The Anaheim Ducks exit interviews are always likened to the last day of school, but without all the excitement and anticipation for summer.
It’s true that the Ducks had a rather disappointing exit from this year’s playoffs, but this is still going to be an exciting summer for a team looking to get better.
Anaheim fell short in the playoffs and Bob Murray and company will be looking to fix things.
Murray reflected such in his interview with the press.
“Power play bothered me all year, and I would say the play in our own zone bothered me all year because that’s why you’re behind. As you saw in that last game, there were some big mistakes made. So it’s, How do we go about fixing that?”
When asked if it was a matter of just needing “one piece” Murray responded with:
“’Piece is a tough word. I know the year we won [the Cup], we made a big move in getting Chris Pronger. That was the piece. Are we that close? We didn’t get to the [conference final], so that would be tough for me to say.”
From the sound of it, Murray will be looking more to his younger players to improve and step up rather than making any big trades or roster changes.
When asked about making moves during the Draft, Murray said, “ I don’t think I’ll offer as much for certain pieces as I did at the trade deadline. I definitely tried very hard to add something, and it didn’t work. We offered a lot, but I don’t know if we’ll go that far this time.”
This seems to be an allusion to the rumors that Anaheim was trying to get Ryan Kesler at the trade deadline.
One thing that is all but certain is that incumbent goaltender Jonas Hiller will not be returning next year.
In addressing the press Hiller said, “There is probably a real good chance that I’ve played my last game with the Ducks.”
“I like our two young goaltenders a lot, I’ll tell you that,” said Murray, “I’m very pleased with the progress they made this year.”
Hiller was saddened by the idea of leaving the Anaheim organization, but remained optimistic about the idea of starting somewhere new.
“If I get a chance to play somewhere else, I’m excited to have a new challenge and be in a new environment. I’m looking forward to that,” said Hiller.
Koivu was another big topic of conversation.
When asked about his return Koivu told reporters that he would take a few weeks off, away from hockey, to think about his future.
Koivu says, “It has to work both ways. At this age, I don’t want to come back if I’m not wanted, like if the role is not what you value and what you’re going for. The team has to feel the same way.”
Both Bruce Boudreau and Murray did not have an answer as to what their plans for Koivu might be in the future. The subject would be discussed over the coming weeks.
Not much was revealed in the way of injuries.
Matt Beleskey was taken out due to a torn abdominal muscle and it is still unknown if he will need surgery to repair it.
Frederik Andersen told reporters that he had an MCL sprain in his right leg.
Of the injuries, Getzlaf says “Nothing ever heals in the playoffs. It’s about working through things, and making sure your body is ready to play.”
A lot of disappointment was expressed over the team’s effort in their Game 7 against the Kings.
Everyone agreed that they could do better as a team and that they could use this as motivation to improve next season.
Cam Fowler said, “I’ve played for four years and have two Game 7 losses. If that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is.”
Overall, the exit interviews expressed a positive outlook for the future of the organization despite an abrupt and disappointing exit this year.
Murray reflected such sentiments in saying, “I’m not satisfied. There’s definitely positives, and we took a step forward. But there’s a sour taste right now.”
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