It wasn’t supposed to come to this. Looking back to the start of the season, there was little commentary from the Anaheim Ducks. Yet, the little that did emerge was in regard to a potential push towards the post-season.
Certainly, making the post-season is one step on the path to what many may assume is the eventual aim of all NHL teams. The Stanley Cup. One quote that stood out was from the then-newly signed Kevin Shattenkirk, who suggested to him that Bob Murray had believed he had been rebuilding the roster in the few years prior.
“What he expressed to me is he’s tired of this rebuilding situation. He wants to be in the playoffs next year, and he felt I was someone who would be part of that plan.” – Kevin Shattenkirk
For those watching along, it’s hard to compare the Anaheim Ducks trading for players like David Backes, Danton Heinen, and Sonny Milano, while going out and signing over 30-year-old free agents like Derek Grant and Kodie Curran, with the rebuild put in place by the New York Rangers or the LA Kings.
In many ways, it was Bob Murray doing his usual business of attempting to acquire “reclamation project” players in their mid-20’s and some older players who he either already knew well or who he hoped would reignite their careers. It wasn’t so much of a rebuild as it was the Ducks doing the same thing they have done almost every year since Murray took over as the General Manager of the team.