Ducks GM Pat Verbeek gauging market ahead of trade deadline

CHICAGO — General manager Pat Verbeek has reached out to teams around the NHL to gauge their interest in several of the Ducks’ unrestricted free agents, starting his due diligence less than two weeks before an artificial March 21 deadline to re-sign them, according to a report Tuesday.

Verbeek on Saturday reiterated his desire to either re-sign the Ducks’ top unrestricted free agents, including defenseman Hampus Lindholm, or trade them before the NHL’s trade deadline March 21. He told a group of season-ticket holders he wouldn’t allow the free agents to walk away for nothing.

Lindholm, defenseman Josh Manson and right wing Rickard Rakell are the Ducks’ top three potential unrestricted free agents, eligible to sign with any of the league’s teams, including the Ducks, at season’s end. Lindholm looms as the key figure among the three.

Longtime captain Ryan Getzlaf, center Sam Carrick and left wing Nicolas Deslauriers also are eligible to become unrestricted free agents. Getzlaf, 36, is likely to re-sign with the Ducks or retire, a similar position as last season. Last summer, he re-signed with the Ducks to play a 17th season.

Elliotte Friedman of the Canadian sports network Sportsnet was the first to report Verbeek’s desire to gauge the market for the Ducks’ top potential unrestricted free agents. Friedman said on his podcast Monday a potential hang-up to re-signing Lindholm could center on the length of a new deal.

Verbeek told Ducks season-ticket holders talks with Lindholm’s agent, former NHL player Claude Lemieux, were ongoing. Verbeek did not disclose details and Lindholm’s camp has been quiet, as well. It’s believed the Ducks would prefer a shorter deal than Lindholm would like.


Coach Dallas Eakins didn’t discount the possibility of Manson’s return to the lineup for the Ducks’ game Tuesday against the Chicago Blackhawks, the first game on a pivotal five-game trip. Manson hasn’t played since injuring a finger in the Ducks’ victory Jan. 29 against the Ottawa Senators.

Manson skated with his teammates Tuesday morning for the first time since he was sidelined after a tough but legal check along the boards by the Senators’ Brady Tkachuk in the first period. Manson has been skating on his own for several weeks, according to Eakins.

“He’s been absolutely crushing the (stationary) bike and crushing workouts,” Eakins said. “He’s in excellent off-ice shape. Larry Barron has been putting him through the ringer. I’ve left it in his court now. This isn’t a ‘Let’s get a full practice or two full practices in (thing).’ You tell me.”

In the end, Manson sat out Tuesday for the 12th consecutive game.


The Ducks were only halfway through their 30-minute morning skate when Getzlaf left the ice for the dressing room. He looked uncomfortable as he departed, sitting out Tuesday against Chicago for the second consecutive game because of a nagging, unspecified lower-body injury.

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