Anaheim Ducks: 6 Things on Bob Murray’s Offseason To-Do List

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Anaheim Ducks
ST. PAUL, MN – FEBRUARY 19: Derek Grant #38 of the Anaheim Ducks congratulates Ryan Miller #30 of the Anaheim Ducks on his shutout victory over the Minnesota Wild after a game at Xcel Energy Center on February 19, 2019, in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Make a Decision About 2018-19 Free Agents

The Anaheim Ducks only have four pending UFA’s on their current roster. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Chad Johnson won’t be returning with the Anaheim Ducks. Doubt surrounds Korbinian Holzer and Derek Grant‘s future with the team as well. Ryan Miller seems to be the only player who has a possibility of signing a contract extension with the club.

While four players does not seem overwhelming, that does not account for the 11 non-roster forwards and defenseman currently in the Anaheim Ducks organization that are free agents this summer. Kalle Kossila, Justin Kloos, Ben Street, Sam Carrick, Kevin Roy, Adam Cracknell, Chase De Leo, Andy Welinski, Keaton Thompson, Jaycob Megna, and Jake Dotchin‘s future with the Anaheim Ducks need to be addressed.

My best guess is that Jake Dotchin is out. Dotchin’s temper got him into a lot of trouble this past season, finding himself in the sin bin more often than not. If you thought Nick Ritchie had a bad temper, Dotchin had a total of 107 PIM between his split season with the Ducks and the Gulls.

Ben Street was a decent pick up for the Ducks. His presence didn’t have a big impact for the parent club this season, although his first NHL goal was great. He was, however, a great asset for the Gulls, posting 26 points in 32 games. He won’t be back with the Ducks next season, but he could find a nice home in San Diego.

Keaton Thompson and Justin Kloos are both AHL players, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they’re kept around with the San Diego Gulls. Adam Cracknell, Sam Carrick, and Kalle Kossila will also likely be brought back to spend most of their time with the Gulls, but will also aid the Ducks should anyone be injured.

Kevin Roy is the kind of player that could do great things at an NHL level, but due to his rough start in Anaheim with injuries and a severely clogged roster, he hasn’t been put into a position that is conducive to his productivity or development. If Bob Murray feels he can make room for the young forward, it is worth giving him another chance. However, it would be unfair to Roy, with all of his potential, to hold him back.

Chase De Leo has been a wonderful pick up for the organization, and although he only played one game with the Anaheim Ducks this season, he had a phenomenal season with the Gulls. It would be great to see the SoCal native be given a chance with the big club. Nevertheless, he is in a similar situation to Roy. He has so much potential but not enough opportunity with the Ducks organization.

With the likely exit of Holzer and Dotchin, there is an open spot for the Anaheim Ducks 7th Dman, and both Welinski and Megna could possibly be in the running to take that spot; although with more NHL experience, it would likely be Welinski. However, there are also several other defensemen currently in the organization poised to take that position. If neither of them fit the bill, it wouldn’t be surprising if Murray offers one or both of them the opportunity to play with the Gulls next season.