With that said, what are the best possible destinations for the goaltender? Gibson is 29 years old and has been in the league for almost ten years. He set a career-high with 26 wins during the 2017-2018 season.
Gibson wants out, but will the Anaheim Ducks accommodate him?
Gibson has played his entire career with Anaheim after being selected by the Ducks in the second round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft (39th overall). Gibson had been an elite goaltender early in his career but has faltered the past few seasons.
The reason for his slight decline has been the Ducks’ roster and their inability to score and get wins. Last season, Gibson had a record of 14-31-8 with a GAA of 3.99 and a save percentage of .899 with one shutout.
Gibson played much better than his record indicates and was the primary reason Anaheim had 23 wins. There are teams that still need a number one goaltender, but which one of those teams will have enough pieces to complete a trade?
With a projected cap space of $8.779 million (all cap projections are according to CapFriendly), they do have the money to give him a new contract. With Jusse Saros likely heading out, there may be an option there to flip the picks Nashville would get and put those into a trade for Gibson.
Nashville may have to do this to upgrade their goaltending position and give Gibson a change of scenery. He could get back to his early playing days if put in the right situation. Nashville has a better overall team, and that could play a factor in him bettering his overall stats.
What goes to Anaheim in the trade? The Ducks need a bit of everything as they continue to rebuild and get better in a difficult Pacific Division.
The Kraken are on their way up and could use a good one-two punch in net. While the Kraken do have Philipp Grubauer, John Gibson may be an upgrade in that position.
A goaltending duo of Grubauer and Gibson could be exactly what the Kraken needs to be in the elite category as they continue to rise into the upper category of NHL teams.
They have made a quick rise in only a couple of seasons, and a trade like this could really elevate them into serious contenders. Seattle does have a projected cap space of $14.493, and that could be beneficial in giving Gibson a new contract.
The Sabres have goaltending prospect Devon Levi and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen at the top of their goaltending list.
Levi is the best goaltending prospect in their system and may split time between Buffalo and their AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans, as he sets up for his NHL career. Luukkonen has played well in his games in the Buffalo net, but he is not ready for a full-time, number-one spot.
Gibson could come in and be that number one goaltender, while giving Levi time to get comfortable and Luukkonen games once in a while. Buffalo is a quickly-rising team with plenty of young talent, so Gibson would make sense here, giving them a strong, veteran presence in between the pipes.
Buffalo does have the smallest amount of projected cap space of these three teams but also makes the most sense if a trade did happen.