It was a roller coaster season that ended in disappointment for the Ducks. They were hoping to build off of their second round elimination in the 2009 season, but it was clear from the start of the year that the loss of Chris Pronger took it’s tole on the team. The moves made during the off-season did not bring the success that was expected, which made it tough for the organization to build on any momentum from last year.
Following the Pronger trade, Ryan Whitney was expected to handle some of the load he left behind. Unfortunately, Whitney’s tenure was a short one. In a surprising move, he was shipped off to Edmonton for 32 year old, Lubomir Visnovsky. While he was an upgrade on the offensive side, he has little to no toughness to his game. So in the end, losing Pronger, an all around D man, was devastating for the Ducks.
The off-season signing of Saku Koivu was supposed to be a great compliment to Teemu Selanne. The two Finn’s were expected to contribute offensively and alleviate some of the pressure from the Getzlaf, Perry and Ryan line. Koivu brought 56 points in 71 games but got off to a slow start.
It wasn’t all bad news for the Ducks during the ’09-10 season. The emergence of Dan Sexton and Kyle Chipchura was a pleasant surprise for the Ducks. Perry, Getzlaf and Ryan all continued their development and were one of the leagues most dynamic lines.
Individually, Ducks players had some success and received some hardware. Getzlaf, Perry, Ryan, Koivu and Selanne all received Olympic medals. There was also a huge milestone this season. Teemu Selanne became the 18th member of the exclusive 600 goal club. In dramatic fashion, the future Hall of Famer was able to achieve the milestone at home, in front of the Ducks faithful.
The end of the season trades allowed the Ducks to prepare for a busy off-season in 2010. With the uncertainty of what Scott Niedermayer’s future plans are, the Ducks may have only four D men under contract this summer and one goalie.
Although the didn’t end how the Ducks were hoping, with some good draft picking and solid free agent signings, they should bounce back for at least a playoff birth next year.
Coming soon: Ducks draft options & potential free agent signings.
About the Author
Written by Dan Caristo