The Anaheim Ducks have reportedly re-signed Korbinian Holzer to a one-year deal. Assuming the report is accurate, the addition of Holzer gives them nine defensemen for next season, including restricted free agent Hampus Lindholm and youngster Shea Theodore.
Nine defensemen is, of course, too many defensemen, which is why many still believe that Cam Fowler will be traded at some point in the offseason. Fowler himself has said he expected to be dealt and was “honestly pretty surprised” it didn’t happen during draft weekend.
For GM Bob Murray, an alternative to trading Fowler would be trying to move Kevin Bieksa or Clayton Stoner. However, that might not be possible, since Bieksa has a no-movement clause and Stoner may not have a market.
Fowler, just 24 years old, could net the Ducks a nice return.
“When I saw how Cam Fowler was able to have a presence at the NHL level as an 18-year-old, and to watch his development to where he is today, he’s a prototype NHL defenseman.” said head coach Randy Carlyle, per the Ducks’ website. “He has great qualities. He can skate, move the puck and get involved with the rush. He’s a joy to coach.”
In the end, the solution may be as simple as putting Holzer on waivers or keeping Theodore in the minors.
But a Fowler trade is the move that everyone’s watching for. Because remember, it’s not just about the Ducks having too many defensemen for next season; it’s also about the expansion draft and the fact he can become an unrestricted free agent in two years.