NHL: Ducks taking calls on free agents, Jackets extend Danforth, and Yotes’ Roussel out 6 weeks

ducks taking calls on free agents
Jan 29, 2022; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; The Anaheim Ducks celebrate a goal scored by left wing Rickard Rakell (67) in the first period against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

A new report from Elliotte Friedman states that Anaheim Ducks GM, Pat Verbeek is gauging the market on his pending unrestricted free agents.

“Pat Verbeek has notified teams he is willing to gauge the market on his free agents,” Friedman tweeted, “It doesn’t necessarily mean one (or all) will be traded, but he is doing his due diligence.”

Ducks taking calls on free agents

The Ducks are at a crossroads regarding their big unrestricted free agents that includes forward Rickard Rakell, defensemen Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson. All three can walk via free agency this summer and it’s something new GM Pat Verbeek won’t let happen.

“I think going into this, I’m looking at it like we could make the playoffs, we could miss the playoffs,’’ Verbeek recently told Pierre LeBrun. “At the end of the day, there’s no guarantee I can get those three free agents back. I’m going to attempt to sign them, if it doesn’t happen, I just can’t let them walk out the door free.’’

anaheim ducks rumors
Mar 6, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Anaheim Ducks left wing Rickard Rakell (67) celebrates with teammates Cam Fowler (4) and Troy Terry (19) after scoring the game-winning goal against the San Jose Sharks in overtime at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Rakell, 28, is a right wing that is currently playing on the Ducks third line. With the emergence of Troy Terry, it has pushed the Swede down the depth chart.

Manson, 30, is a physical defenseman that isn’t a liability in the offensive zone. He’s in the final year of a contract with a $4.1 million cap hit and has a modified no-trade clause.

Lindholm, 28, is making $5.2 million against the cap which and was considered a top rental trade target. The big left-handed defenseman (6-4, 216) has begun contract talks with the Ducks.

Blue Jackets extend Justin Danforth

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Justin Danforth signed a two-year, $1.95 million contract extension through the 2023-24 season on Tuesday.

Danforth, 28, has recorded seven points (five goals, two assists) in 22 games with the Blue Jackets this season. He made his NHL debut on Nov. 15 and scored his first career goal three days later against the Arizona Coyotes.

“We’re very excited to sign Justin to this contract extension as he epitomizes the values we have as a team… hard work, commitment, and determination,” Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. “He has dedicated himself to becoming an NHL player over the past several years and his game has continued to grow throughout this season. He has become a trusted and valuable contributor on our team.”

Danforth also had five points (two goals, three assists) in eight games this season with Cleveland of the American Hockey League.

Antoine Roussel out 6 weeks

Arizona Coyotes forward Antoine Roussel will be sidelined six weeks with a lower-body injury, the team announced Tuesday.

Roussel sustained the injury in Arizona’s 8-5 victory against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

The 32-year-old Frenchman has recorded six points (three goals, three assists) in 47 games this season. He has 195 points (84 goals, 111 assists) in 601 career games with the Dallas Stars, Vancouver Canucks and Coyotes.

Also on Tuesday, the Coyotes recalled forward Hudson Fasching from Tucson of the American Hockey League.

Fasching, 26, has yet to record a point in seven games with the Coyotes this season. He has 24 points (eight goals, 16 assists) in 35 games in the AHL.

–Field Level Media contributed to this report