Bob Murray Wants the Anaheim Ducks to be a Playoff Contender

Sam Steel #34 of the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sam Steel #34 of the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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Ben Bishop #30 and Miro Heiskanen #4 of the Dallas Stars defend against Max Jones #49 of the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Copy Cat League

If we are to presume that the NHL is, at its heart, a copy cat league, then we should assume that Bob Murray is going to attempt to mimic the play style and makeup of one of the cup finalists. Prior to free agency, the Ducks were slightly younger on defense than Dallas but far younger than the aging Tampa team. Shattenkirk makes the Ducks just a little older and, given he was on that very Tampa team, adds maybe a little bit of Stanley Cup leadership.

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In the forward grouping, the Anaheim Ducks were the 3rd oldest team in the league, and far older than both the Dallas and Tampa team. However, two of Dallas’s better players in the finals were their oldest players. I’m sure Murray would have loved to acquire one of them to add even more cup finals experience, however, Grant may be enough. After all, he was a top-10 scorer on the Ducks last season, having his highest-scoring career year. If he only has to replace one of the lower-scoring youth players, maybe the Anaheim Ducks can do enough to sneak up the standings.

Additionally, Dallas and Tampa had eleven and nine players on their teams, respectively, that they had drafted themselves. Assuming that of last year’s regulars, Getzlaf, Rakell, Terry, Jones, Steel, Fowler, Lindholm, Manson, Larsson, and Gibson all suit up for the Anaheim Ducks, they can say they fit into that range comfortably. With one of those forwards likely missing out due to the acquisition of Grant, the Ducks will fall exactly on 9 players, which is coincidentally the same number as the champion Lightning team.

It is an uncanny coincidence and one I’m sure Murray has put no thought whatsoever into. Yet, it’s hard to make a concrete direction out of their current group and the hypothesized playoff berth. Thus perhaps, it’s an avenue worth exploring.

Nonetheless, Murray cannot be finished yet, as he has at least a little salary to cut leading up to the new season. With the addition of a new defensive leader and the reacquisition of a familiar face, the phrase “same-same, but different,” comes to mind. We’ll just have to see what happens next.

dark. Next. Grant Returns to Ducks After Inking 3-Year Deal

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