As the Anaheim Ducks prepared for their contest against the Minnesota Wild, they had to do so without one of their leading scorers.
Early Saturday, the Ducks announced that they have placed forward Adam Henrique on waivers. The 11-year-forward has talked 4 points in 16 games this season. Henrique led the Ducks in goal and points last season.
The veteran is currently in his second season of a five-year deal, which carries a $5.825-million cap hit, the second-highest among Ducks forwards and the fourth-highest on the roster.
Anaheim acquired Henrique from New Jersey for Sami Vatanen and a conditional third-round pick. The Ducks also received Joseph Blandisi and a third-round pick for the 2018 NHL Draft.
At this time, potential landing spots for Henrique are limited. Henrique has a cap hit of $5.825-million until the 2024-2025 season, where he would become an unrestricted free agent.
According to reports, only a handful of teams would be able to afford Henrique’s contract. The Ottawa Senators, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, and New Jersey Devils are the available teams (without an additional move) but there has been no rumor about Henrique being claimed by any of the aforementioned teams.
The Ducks are considered one of the worst teams in the NHL but have held their own in the West Division. Anaheim is 6-8-3 on the year with 15 points ahead of Minnesota and San Jose.
However, the Sharks and Wild both have games in hand on the Ducks and are only 1 point back of Anaheim. If the teams’ win/loss ratio was adjusted to the Ducks’ 17-games played, Anaheim would be at the bottom of the standings.
Henrique’s departure is not expected to impact the Ducks’ betting odds. Anaheim is still considered a rather longshot to win their division, as well as win the Stanley Cup – a feat the organization has not accomplished since 2007.
The Ducks are listed at +3300 to win the West Division this season, according to Betway. Despite being considered a bottom feeder, the Ducks own better odds than California rivals LA Kings and San Jose Sharks, both listed at +5000.
Anaheim is also listed at +8000 to win the Stanley Cup, sharing the same odds as the Buffalo Sabres, San Jose Sharks, and Nashville Predators.
Focusing back on Henrique, it isn’t certain who will replace the veteran. The Ducks recalled David Backes from the taxi squad but plays on the opposite wing of Henrique. Backes is listed as the Ducks’ fourth-line Center, so it will be interesting to see if he plays in the middle of Nicolas Deslauriers and Carter Rowney moving forward.
Up next for Anaheim, they prepare for a two-game set against the Arizona Coyotes. Betting odds have not been released for the upcoming matchup, but it’s hard to believe the Ducks would be considered the favorites. The Ducks have two fewer points than the Coyotes in one less game played, while being on a three-game losing skid.