The Anaheim Ducks didn’t have the season they were hoping for in 2009-2010 and they hope for better next season. Unfortunately, Bob Murray can’t get a head start on his roster moves, again! He has to wait for Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne to decide whether or not they will be returning for another season with the Ducks. Selanne has hinted throughout his injury plagued season that he will lean towards retirement, but with the Finnish Flash still being able to produce, he would be good for a 2-million dollar signing.
The first order of business for the Ducks is the draft in two weeks. They will be picking 12th overall and if defenseman Derek Forbort is still available, look for the Ducks to pick him. He would fill a void on their always aging blue line.
Next order of business, if you can call it that, is signing RFA Bobby Ryan. I say that because there is no reason that they shouldn’t sign the young star. He will be a part of the Ducks core for years to come; along with line mates Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf.
Up front the Ducks are respectable. They have one of the best first lines in the league and Joffrey Lupul and Jason Blake can add some good secondary scoring.
The blue line is where the most changes will come this off-season. With only three NHL ready d-men under contract for next season (assuming Niedermayer doesn’t come back). If they don’t fix those holes, it can prove to be deadly for the Ducks. Hopefully Luca Sbissa can make the full time jump to the bigs and help the thin blue line and relieve Murray of some pressure to sign or trade for some D.
It will be a busy off-season for the Ducks, but look for them to be in the playoffs next year if they get the D they need.
Here is a list of free agents that the Ducks should look at, in order of importance:
List is assuming that Niedermayer and Selanne are back for another season.
1) Anton Volchenkov
2) Dan Hamhuis
3) Niclas Wallin
All are relatively young and affordable.
I will release a complete list of MY 2010-2011 roster in the next week.
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Written by Dan Caristo