Joël Bouchard could land with the Ducks much sooner than expected...

Jeff Drouin
October 17, 2021  (9:14)

A rather strange situation has arisen with the Anaheim Ducks. Forward Derek Grant has been submitted to the waivers by the Anaheim Ducks. This may seem like a harmless personnel move, but this decision raises several question marks.

Why did they do it? The Ducks lost 2-1 to the Minnesota Wild on Friday and guess which forward was used the most for the California team. BINGO, it's Derek Grant! The number 38 spent no less than 17 minutes on the ice against the Wild, 3 minutes more than the jewel of the organization Trevor Zegras and about a minute more than his closest competitor, Jakob Silfverberg.
Dallas Eakins, the Ducks' head coach, is literally a fan of using his fourth trio extensively. That's okay, but to a point. The Ducks are rebuilding and they need to see their young forwards progress. What's the best way to get your youngsters to progress? You have to play them! How can a young player improve and gain confidence if they are stuck on the bench?
In short, with the decision to draft Grant, one has to wonder if the Ducks staff is at odds with head coach Dallas Eakins. Derek Grant was literally one of Eakins' favorites, and the organization decided to suddenly pull him after all the playing time yesterday. The organization had turned a blind eye to this type of practice by Eakins last year, but the Ducks staff seems to want to go in a different direction going forward.
My assumption is that the organization most likely wanted to send some kind of message to head coach Dallas Eakins. The Ducks want to see their youngsters develop and Eakins continues to use his fourth trio veterans extensively. Eakins doesn't seem to be the right man for the Ducks since last year. He's been on the hot seat for quite some time.
Moreover, the organization seems to like the new kid a lot. Does a certain Joël Bouchard ring a bell? The Quebecer is currently in charge of the San Diego Gulls, the Ducks' training club, but I wouldn't be surprised if Bob Murray called on him before long. In my opinion, Bouchard's style would fit better with the Ducks, as he is excellent at developing young players.
This is all speculation, but it's a very inexplicable situation.
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