Report: Anaheim Ducks “Big” Offers to 2 Huge Free Agents Fell Flat

With $31 million in cap space, the Anaheim Ducks went into free agency last week with the intention of bringing in some high-end talent. That never materialized, but it turns out, at least, they didn't go down without a fight.

According to Eric Stephens in The Athletic, the Ducks tried for two of the biggest fish in the pond this summer:

The Athletic learned from league sources that the Ducks made big offers to Steven Stamkos and Jonathan Marchessault, both of whom ultimately signed in Nashville. The Ducks took their swings. They just didn’t connect.

Certainly, there is a lot of high-end young talent on the roster, from young forward Leo CarlssonMason McTavish and Cutter Gauthier, to the newly-welcomed No. 3 overall pick Beckett Sennecke and another 2024 first-rounder Stian Solberg

But the Ducks have been floundering near the bottom of the league for six years now, and needed a big summer to accelerate their rebuild. Unfortunately, the years of losing do not make them a premium free agent destination. 

“I’m at a point in my career, I just don’t want to play hockey games,” Marchessault told TSN. “I want to win hockey games. Going (to Nashville), everybody’s on the same page and we want to win. Definitely excited to get there.”

GM Pat Verbeek will now have to look elsewhere to improve his squad in Anaheim, and with that, we'll keep an eye on the Ducks in the trade market going forward. Stevens makes bold suggestions such as Mitch Marner and/or Martin Necas as big-name targets. 

Photo: © Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports