Anaheim Ducks: Bob Murray Should Reconsider the Rebuild

Trevor Zegras reacts after being selected ninth overall by the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Trevor Zegras reacts after being selected ninth overall by the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Anaheim Ducks
Zach Sanford #12 of the St. Louis Blues scores a goal past the defense of Anthony Stolarz #31, Matt Irwin #52 and Sonny Milano #22 of the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

What is in a Rebuild?

In a perfect world, a team that decides to ‘blow things up’ will be able to move out pieces of value in order to build their prospect and draft pool. From there, the team can build through the draft and develop prospects that will carry them for an extended period of time. Think of the current make up of the Toronto Maple Leafs. While the team itself has struggled to make deep runs in the playoffs along with currently being in ‘cap hell’, the team is a perfect example of tearing down a roster in order to build a new, young group.

After losing in the first round of the 2013 playoffs the Leafs struggled over the next three seasons,  concluding with the first overall pick in the 2016 Draft. From 2014-2016, the Leafs picked William Nylander, Mitch Marner, and Auston Matthews, the three players that many people connect to when discussing the team’s young core.

In addition, the Leafs also sold off pieces to continue their rebuild, including trading Phil Kessel to the Penguins for a package including Kasperi Kapanen and a first-round pick used to acquire Frederik Andersen. Even though the team hasn’t had consistent success in the playoffs, the patience showed over those down years helped create their current core.

Teams that had success from a rebuild include the Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins, and they won multiple cups over that past decade. These teams also proved that it takes a fair amount of luck to be good. The Penguins famously selected Sidney Crosby first overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. However, the fact that they got to make that pick fell on the fact that they won a draft lottery that every team had an equal chance to win.

The Blackhawks are mostly known for being led by franchise icons such as Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane who were high draft picks in their own right (3rd and 1st respectively), but much of their core throughout their winning years was constructed of later draft picks. Duncan Keith (2nd round), Dustin Byfuglien (9th), Corey Crawford (2nd), and Niklas Hjalmarsson (4th) all constructed the Hawks core during some of the franchises most dominant years.

The rebuild doesn’t always work out the way some teams want. My colleague, Garrett Brown, mentioned this in a previous article so I will not dive in too deep, but essentially teams such as the Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabers have continued to struggle even though both teams have bottomed out in the past with varying results based on drafting and bringing in generational talents. When a team decides to completely ‘blow it up’, at the end of the day results can vary.