5.) What grade would you give Bob Murray’s free agency signings (Shattenkirk and Grant)?
Ben Thomasian: B-. I think the Shattenkirk trade is a good one as even if the ducks themselves don’t improve he offers a tangible asset to trade or to allow one of the other bigger name players to be traded. He’s cheap and coming off a good year, so he personally has value. Realistically the Ducks are probably going to lose a defenceman in the expansion draft, so he’s a great piece of insurance to ensure they still have a good top 4 after one of the defensive players is gone.
Grant… look it’s a fun story, but are we ever going to give the prospects and young players enough rope to develop and learn? We were awful last season with him in our top 10 scorers, and I don’t see how bringing him back older and signed for 3 years is an upgrade on a younger him in a career year. I think the Anaheim Ducks needed to invest more time in their youth and I feel like Grant will get in the way somewhat
Garrett Brown: Just the fact that Murray went out and signed free agents makes me want to give him two A’s. But again, I regress, and I will be objective. The Anaheim Ducks, once the defensive envy of the league, have seen major names on defense depart for one reason or another. Shea Theodore, Sami Vatanen, and Brandon Montour just to name a few. This being said, Shattenkirk fills a major need.
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Currently, in the midst of a small career resurgence, Shattenkirk arrives to the Ducks, bringing with him supreme offensive talent from the back end. After a down year in New York in which he was bought out, he experienced a successful season all-around in Tampa Bay last year, which ended with him getting a Stanley Cup.
He brings a rock-solid veteran presence to a team sorely in need, especially with the drafting of Jamie Drysdale; who better to mentor him. Not to mention, his powerplay expertise will be of great benefit as well. With the sensible AAV and term in mind, Murray’s overall grade for this signing: I give this signing an A.
For #Elite1C, it’s hard not to be biased. However, it becomes easier when considering the amount of young talent that seems as though they won’t be given a fair chance due to this signing. Grant will provide value in many ways, and his ability to move up and down a lineup is seamless. It’s just somewhat of a perplexing signing considering his age and age alone. But I remain a fan, and with impartiality in mind, I will grade this signing: C+
Brad Senecal: I give Murray a B+. Though the moves were surprising based on the team’s performance, Grant is a fan favorite and has proven to be a swiss army knife of sorts, and Shattenkirk fills the obvious need in the Ducks backend. This grade could be bumped into an A if Shattenkirk is able to help the Ducks horrid powerplay.
Ciara Durant: I am going to give Murray a B- for his free agency signings. Shattenkirk definetly improves the blueline as well as the powerplay, two areas the team struggled with significantly last season. As mentioned, his recent season in Tampa and his Stanely Cup stalk also speaks highly of him as a player.
As for Grant, how can you not love Elite 1 C? In what is sure to be a season filled with some unknowns, I think bringing him back was Murray’s gift to the fans. However, taking into consideration his underlying stats, Grant himself isn’t the best player. If you also take into consideration the younger players who deserve a chance at playing time, as Ben mentioned, Grant might get in the way. Nevertheless, even if it was puck luck, Grant scored a large percentage of the Anaheim Ducks goals last season.
But, if Murray wants to continue to roll with the Derek Grant narrative, I’m certainly here for it. Murray made some improvements, but as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t believe Shattenkirk and Grant are enough to fix the issues this team hasn’t been able to solve over the last few seasons.
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