Before I comment about the Ducks off-season moves, I'd like to apologize for not updating my blog throughout the summer. I spent the summer traveling and was unable to consistently get to a computer. But I'm back now and ready to get the season started!
After the Ducks lost to the Wings in May, I wondered what GM Bob Murray had planned for the summer. I also wondered if Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermayer have played their last game in the NHL. After it was all said and done, I couldn't be happier with the moves Murray made. The Pronger trade was a hard pill to swallow, but you can't complain with what they got in return. Joffrey Lupul adds some much needed secondary scoring, while Luca Sbisa is a great, young, puck moving defenseman with high potential. Not only did they get two roster players, they also received some extremely valuable draft picks.
Although, in my opinion, the best move made by the Ducks this summer was the signing of Saku Koivu. The veteran fits in perfectly on the second line with Selanne and Lupul. (Assuming they keep the first line together) Koivu brings in veteran leadership, along with a contagious gritty work ethic, night in and night out. And just like Selanne and Niedermayer, he finds a way to elevate his game when it counts most.
The only hole remaining for the Ducks is on the back end. If they can somehow trade JS Giguere, they would have plenty of cap space to get a top four D man in return. With Pronger and Beauchemin out, it will be tough to replace that toughness. Nick Boynton will need to really pick up some of the slack.
In all, the biggest problem last year was scoring goals. Now that the Getzlaf line has some backup, goals should not be a problem anymore.
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Written by Dan Caristo