Questions about John Gibson's future with the rebuilding Anaheim Ducks surfaced during the summer. With the 2021-22 season underway, some Ducks fans are wondering if the 28-year-old goaltender will still be with the club by season's end.
Gibson's trade status was among the questions asked of The Athletic's Eric Stephens in his Oct. 5 mailbag segment. He cited the netminder's frank response to the Ducks' rebuilding process, acknowledging the club's struggles in recent years have troubled him.
While Gibson knows he plays a big role in the club's plans, he felt it important for everyone to play well. He also noted several young players who've been on the roster for a few years must now take their play to the next level.
Stephens felt at one time Gibson would still be with the Ducks to start the 2022-23 season but now he's not so sure. He suggested management investigate his value in the trade market if this turns into another long season.
Gibson is in his third season of an eight-year contract with an annual average value of $6.4 million and a 10-team no-trade list. His stats suffered during the Ducks' decline but his numbers earlier in his career when they were a better club suggest he could rebound on a playoff contender.
Teams seeking a goaltending upgrade could express interest in Gibson leading up to the March 21 trade deadline. Given the flattened salary cap, however, moving the remainder of his contract could prove a difficult process. Management could wait until next summer when clubs will have more cap room to work with and thus a greater willingness to invest in help between the pipes.