Pretty interesting tidbit here from Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos, discussing if Anaheim would consider moving breakout scoring sensation Matt Beleskey:
“Well how about a 19-goal scorer in Matt Beleskey. Believe it or not, there is talk that Anaheim may move him. Very seldom do you see a Stanley Cup contending team make such a bold move, but the fact remains he’s an unrestricted free agent.
“They’re not even close to term or money. He knows long-term that he’ll get a better deal somewhere else. So maybe the time is to move him now.”
We’ve written quite a bit about Beleskey’s out-of-nowhere campaign, in which he’s scored a career-high 19 goals — second on the Ducks to Corey Perry, tied for 18th in the NHL. Back in early January, agent Murray Kuntz began negotiations with Anaheim GM Bob Murray on a new deal; Beleskey, who’s in the final year of a deal that pays $1.35 million annually, is probably in line for a significant raise given he’s only 26 and could be one of the bigger names to hit the open market this season.
That said, Beleskey wants to stay in Anaheim.
“You do think about the future,” he explained, per the O.C. Register. “I want nothing more than to stay in Anaheim. I’ve never been anywhere else and I don’t think there’s a reason to go anywhere else.
“This is where I’d like to be. Hopefully we’ll see what happens.”
The concern for the Ducks is available money down the road. Committing too much (or, too many years) to Beleskey could be an issue given the slew of young players that’ll need contracts in the future: Jakob Silfverberg is an RFA this summer and, in ’16, Anaheim will have a ton of work to do with Frederik Andersen, Kyle Palmieri, Sami Vatanen, Hampus Lindholm, Rickard Rakell and Devante Smith-Pelly all going restricted.
One also wonders if the Ducks — head coach Bruce Boudreau specifically — think Beleskey is really worth the money. There’s no denying his goal production is tied to extended minutes on a line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry; there was also a curious moment in mid-January when Boudreau made Beleskey a healthy scratch.