Irresponsible Rumormongering

Trade Target: Josh Manson

josh manson

The defensemen on the Ducks have been a topic of conversation all year. Cam Fowler was the rumored odd man out, but Bob McKenzie said he has been so good for the Ducks he’s practically untradeable. With that in mind, I thought I’d revive a little idea we had on the podcast some while back as it pertains to fixing this blue line: trading for Josh Manson.

You see, the Ducks are in a bind. They have a fairly stacked blueline, plus need to protect Kevin Bieksa in the upcoming expansion draft due to his NMC. They can’t protect all of Fowler, Bieksa, Manson, Sami Vatanen, and Hampus Lindholm, so it stands to reason that one of them will end up being traded or the Ducks risk losing them for nothing. While there’s  certainly a chance that ends up being Vatanen, I’ll save that hype-train for Dave, who more or less is his biggest fan. Instead, let’s imagine that Manson is the odd man out here.

Let’s start with the most obvious benefits of trading for Manson – he’s young and right handed (he’s also good, but we’ll get to that later). The Rangers desperately need a top-pairing right-handed defenseman to play alongside Ryan McDonagh, and Manson has done a pretty good job holding things down with Hampus Lindholm (who I’d really do dumb things to acquire, but I really don’t think that’s happening). Dan Girardi simply doesn’t cut it these days (or most days last year, or the year before that…) and given the season that McDonagh is currently having, he could likely jump to a whole new level with a competent defense partner.

Now the other thing that I mentioned is that he’s young. This doesn’t get talked about that much with our blue line, as the focus tends to be on their on-ice performance. It needs to be said though – the Rangers defense is old. With such a nice youth movement going on at forward that it’s easy to forget, but Girardi and Kevin Klein are both over 30, Marc Staal is exactly 30, and Nick Holden is 29. Even if these guys were performing well, it still would bode ill for the future, as youth is an essential part of any roster construction. If Brady Skjei and Ryan Graves are the only young defensemen, then you’re looking at an old blue line for a few years. Manson, who is 25, helps that.

As far as numbers go, Manson has the 23rd best raw CF% in the league  (minimum 520 minutes) at 53.10%, and the fourth best relCF% at 5.35%. His xGF% is 5th best in the league, just behind PK Subban at 56.86%. For those of you unfamiliar with expected Goals For (xGF%), it’s a weighted stat that takes into account things like shot type and location to calculate the expected goals for a given player, and xGF% is then taking that same metric as a percentage. You can read more about it on the blog section of,

As far as individual offensive production goes of course, Manson isn’t quite as impressive, coming in fairly middle of the pack with a P/60 0.59. Combine that with his solid shot stats, and you get a solid, responsible, steady defenseman. Certainly something the Rangers lack on the right side.

Now granted, a lot of this has to do with playing alongside Hampus Lindholm, who in my mind is one of the best young defensemen in the league. This shouldn’t be a knock on Manson however, given that were he to make it to Broadway his most natural place in the lineup would be alongside Ryan McDonagh, a league-wide name and talent. Anaheim finds themselves in a tricky spot with this expansion draft looming, and depending on how they forecast things, Manson may be on the trading block. If that’s the case the Rangers need to make a push to sign him.

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        • A cost controlled young potential 1st pairing right handed defenseman for a 4th line player straight up? Just because they might lose him for nothing at the end of the season doesn’t mean they trade him for nothing and therefore make their team far weaker for the rest of the season.

          • All I’m doing is trying to answer your question, it’s a possibility that’s all……..I’m not saying it will happen!!!!!!

        • Walt/Reenavilpul,

          If cap and fear of losing him for nothing is a reason, I would think they move someone who makes more than elc for this season and next.

          If Rangers were against the cap and Skjei was not excluded from the draft, would you trade him for a Fast/Lindberg typ of player? Absolutely not and neither will the Ducks. I dont know alot about Manson but his contract, minutes played, and their cap suggests he doesnt move. If he were it be for alot more than a fast or lindberg.

  • I like your thought process on this idea. Manson is solid. I see him a lot living in So Cal. One issue I see is Anaheim is really up against the Cap. They are going to have to make some tough decisions, but it’s hard to see them parting with a solid cost controlled asset. They run on a tight budget but they may buy out Bieksa if need be to save the others.

  • I don’t know too much about Manson, but based on your thread, I’d jump at him in a heart beat, for the right price.

    Cost controlled, young, right handed first pair guy who is more, or less a stay at home guy. Matched with Mac Truck, Ryan could explode with his offensive game. If he is the d-man traded for, next season we could have both Manson, Shatty, and possibly another young d-man on the right side. I don’t see Girardi, or Klein being with us next year. The left side could be Mac, Graves, and Nick, now that would be a fairly good defense, a heck of a lot younger than what we are playing today.

    I won’t get too excited until after the summer to see what kind of a line up we actually have, and at what cost to get there !!!!!!!!!!

  • Couldn’t agree more, the Rangers should go after some young assets on defence. With the stable of great talent up top, the Rangers could use the cap space to resign them all. This means dumping Rick Nash and Kevin Klein contracts and the time to do it is at the trade deadline.

  • My friend Gene who lives in Arizona has mentioned Manson constantly so you will make him very happy with this article, lol.

    • lol, Hey buddy….this article replicates what I told you weeks ago about my wish for the Rangers to get Josh Manson. 25 yr. old RHD who is underrated, steady, physical defensive man we desperately need.

      We need younger defensive man on the NHL level and we need to re-stock the farm on the blueline.

      His dad played in the NHL for the Maple leafs i believe.

      a top 4 of McD-Mason, Shattenkirk and Skjei would be a nice start to re-tooling the blueline toward a cup run in the future.

  • There’s no rush for Anaheim. They can trade him after the SCF and not lose him for nothing, and still have him help the team the rest of the season. Unless they get blown away, there’s no way they trade him at the deadline.

  • I dont watch alot of Ducks games so I dont have much of an opinion on Mansons game. That being said why would a team against the cap move a player who is playing top minutes and cap hit next season is only 800k.

    Personally I think they move Vatenan first, if its all about not being able to protect them all. Due to the cap situation.

  • Another way to look at the fragile Defense Corp:

    Is Girardi tradeable at the deadline or in the off season?
    Is Stall going to retire or accept a buyout after 3 concussions?

    After this year:
    Girardi 10mil/3y
    Stall 15mil/4y

    • For Girardi to be traded an a positive asset has to be moved, if salary is retained its possible. No player has an option to decline a buyout.

  • I don’t know what a reasonable price would be, but I would be willing to trade Vesey for Manson and even add a pick if that’s needed. Anaheim need good, cheap forwards and we need defensemen. Given our extreme forward depth I think it’s a fair offer.

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