Originally posted on Red Light District Hockey  |  Last updated 1/4/12

Times are tough for the Anaheim Ducks. Trade rumors seem to be swirling around their top players on a daily basis. The latest rumor involves captain Ryan Getzlaf. Is trading him the answer to get the Ducks back on track?

This season has been a trying one for GM Bob Murray and the Anaheim Ducks. After making the postseason on the back of MVP Corey Perry, the club has battled injuries, inconsistency and downright poor play. Their goaltending hasn’t been there and neither has their defense. Worst of all, their offense has been atrocious – ranking 28th in the League.

Due to their scoring deficiency the Ducks are constantly looked at as a club in need of a facelift. Bobby Ryan was reportedly placed on the market in late November while the speculation over Teemu Selanne’s destination is starting to grow legs.

Yet there may be another name on the market as we approach this year’s February 27th trade deadline.

Last night, Jeff Miller of The OC County Register broached the subject of trading team captain Ryan Getzlaf. His arguments were many but mainly to shake up the core of Getzlaf’s Anaheim Ducks.

While we agree that the Ducks needs a shake-up, trading away a captain, Olympic Gold Medalist and Stanley Cup winner is a bold move—one that is not frequently made in the salary cap era.

In the post-lockout era, only a few names with the caliber and pedigree of Getzlaf have hit the trading market. Even less players boast a résumé as long or as successful which is obviously a trait every GM in hockey covets.

Getzlaf currently caries a $5.325 million cap hit which is certainly reasonable for a player capable of centering your top line. But in Anaheim it represents a top-heavy detriment to the club that allocates roughly 53 percent of their cap space to seven players. Removing Getzlaf’s burden would free up some space, as would the expected departures of Jason Blake and Teemu Selanne. But the Ducks would be remiss to get fair value.

The last time a marquee centerman was traded was this past offseason, when both Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were jettisoned from Philadelphia. Flyers GM Paul Holmgren was able to get fair value for both players mainly because of his timing – a period where teams take gambles in order to strengthen their position on opening night.

Contending teams are typically looking to add to their current roster and certainly not subtract a few young assets at this juncture in the season which makes the market for an all-world pivot not only likely exorbitant but also limited. As Miller noted in his column, the Ducks would need to find a suitor which is certainly easier said than done.

Furthermore, Getzlaf has been a gross underachiever this season which could put his trade value at an all-time low. His six goals and 25 points through 37 games projects for 55 games – his lowest totals since his rookie campaign.

Despite playing with Perry for his entire monumental run last season, Getzlaf hasn’t helped the right wing fill the net this year. In addition, three-time 30-goal scorer has only 13 tallies at the 37-game mark. To say they have been ineffective is definitely an understatement.

But is trading the team’s captain really the answer? The team definitely needs a change but gritty franchise centers with size don’t necessarily grow on trees. Do the ends justify the means or would the Ducks be wise to avoid any panic moves until an inevitable shake up during the offseason.

These questions and more should continue to surround the team through the end of February.

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