NHLTR Mock Trade: Anaheim Ducks' John Gibson to the Pittsburgh Penguins

Welcome to NHLTR mock trade series where we will showcase a potential 2023 offseason trade. From minor moves to major transactions, everything will be covered as we try to predict how the chips may fall this summer across the NHL.

For our latest deal we head down to sunny California and zero in on the Anaheim Ducks. General manager Pat Verbeek approached goaltender John Gibson last season about his future and word is both agreed a change of scenery could do wonders for his game. Gibson will be hitting the trade market as soon as the NHL Entry Draft in June and talks are expected to heat up this summer.

The Ducks netminder has a modified no-trade clause that protects him from 10 teams, however, one club he's likely very open to joining is his hometown Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins are in the process of naming Kyle Dubas their new general manager, which could mean everything falls into place for this deal to shake down this summer. 

Ducks trade Gibson to the Penguins for Casey DeSmith, Ty Smith and a 2024 third-round pick. 

Penguins Perspective: With Tristan Jarry set to hit free agency and teams like the Ottawa Senators ready to pounce with a large offer, the Penguins could replace their starter's minutes with Gibson. He's signed long term and at a reasonable cap hit of $6.4 million. Pittsburgh has the cap space to easily make this work and can find an experienced back up on the open market to push Gibson. Jarry was given his run and unfortunately wasn't able to get the job done. It's Gibby's time now! Worth noting, Gibson is someone Dubas is very high on and a goalie the executive tried to acquire more than once in Toronto.

Ducks Perspective: The Ducks are looking to rebuild and save money in the process. This gets a hefty contract off their books and brings back a young defenseman who has serious offensive potential in Smith and DeSmith who can easily fight to be the starter of the rebuilding Ducks next season. The return isn't as important as getting out from under $6.4 million annually through the 2026-27 season.

Who wins this trade?

Photo credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports