Ducks at the Deadline: Much Ado About Almost Nothing

GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 23: Chris Kelly
GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 23: Chris Kelly /
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Pucks of a Feather’s reaction to the Anaheim Ducks recent disappointing roster moves.

Wait a second, that’s it? The Ducks signed Chris Kelly and swapped Chris Wagner for Jason Chimera at the NHL trade deadline. That isn’t the “we’re going for it” mentality Ducks fans were anxious to see from General Manager Bob Murray at today’s trade deadline. From the outside, it looks like the best Anaheim did was to rearrange the deck chairs on The Titanic for somewhat older deck chairs.

Chris Kelly is coming off an underwhelming run as captain of the bronze medal winning Team Canada. Very hard to believe that his performance merited a prorated $1.25M contract. By all accounts, Kelly is a good character guy, locker rooms could always use more players like that. The question from a talent standpoint is how does he make this team better on the ice?

I like Jason Chimera. He plays a smart game and he hustles. At 38 years old, his hustle may not be good enough to overcome the step he has lost. I don’t see how he can help this team succeed. Additionally, he is scoreless in his last 21 appearances. This comment from MSG Network’s Stan Fischler on twitter sums up the deal nicely.

Going Forward

Murray said two weeks ago, that he didn’t think this team was worth investing in. To be fair, he was true to his word. At the very least, a more mobile defender than Francois Beauchemin would have been a help. Montreal got a fourth-round pick for Joe Morrow, Anaheim could have done that or sent a minor prospect back.

There are a few questions that today’s non-actions bring up:

If Murray thinks these guys aren’t good enough to upgrade, where does he go from here?

Does he believe the prospects in the pipeline are so good, they shouldn’t be traded for immediate help?

By adding Kelly and Chimera a team that already had Vermette, Beauchemin, and Kevin Bieksa, is there a meat and two restaurant that offers a bulk discount for the early bird meal?

Before this trade, Anaheim had four players; Wagner, Antoine Vermette, JT Brown, and Derek Grant, for three spots on the fourth line. Now they have five players for those three spots. What Murray has done the past 24 hours doesn’t make the Ducks any better. Meanwhile, the other contenders for a Pacific Division playoff spot made significant acquisitions.