The Ducks' committed payroll for next season is the issue. With Niedermayer potentially returning, and with another year left on his contract after this season, the Ducks could not add him to the roster now without freeing up cap room for next season. In the new CBA, it's called 'tagging' room and the Ducks don't have enough of it next season to allow Niedermayer back on the roster this season – unless they move a player who is under contract for next season.
Multiple NHL sources confirm the Ducks have been active in trade talks this week trying to do exactly that.
Sources suggest the Ducks are prepared to move any defenceman other than Chris Pronger who is under contract for next season. That list includes Mathieu Schneider, Francois Beauchemin and Sean O'Donnell
Perhaps it's just the internet whispers that never come true, but word is that Ducks are looking for a young player (obviously inexpensive) and a high draft pick.
During the Ilya Bryzgalov sweepstakes, whenever the Penguins were mentioned there was also mentions of Erik Christensen. Again, perhaps 100% rumor, but sometimes where there is smoke there is fire.
I'm not big into trading a 1st round pick AND a young player and I know Ray Shero isn't either, but in this specific situation I think I would do it. I think Frankie Beauchemin is possibly the best player in the league that never gets talked about, especially on the east coast where fans never get to see him play. Some stats for the blueliner:
- Leads all NHL players with 28:30 icetime
- Has a -3 +/- rating, the same as Chris Pronger
- 27 hits, 26 blocked shots, 12 takeaways....Not a physical monster, but not ragdoll
But his true value can't be quantified in raw data, but rather his play on the ice for nearly half of the game. So why would the Ducks trade FB instead of someone like Schneider or Brown? Well both those players are old, and Schneider has that huge $5.6 cap hit this year and next. We've seen how hard it is to trade players, even with modest contracts and value (Bryzgalov, Recchi, etc). Trades nowadays are infrequent.
Obviously I wouldn't want any young player (Staal, Letang) dealt, and clearly Shero isn't going to be moving them anyways. But some combination of Christensen, high pick or defensive prospect Alex Goligoski? Bring it on.
Getting a player like Beauchemin could be instrumental in a turnaround for the Penguins. This could be almost as impactful as the Ron Francis or Rick Tocchet deals made that propelled the Pens to Stanley Cups.