The Anaheim Ducks do not have the salary cap flexibility to truly enter the rental market as the trade deadline quickly approaches, but that doesn't mean they're not exploring their options.
Ducks GM Bob Murray is on the lookout for the right deal, but acquiring a short-term asset seems to be out of the equation.
Murray told NHL.com on Sunday that he is looking to make a "hockey trade," and it's possible such a move includes one of his defensemen, whom several teams covet.
A trade is not yet imminent, but talks could intensify in the next nine days.
The Ducks have been in the market for a top-line left wing for several months, but the cost would likely include one of the team's top young defensemen.
With Hampus Lindholm and Cam Fowler off the table, the Ducks could potentially part with one of Sami Vatanen, Josh Manson, Brandon Montour or one of the team's defensive prospects.
However, only Vatanen ($4.875 million) comes with a salary cap hit over $1 million and any deal involving Manson or Montour, or one of the club's prospects, would have to include another roster player to accommodate any salary cap overages.
The Ducks have shown interest in Toronto Maple Leafs left wing James van Riemsdyk, Buffalo Sabres left wing Evander Kane and Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog, among others, at different points in the season.