Josh Manson is a veteran right shot defenseman capable of playing hard minutes against the other team’s best players. There is nothing about Manson’s game that is fun to play against. He’s 6’3″ and 220 lbs, physical and mean, blocks shots, kills penalties, sticks up for teammates, and plays a style of hockey that is conducive to playoff success.
You’re not going to get much offense out of Manson but that’s just what he’s asked to do. In terms of statistical value, among all Ducks defensemen, he is second in hits/60, first in 5v5 CF%, first in 5v5 high danger chance differential, and has been on the ice for the fewest 5v5 GA/60 (all stats via hockey-reference.com and naturalstattrick.com).
He’s the kind of defenseman that opposing forwards just don’t like getting close to, and the Leafs could use a guy who has that kind of presence.
Manson’s absence correlates with the Ducks regression and is certainly a factor in them falling out of the playoff race. With Manson in the lineup, the Ducks are 21-15-7 this year. Without Manson, they are 4-7-1.
Simply put, Manson is clearly the Ducks’ defensive anchor, and they have really missed him during his stint on the IR.
What would the acquisition cost be? You would have to think that it starts with a first round pick and a good prospect. If Anaheim retains salary, then the price goes up. The Leafs may also need to have the Ducks take a contract to make the salaries work, such as Holl, Dermott, or even Kerfoot.
Would you be ok with Dubas sending Holl, a first, and a prospect to the Ducks for a playoff run that includes Josh Manson in the top 4? Is that a fair price?
I think the answer to all of the above is yes if the Leafs get past the first round of the playoffs. The answer is no if they don’t. Personally, I’m kind of all-in here, and I’m not sure if the defense is good enough as currently constructed.
It would hurt, but I would do it.
This is the era of Auston Matthews. You do everything you can to win while he is under contract for your team.