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December 31, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks center Saku Koivu (11) moves the puck against the San Jose Sharks during the second period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Anaheim Ducks Won't Bring Back Koivu, Hiller

Earlier today in a press conference, Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray announced that he would not be offering contracts to Saku Koivu and Jonas Hiller.

Daniel Winnik, a forward brought in by Murray back in the summer of 2012, will also not return.

The choice to not offer Koivu a contract was a tough move for Murray.

“It was the hardest decision of the three,” Murray said. “He had a great career. We just have younger guys pushing for spots.”

Murray also stated that younger players are pushing Winnik out the door as well.

“He gave us a great two years. As I said, we just have younger players pushing for spots.”

With players such as Devante Smith-Pelly, Emerson Etem, and Rickard Rakell ready to make their mark in Anaheim, the announcement shouldn’t come as a surprise to Ducks fans.

Koivu played five seasons for the Ducks. He finished with 11 goals and 18 assists in his final season in Anaheim after spending majority of his career with the Montreal Canadiens.

Winnik, 29, put up a career-high 30 points this past season.

After spending his entire 7-year career in Anaheim, Hiller will be searching for a new team as well. The Ducks starting netminder at the beginning of the season struggled down the stretch, losing his No. 1 title to rookies Frederik Andersen and John Gibson.

With Andersen and Gibson ready to stay in Anaheim for a full season in front of Hiller, Murray said that it was time for both parties to move on.

“He gave us a great five years, but we have young guys pushing for that spot. The writing was on the wall.”

During the press conference, Murray told the media that he is in talks with Mathieu Perreault about returning to Anaheim next season.

Today’s moves will be the first of many as the NHL Draft and free agency period loom in the coming weeks.

What do you think about the decision to not offer Koivu, Hiller, and Winnik contracts?

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Tags: Anaheim Ducks Daniel Winnik Jonas Hiller Saku Koivu

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