It’s common knowledge at this point that the Penguins goaltending was the main downfall of the Penguins’ most recent playoff performance, in which Penguins starter, Tristan Jarry, posted a sub .900 save percentage and let up multiple weak goals that no NHL goalie should give up. Recently, it was reported that the Ducks were trying to deal star goalie, John Gibson, to the Buffalo Sabres and at the same time letting everyone know that he is available for the right price. With Burke also being previously linked to Gibson and the fact that he is from Pittsburgh, the idea has been thrown around by fans and analysts of a potential trade to Pittsburgh. But what would it take to acquire a goalie of Gibsons caliber? Here are some potential options that could bring Gibson home.
More About John Gibson
John Gibson is yet another example of a great player on a terrible team. Gibson was a stud in the net and looked like the goalie of the future for the Ducks but as of recent, his play has struggled immensely due to the Ducks not being very good and a lack of motivation he said he felt to play on a rebuilding team. Gibson ad an elite stretch from 2016-2018 where he posted a .925 over those 2 years and carried the ducks to the WCF before being injured against the Predators. As of late, his play has struggled heavily posting a sub .905 save percentage and a combined -16.41 GSAx over the past 2 years, a massive fall off from his combined 56.51 GSAx in the previously mentioned elite stretch from 2016 to 2018. There is no doubt in my mind that the former stud can bounce back on any sort of contending team. Gibson, who is only 28, is also locked into a 6 year 6.4 million dollar AAV contract which would be a steal if he were to return to his former play. With all this being said, what would it take to bring him to Pittsburgh? Here are a couple options.
The Building Blocks
With the Ducks going into a rebuild, they would almost certainly want picks, prospects or young guys. To start off the the deal the Penguins would certainly have to trade away their 2022 first which could be a very risky move with how stacked the Metro is but it’s a risk I would be willing to take if it meant we got a player the caliber of John Gibson in return. Alongside of the first is one of either Nathan Légaré or Pierre-Olivier Joseph. Both are good and fairly young prospects that would help bolster up the Ducks prospect pool. I doubt Samuel Poulin is traded in any sort of deal at least for now.
The Add Ons
With the Penguins’ limited amount of cap space, a contract would need to be moved to be able to take on Gibsons 6.4 million dollar cap hit. With that in mind, I believe the Penguins would move on from Marcus Pettersson as he seems like the odd man out in the defense right now. Pettersson, who carries cap hit a little over 4 million dollars, is a 25-year-old left-handed defenseman who I feel is being used incorrectly by the Penguins coaching staff as they try to turn him into a play-driving defenseman too much in my opinion. Pettersson is a big body at 6’4 and can be a good top 4 defensively oriented defenseman on the Ducks for the future. Alongside of Pettersson, another contract would most likely have to be moved and that’s where we get our final pieces.
The Cherry On Top
The final pieces of a potential Gibson trade would be a pick in either the 2nd or 3rd round of the next 2 drafts and Penguins goalies Casey DeSmith alongside 2020 3rd round pick Calle Clang. With the recent emergence of Filip Lindberg, I believe Calle Clang is the odd man out between Clang, 2020 2nd round pick Joel Blomqvist, and recently mentioned Filip Lindberg. DeSmith would also be the odd man out in any Gibson trade that doesn’t include Jarry and would be used not only for money reasons but also as a filler starting goalie till Ducks goalie prospect, Lucas Dostal, is ready. With these 3 pieces the Penguins could possibly ask for the Ducks to retains around 1 million dollars of Gibsons contract to make the money work.
Putting The Pieces Together
So all in all, the final trade would be Pittsburgh sending over: Pierre-Olivier Joseph/Nathan Légaré, a 2022 first round pick, Marcus Pettersson, Casey DeSmith, Calle Clang and a 2nd/3rd in either 2022 or 2023 and in return they would acquire John Gibson with a little over a million dollars retained.