That is what every fan base asks themselves every summer. The big rush of free agency is now over and teams are settling down a little more now. So, Ducks fans, should you be satisfied with what GM Bob Murray has done to improve the hockey team?
Well, it all depends on what direction you think the team should take. It is obvious that this franchise is not a Cup contender, but also that this team isn’t in full on rebuilding mode. If the season started tomorrow, the Ducks would not have a playoff caliber team, that’s the bottom line. Their forward depth is not good, their defense should be a little better this year, and Jonas Hiller now has a full year post-vertigo to show what he can do, again. So, let’s look at the team right now.
The Ducks have lost four forwards if you count Teemu Selanne, while only bringing in one in Brad Staubitz. The remaining free agent group of forwards continues to shrink. It seems like the Ducks are done with the big signings this summer. So, how are they going to fill out the four forward lines? Well, guess it’s time for some young kids to get some time. Is this the right time to start bringing up a lot of prospects? Well, the way the team looks right now, there’s no other choice, but to play prospects.
Defensively, they are set. They have their starting six or top seven pretty much finished. However, the unit as a whole still isn’t one of the top units in the league or the conference. They lost Lubomir Visnovsky and Sheldon Brookbank, but have brought in Sheldon Souray, Bryan Allen and Jordan Hendry, so they have enough defenseman. However, the unit as whole is kind of older. Cam Fowler and Luca Sbisa are the only guys at the NHL level that are going to get any better. All the others have reached or are past their prime. They have tried to revamp their prospect pool in the blue line and now have some pretty decent defensive prospects.
Goaltending is looking pretty nice. Nothing really needed to be done except sure up the back up goaltending spot since it was time for Dan Ellis to move on. Jeff Deslauriers looked pretty decent last season and they signed swedish goalie Viktor Fasth who was the next Henrik Lundqvist over in Sweden. However, nobody is expecting him to make too big of a splash in North America.
This team is not a playoff team right now. Going into last season, the Ducks were thought to be a playoff team and ultimately, they were not good enough. So, naturally you would want the team to get better. The only thing is, though, that I don’t think this roster is better than last year. I do think the defense will be a bit better. Goaltending hasn’t really changed. Offensively, I was hoping for more aggressiveness. Does that mean that I wanted them to sign Parise? Sure, why not. Who wouldn’t love to have Zach Parise on their team. However, they were never really in on him. This offseason’s free agent class may be a little weaker than normal, but there still were solid options that the Ducks could have gone after.
Among players that are left are Alexander Semin, Shane Doan and Andrei Kostitsyn. However, all signs point to Murray and the Ducks being finished. There is still a lot of talk about a possible Bobby Ryan trade. I don’t blame Bobby if he wants to be traded, but I certainly don’t want him to get traded. A lot of fans have been pretty upset with GM Bob Murray lately. I am a bit upset with him about how he’s handled Bobby and how he wasn’t that aggressive going after free agent forwards.
So, should we be happy with free agency, so far? Yeah, the Ducks have made some moves, but have they made enough moves to get the team back in the playoffs, which is really the farthest this team can reach? I don’t think so. I am not happy enough with they have done. They needed to add scoring above anything else, in my opinion, and they haven’t addressed that at all. They must be expecting some rookies to be a significant part of the offense. Next summer, however, is supposed to be a bigger and better free agent class, so maybe they’re just being patient. Then again, that can’t be the case because they’re going to have to spend a lot of money on resigning Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry next summer. In the end, I want this team to be successful and to win as much as they can every year. As of this summer, I don’t think this team is going to win too much.
Should we be satisfied/happy with what the Ducks have done this offseason? My answer is no.
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Tags: Alexander Semin Anaheim Ducks Andrei Kostitsyn Bob Murray Bobby Ryan Brad Staubitz Bryan Allen Cam Fowler Corey Perry Dan Ellis Henrik Lundqvist Jeff Deslauriers Jonas Hiller Jordan Hendry Lubomir Visnovsky Luca Sbisa Ryan Getzlaf Shane Doan Sheldon Brookbank Sheldon Souray Teemu Selanne Viktor Fasth Zach Parise