perry each have three seasons left on their current deals while Kesler has four. Friedman noted Getzlaf is still a good player but Perry’s production has declined over the years while Kesler’s physical style is taking a toll on his body and he suffered many injuries this season. Perry still managed to put up a respectable 49 points in 71 games but it's not as nearly good as his previous campaigns.
“I think the biggest question in Anaheim is that Perry hasn’t been great for a couple of years. Getzlaf is still really good. And you guys know Kesler. I mean, the biggest problem he’s got is his body is just completely breaking down. I just think that they’ve had a lot of patience with Perry. I think he’s still got a no-move clause. But I do wonder if they start to look and see is it time for some of the guys who have been there a long time.”
Nichols also cited Darren Dreger, who on the air of Vancouver’s TSN 1040, mentioned that he does not think the Ducks can return with the same core group next season. Dreger believes there would be teams with considerable interest in Getzlaf or Perry if either guy was to be placed on the trade block. Several teams are set to be in the running for the New York Islanders center John Tavares on the free-agent market, and Dreger believes clubs that will lose out on the sweepstakes might want to acquire Getzlaf or Perry.
“I don’t have any doubt in my mind that there would be teams with considerable interest in Perry and Getzlaf if they were willing to break it up," Dreger added.
This would be a major change in Anaheim!