Originally published by NHLRumors.com
As training camps wind down and we inch close to the start of the regular season, the Anaheim Ducks and Ottawa Senators still don’t have key players in training camp. Specifically Jamie Drysdale and Trevor Zegras for the Ducks and Shane Pinto for the Senators.
In Part One of a two-part series, we looked at the situation involving Shane Pinto and the Ottawa Senators. In Part Two of the series we head to the West Coast to look at why Zegras and Drysdale are not in camp and if the Ducks could have taken other approaches to get this situation resolved.
Off to California, it is. The saga involving Zegras and Drysdale continues as we inch closer and closer to the regular season. As with Pinto, you want these guys in training camp so they do not fall too far behind. Especially with a new coach in place putting in new systems.
But more importantly for a player like Drysdale, who missed last season with a shoulder injury, is behind the eight-ball. He is a player who needs to be in camp. Only playing in eight games last season, Drysdale played in 81 games in 2021-22 recording 32 points (four goals and 28 assists).
But as we know young players like these are crucial for a team’s future. And Drysdale is an important piece to the Ducks defense especially with the emergence of Owen Zellweger in preseason. They need Drysdale there.
It is unclear what he is asking for, but skating up in Toronto with Toronto’s Metropolitan University men’s hockey team is not the same as being in an NHL training camp. Like Pinto, he can’t be offer sheeted or is arbitration eligible. He has not played in enough games.
The most likely outcome for Drysdale is a bridge unless the Ducks are trying to lock him up long-term before his value really skyrockets. But it appears the Ducks are trying to get him done before Zegras.
What’s puzzling is the Ducks have plenty of cap space with $16 million left to use. Both guys can get done. Zegras is a little more tricky. He wants around $5 million on a bridge, while the Ducks are looking to give him somewhere in the $3-$4 million range. It will either be a two or three-year bridge deal.
The Ducks are playing with fire with such a young asset. Especially one that is so marketable and has the potential to be the face of the franchise. Again GM Pat Verbeek is very quiet and comes from the Steve Yzerman school of being hush on things.
Not to mention Verbeek saw how Yzerman handles the young players in Tampa Bay and Detroit. You know he took notice to give prove-it-bridge deals before making sure those players struck it big.
The issue for the Ducks is that Trevor Zegras has put up 60 points in back-to-back seasons. And with such a young team, he can grow with the younger players in camp. Thus he can ill-afford to miss camp as well.
But is Zegras a Pat Verbeek. He better be viewed that way. Or else there could be problems similar to what we saw in Montreal with management and P.K. Subban all those years ago.
The question remains, how long does this last? As mentioned in Part One, players trying to play catch up at a rapid pace always end of up getting hurt.
And for a guy like Drysdale, he can’t afford to miss any more time. As for Zegras, we knew his stance entering camp. It is so strange not to see either there. And now with Alex Killorn missing time, that offense just took another blow.
It will be interesting to see how the Ducks resolve the Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale dilemma because both players needed to be in camp yesterday.