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Ducks acquire center Adam Henrique for Sami Vatanen

By in Press Enterprise on November 30, 2017

By Eric Stephens

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ducks shook up a largely stagnant NHL trade market Thursday by sending defenseman Sami Vatanen to the New Jersey Devils for centers Adam Henrique and Joseph Blandisi, along with a 2018 third-round draft pick.

Long seen as a piece they could use to acquire some scoring help, Vatanen was moved as Ducks general manager Bob Murray pulled the trigger to get some significant help for a forward group decimated by injuries.

Murray also sent the Devils a conditional pick to acquire Henrique, a 2012 Calder Trophy finalist as a rookie who has four goals and 10 assists in 24 games with the Devils this season. Henrique, 27, had career highs of 30 goals and 50 points in 2015-16.

According to NJ.com, New Jersey will get the Ducks’ third-round selection in 2019 if Henrique signs a contract extension before that year’s draft. It will receive the Ducks’ third-rounder in 2020 if Henrique inks an extension after the draft. No pick will go to the Devils if the forward does not re-sign with Anaheim.

It is a “hockey deal” that Murray prefers to make. Henrique carries a $4 million salary-cap hit and is to be paid $5 million this season and $5.5 million in 2018-19 before his contract expires. Vatanen is in the second of a four-year, $19.5-million extension that he signed in the summer of 2016.

Five forwards that would fit on the Ducks’ top three lines – Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, Rickard Rakell, Ondrej Kase and Patrick Eaves – are currently out. Key two-way winger Jakob Silfverberg may be a question mark after sitting out the third period of Thursday’s 3-2 win over St. Louis because of an upper-body ailment.

And with the Ducks already playing grinders Derek Grant and Chris Wagner as their top two centers, Murray had to act as […]    

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