May 10, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Anaheim Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy (6) skates with the puck against the Detroit Red Wings in game six of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
One of the four defenseman UFA’s for the Anaheim Ducks has resigned with the club earlier this afternoon. Ben Lovejoy has signed a three year contract worth reportedly $3.3 million. Lovejoy joined the Ducks in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins in early February which sent a fifth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
In 32 games with the Ducks, Lovejoy finished second on the team among defenseman in assists (10). Then, in the playoffs, Lovejoy tallied 2 assists and was arguably the Ducks’ best defenseman against the Detroit Red Wings. He was a total steal and earned the pay raise he got with this contract. It is the first contract in Lovejoy’s career worth over a million dollars. Now, the Ducks are becoming increasingly strapped for salary space. However, I would say that this guy is worth the cap space. Unfortunately, the Ducks still have some more UFA’s to worry about and the ever present Bobby Ryan trade rumors. Also have to think about the possible retirements of Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu. Will they want to come back? There’s also a possibility of fellow defenseman Luca Sbisa being shipped off as well. That might be more of a need with Lovejoy signing this contract. However, I would say that Sbisa has been plagued with inconsistency and might be worth a possible trade. I wanted to see Lovejoy resign and am happy to see he has. I would like to see him get more ice time next year than what he got last year and he certainly should now that he’s making a million a year.