It's been almost a week since the trade deadline, and I'm still frustrated with the moves Bob Murray made. At the end of the day I was angry, and confused to where the Ducks stood in the Western Conference.
I decided to calm down and think logically about the moves that were made. Before I break it down, here is a list of who is in, and who is out.
IN: Ryan Whitney, Petteri Nokelainen, Erik Christensen, Nick Bonino, Timo Pielmeier, James Wisniewski, and Petri Kontiola.
OUT: Chris Kunitz, Steve Montador, Eric O'Dell, Sami Pahlsson, Logan Stephenson, Travis Moen, Kent Huskins, and Brendan Morrison.
I think it's safe to say that the “OUT” list is considerably more talented than the “IN” list, naturally making the Ducks sellers. I'm not sure how many teams in the past have been sellers on trade deadline day when they were in 6th place in the conference, but I can bet not too many.
Today everyone says that the transactions made in the the post lockout era,Â can't be compared to the pre-lockout moves. It's rare today to see pure hockey trades without taking money and term in to account. An example such a trade was the Kunitz/Whitney trade. It was a move that helped both teams immediately. I know that Kunitz was a fundamental part of the Ducks offense, but Whitney is a highly talented young defenseman who has potential to be a number one defenseman in the league.
Aside from the Whitney/Kunitz trade, the DucksÂ got rid ofÂ five UFA's and two prospects. They receivedÂ three prospects and three RFA's (Nokelainen, Christensen, and Wisniewski).Â They also got rid of some salary, but not enough to label it aÂ ”salary dump”. I'm assuming that Murray spoke with the players' representatives and saw no chance in re-signing them, forcing him to move them and get something in return. At least I hope that's the case.
The biggest newsÂ was a move that was not made.Â Chris Pronger was rumored to be out of Anaheim and most likely end up in Boston or St. Louis. When the deal was made for Whitney, it looked like Pronger's days were numbered.Â In the early morning of deadline day, the Ducks put those rumors to rest. They assured the veteran defenseman that he'll remain a Duck for at least the remainder of the season.
This is the part I don't get. Why wasn't Pronger traded? Does Murray know that Scott Niedermayer will not return next season? Does he believe that the Pronger stock will be higher on draft day, or anytime in the offseason? Or were the offers simply not good enough? The Bruins were rumored to to be offering a first round pick, Zach Hamill (8th overall in the '07 draft), and either Phil Kessel or Patrice Bergeron. As I said, these are rumors and are not official offers. But if that happens to be true, I don't see an offer getting any better than that one. Hopefully I'm proven wrong.
Realistically the Ducks will need to win 11 out of the last 16 to make the playoffs. Most Ducks fans are starting to face reality, and realize that this is going to get worse before it gets better.
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Written by Dan Caristo