Pending UFA and breakout scoring sensation Matt Beleskey is still an Anaheim Duck, having stayed put through yesterday’s trade deadline — despite serious interest form other teams.
To hear Beleskey’s agent explain it, staying put is a good thing. Anaheim is where Beleskey wants to be long-term, and now the two sides can keep negotiating a new deal.
“We continue to work through the process,” Beleskey’s agent, Murray Kuntz, told PHT via email on Tuesday. “Matt’s priority is to remain in Anaheim for many years to come.
“Hopefully we can make that happen.”
Beleskey is currently sidelined with a shoulder ailment, one of the few negatives in an otherwise stellar campaign. The 26-year-old has 21 goals this season — more than Sidney Crosby, Jeff Carter and Marian Hossa — which has added a bonafide offensive component to his gritty, hardworking game.
That, combined with his contractual status, made Beleskey a prized target on Monday.
ESPN reported several teams called Ducks GM Bob Murray about making a deal, and CSNNE suggested the Bruins were among the interested parties. Once Monday’s dust settled and Beleskey remained a Duck, Murray confirmed there were suitors looking to bring him aboard.
“You’re torn, but I felt that for this hockey team it was more important to keep Matt and take our chances in the future,” Murray said, per the L.A. Daily News. “We’ll see what happens in the summer.
“He’s an important part of our team. I got asked [by other GMs about trading Beleskey]. I just wasn’t going to do it.”
In light of this, it’ll be interesting to see what Beleskey’s next deal will look like. The Ducks clearly value him, but at what price? It’s also worth noting Murray has numerous key players needing new contracts both this offseason and the next, including a slew of RFAs (Emerson Etem and Jakov Silfverberg this summer; Sami Vatanen, Hampus Lindholm, Kyle Palmieri, Rickard Rakell, Jiri Sekac and Simon Despres the one following.)