Posts Tagged ‘Bob Murray’

A lower body injury (LBI) limited Sami Vatanen to under 5 minutes in the OT win against the Sharks. Sami didn’t dress Sunday against the Avs. Luca Sbisa is out with a mild ankle sprain. Ducks and Luca insist their just being cautious. Take that to mean he would be day-to-day in the regular season. Ducks already are without 1/3 of their top six from last season following Toni Lydman’s retirement and Sheldon Souray’s soft tissue tear in his wrist. Francois Beauchemin is projected to be ready to the start the season. Projected is the operative word though. That’s 66% of last of last season’s Top Six D, injured, retired or rehabbing.

No further reports on Vatanen’s LBI are available. The story began with an oft-repeated Eric Stephens tweet but no official word has come from our Ducks. The best we can do is hope it isn’t one of those nagging ow-eez that keep out of the lineup.

In the meantime, Bryan Allen and Mark Fistric become Top 4 D-men on our Ducks depth chart. Kyle Cumiskey has 139 regular season and playoff games with the Avs. Acquired from Colorado in Oct./2011, he has yet to play a regular NHL game with the Ducks.

Hampus Lindholm has turned some heads in camp but respected blogger Collin Insley has expressed concerns about how easily he seems to get knocked off the puck. It should be noted that GM Bob Murray has said the 6th overall pick in 2012 is “only 19.” Nobody has any doubt Lindholm will be a good one but he needs to get much stronger on the puck for NHL hockey.

The gossip blogs, with their focus on the Canadian and big market teams, are ignoring our Ducks challenges on the back-line. Murray runs a very tight ship as to leaks especially compared to his more transparent and master media manipulating predecessor Brian Burke. Even the oft speculated Bobby Ryan trade caught everyone by surprise.

Leafs unsigned RFA Cody Franson is far and away the best unsigned free agent available. His rights might be acquired for a non-roster prospect other than Lindholm or John Gibson. Franson is 6’5″ 213# who scored 4 goals and 29pts in 45 games last season. THN player profile describes him as an inconsistent offensive Dman with size. Franson is reportedly looking for a one year contract at $3m.

Given Leafs limited cap space and Morgan Reilly and comeback Paul Ranger having great camp and good camps respectively; Leafs have little need for Franson.

GM Bob Murray has always shown a preference for picking from the bargain bins and discount racks. While there’s no doubt an apparent need for back-line, Look for Murph to give the kids a chance, ready or not.

Where are they now? Former Duck goaltender Jeff Deslaurier has signed a professional tryout contract with the Penguins AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Deslauriers 29, hasn’t played in the NHL since going 2011 with our Ducks. He went 3-1 with a SP of .903. The move is widely viewed as insurance due to losing Tomas Vokoun indefinitely to blood clotting issues.

During the month of August we’ll pin this Flash Watch to the top story placement. Check here for updates on Teemu’s status.

Update: Pin removed because Teemu announced that he’ll make his decision known during the week of August 26, 2013.

Via Helene Elliot, L.A. Times

Nothing new so much as Elliot reports that Teemu will meet with Coach Boudreau and the GM next week before announcing his decision. Bob Murray confirmed via email that he and Flash have talked “a couple of times” in the past week.

Via OC Register – no link

According to a report by Eric “Ice” Stephens, Teemu has yet to meet with Coach Boudreau regarding his role next season. Stephens tweeted however, that his role is key to Teemu’s decision.
No mention of Teemu playing elsewhere. Stephens seems to think it’s Ducks or retire with Teemu leaning toward returning to our Ducks. I’m not convinced.

Curtis Zupke of NHL.com and the Pucks of a Feather blog published the comments Teemu made to Ice:

“My point is, if they’re (Ducks Young Guns) better than I am, I am expecting and accepting a smaller role, But if I’m better, I need to play more. I need to play top minutes. That’s what I’m looking for.”

Ed: If Teemu earns a top six minutes he should play top six minutes. IF he doesn’t he will have to accept a lesser role.

“That’s fair for everybody. To be honest, I’ve been playing a big role. I don’t know if I’m ready to play 10-12 minutes a game. And that’s what I want to make sure. If I play well, I get what I deserve.”

“Sometimes it’s not like that. So I want to make sure I’m treated the way I deserve.”

This sets up the possibility of a situation none of us want to witness. It is the sad and ugly situation where the Coach and Teemu disagree on what role he’s earned. What then?

Teemu wasn’t exactly thrilled last season when his minutes were reduced. How he accepted the reduced role was an issue. Coach had to give extra thought about telling Teemu to take days off. BB even asked rhetorically, “Do you want to be the one to tell Teemu Selanne not to lace ‘em up?”

Selanne will join a long list of players who had to be shot to get them off the ice when it was time. I was hoping Flash would spare us that, but I get why he can’t.

This blog is my connection to the game. I’ve been doing this and/or Sports Radio on one platform or another for nearly 20 consecutive years now. I played until I couldn’t. I coached until I could no longer demonstrate properly.  So now I blog.

Fact is, you’re never really done until you say you’re done or you die.

Via Hockey Writers Kirk Vance

Could Teemu Selanne’s return the Ducks? Gutsy post for a relatively new Ducks blog.

Ed.: The answer of course is maybe. If Teemu has another 25+goal 50+ point season in him then no, his return won’t hurt our Ducks. The thing with a player like Teemu though is, if he’s not scoring, he’s not helping.
Each of Teemu’s competitors have questions. Can Penner bounce back alongside his buds? Are two of the kids, Palmieri, Etem or Silfverberg ready for top six roles? Coach wants to see Beleskey earn a bigger role this season.
This blog asked the question, “Is there room for Teemu on the roster?” Man, asking if Selanne’s return could hurt the Ducks is a splash of cold water on a Monday morning face.

Via Dark Knight Twitter feed:

MT @aportzline: GM Kekalainen said he has NOT reached out to good friend/fellow Finn Teemu Selanne. For Selanne, it’s Ducks or retirement.

Ed.: Dark Knight is better than google news alerts.

Anaheim is still one of the locations rumored for Damien Brunner (Spector, SH) http://ow.ly/nX9vc 

If you read German the article on Brunner and Ducks speculation can be found here http://ow.ly/nX9RZ 

Ed.: Is the Brunner chatter leverage to get Teemu to take less money or just a coincidence?

Via justducky89 Tweet:

@justducky89: Selanne Meets with GM, Bob Murray #Ducks #Teemu #OCRegister pic.twitter.com/a75tUxxBT5

Ed.: According to the OCR Teemu met with Murray but has yet to meet with Gabby. He has not committed to playing next season.

Via LA Times Helene Elliot Tweet:

Teemu Selanne still deciding hockey future. He’s expected back in SoCal within next 10 days or so, to get his kids ready for school.

Ed.: Expect Teemu to meet with Gabby and Murph in that order. Even if he should talk to Murray first don’t expect him to make a commitment without discussing his TOI and role with the coach first.

According to a story published in the OC Register Ducks GM Bob Murray is watching those teams with cap issues. The GM also says he has money for Teemu Selanne. Sound cap management should include ample space to move players in and out of the lineup as warranted. Remember a couple of years ago when the Calgary Flames played a few games with a very short bench due to cap mismanagement? We were very nearly in that same predicament recently.

With a reported $4.3m in cap space Murph must have the go ahead to spend to the cap ceiling. He must also be expecting Teemu to take a significant pay cut from last season.

A run down of the CapGeek front page indicates that those teams over the cap if the season started today are Philadelphia, Boston, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Los Angeles, Detroit, Edmonton, Columbus and Minnesota.

Murray reportedly thinks September will be an interesting month as teams make players available to get cap compliant. The OCR speculates, as I have, that our Ducks see themselves as set at center. At least for the first 20 games into the season.

With Toni Lydman expected to retire and Murph committed to seeing what Vatanen can do, it’s difficult to see what positions another move might involve. Following the Bobby Ryan trade, Murph did say that he wasn’t done making moves for next season.

If he’s going to bring Teemu back and leave room for player movement any trade will have to involve a contract or two leaving Anaheim. In other words, roster players. This reality suggests Murph is likely to go big or stand pat.

In this cap crunch season there just isn’t anyone out there more exciting or promising than bringing back Teemu Selanne and/or Vinny Prospal.

This report is translated from the original Finnish newspaper Iltalehti.fi. The reporter, Pekka Jolanin reports that Teemu is readying himself for a return to the NHL, but not necessarily to our Ducks.

Selanne has not yet made a final decision in respect of the next season. All, however, indicate very strongly that Teemu’s career will continue for at least a year.
– In front is the biggest decision of my career. I have three options that I can choose from, Selanne said.
Ridge options most likely to have continued in Anaheim. The other two options are to play in another NHL club or career termination.

Play for another NHL team? At least now Bob Murray’s out of the blue comment that, “I’ll do whatever is necessary to sign Teemu” make sense.

This is what happens when people are less than forthright. If Teemu wants to play elsewhere that’s his right and his business. But if Bob Murray hadn’t been gaming the situation, dropping hints at every turn that our Ducks are heading in a different direction, we could have had a clean break.

Yes, I have confirmed the story. It’s the first time since our Ducks Cup win that Teemu has stated publicly that he might sign to play elsewhere. The Winnipeg Jets would welcome him back but they have even less cap room than our Ducks do.

I’m told that Teemu plans on meeting with Coach Boudreau and GM Bob Murray upon his return to SoCal. He will be looking for a commitment that will include top six minutes, 19-21 minutes per game and 1st unit PP time. If he doesn’t get that he will look to going to Winnipeg or elsewhere.

It’s all well and good that Teemu will meet with the Coach and the GM but what about the Captain and his sidekick? They want Penner. What happens in the room if Teemu pushes Pancake down the depth chart? Do The Twins still get Flash the puck? This is the junk that can happen when ownership gets between management and the players.

Now regardless of what happens, Teemu Selanne’s status is needlessly very messy. It’s certainly no way to run a railroad. At least not if you want the trains arriving and departing on time.

Does anyone really think that if Bob Murray wanted Teemu back that he wouldn’t have kept more cap room available? And if Flash returns at this point the possible outcomes are negative. (1) He risks losing his top six TOI to one of Emerson Etem, Kyle Palmieri and/or Dustin Penner or (2) He wins or is given a top six job and his presence inhibits the development of Etem or Palmieri.

The lure of one last Olympic tournament is compelling. Ducks fans will recall that Scot Niedermayer played at least one additional year primarily so that he could compete in the 2010 Olympics.

This is the disastrous example of what can happen when ownership over rides management. When Nieds was talked out of retiring at the then unheard of, take your time deciding plan, so what if we have to remake the team to accommodate his return, we will and we did.

And here we are again with Teemu Selanne holding up the team from moving forward.

Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky and many others have noted that nobody is bigger than the game or the team. Henry Samueli has changed that dynamic.

As discussed with czhokej, the Dustin Penner signing certainly changes the on ice look of our Ducks. Pancake fell out of favor during his time in Edmonton and L.A. He sat with down with GM Bob Murray and gave acceptable point by point explanations for how his career nose-dived following his departure from Anaheim via offer sheet during the summer of 2007.

Wow, was that really six years ago? During those ensuing years Ducks tried a succession of guys, including Todd Bertuzzi, Evgeny Artyukhin, Brad Winchester, Jarkko Ruutu and of course Bobby Ryan. Only Ryan surpassed Penner in offense. None of those ever replaced him as a complete power forward package.

If Penner washes out here as he did in Edmonton and L.A., he unceremoniously slides down the depth chart until he’s a healthy scratch, gets waived or is part of a trade. At $2m for one year, Pancake doesn’t represent a big investment or risk.

Should Honda Center prove to be Dustin Penner’s happy place, lookout cookout as John Ahlers likes to say. Pancake returns to our Ducks with the respect and affection of team leaders Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Francois Beauchemin, all his teammates from the Cup team. He doesn’t enter the room in a getting to know everybody mode.

Notice though that while Penner has their respect and affection, he’ll have to earn their trust. To do that he must produce.

Here’s a capsulized look at our Ducks lines and pairings with the current roster.

Getzlaf-Penner-Perry/Fowler-Lovejoy: Can’t imagine Gabby will put the Souray-Beauchemin out there with the top line. The Big Dogs are already arguably the slowest top line in the NHL. Jeez, a five man unit where Beauchemin is the fastest skater? Not likely. Lovejoy is very questionable in a top 2 defender role.

Bonino-Silfverberg-Etem/Souray-Beauchemin: Obviously this should be posted in pencil as it is subject to change. Bones will be challenged by Holland, Silfverberg by Palmieri and Etem by Teemu Selanne, if Flash returns. No certainty Souray is a lock for top four ES-TOI either.

Koivu-Winnick-Cogliano/Allen-Sbisa: The checking line is likely set for a return engagement. Sbisa will be challenged and maybe dropped a notch or two down the depth chart in favor of Vatanen and/or Lindholm.

Holland-Palmieri-Beleskey: Look like the leading candidates for fourth line duty. Rakell could slip past Holland. Palmieri might be traded. Beleskey seems like the only one we can ink in. Devante Smith-Pelley could challenge Beleskey but Coach likes my Homey and envisions an envisions a larger role for Matt.

It’s crowded between the pipes as Hiller, Fasth, Andersen and Gibson will each get a good look and eval from our Ducks brain trust.

Intangibles and possible surprises:

- At select-a-seat Gabby described Nick Bonino as a very hard-working hockey player. Bones may lose his spot on the depth chart but somebody will have to beat him out of it.

- Again, Dustin Penner enjoyed his best season in the NHL as a center. Both he and Silfverberg could be options. Peter Holland, Rickard Rakell and Andrew Cogliano are also in the mix. Long shot Antoine Laganiere impressed me at conditioning camp.

- Cam Fowler did everything but light it up last season. His break through year should come in one of the next two seasons.

- Another significant trade could come at any time after the brain trust determines that we need an upgrade. Likely positions are 2nd line center and top 4 D.

- With Bobby Ryan traded, our new odd Duck appears to be Kyle Palmieri. He’s been given a qualifying offer. Ducks don’t have to negotiate with him. For a guy they express confidence in though, Kyle is certainly being treated like the proverbial red-headed step child.

- A key factor heading into his first full season as head coach will be stabilizing, within a reasonable degree of coaching discretion, player roles. This should be accomplished by the 20 game mark of the season.

Our Ducks look to ice 3 scoring lines and a checking line. Bobby Ryan and Teemu Selanne won’t be replaced easily. The secondary scoring could come by committee. We certainly have quality scoring depth. Still, our Ducks have the look of a one line team. If we don’t get at least 65 goals out of the top line, these Ducks won’t make the playoffs.

The parts are there for the makings of a playoff team. If the team comes together. They may have the horses to do more.

These are now Ryan Getzlaf’s Anaheim Ducks. If he isn’t ready to go full bore in October well…..it’s going to be a long season with a quick death.

Note: Anaheim Calling blogger Chris D-5 did a nice job capturing quotes at Select-a-seat. It’s a pretty good read.

Following Penner’s signing, OCR beat writer Eric ‘Ice” Stephens tweeted that “friend and ex-teammate Ryan Getzlaf  pushed for return.”

It isn’t unusual that the captain of the team, making more than $8m per year would have a little juice inside the org. What happened next though is the stuff of intrigue.

Bob Murray took the liberty of speaking for coach Bruce Boudreau on how Penner will be used. L.A. Times reporter Lance Pugmire reported:

Ducks General Manager Bob Murray said he and Coach Bruce Boudreau “really hope” Penner can join Getzlaf and Perry and provide “stabilization” to what has been a revolving door.

“It would sure make things easier for us,” Murray said.

It could well be that Bob Murray is accurately relating the sentiments of his head Coach. Call me skeptical. If so though, it contrasts with everything Gabby has told us about how he organizes his forward lines. Like many others, Gabby relies on set twosomes and moves a third guy on and off a line. Granted most often, a coach will adapt his philosophy according to the roster.

IF, Ducks GM Bob Murray isn’t accurately reflecting the sentiments of his coach, which I suspect is the case, it can only indicate one thing. The Captain is using the GM to send a cryptic message to the Coach. Getzlaf isn’t just “pushing for Penner.” Getz is trying to influence where Penner will fit on the team.

We’re not talking any coach here. While many a coach has a tough guy rep, Bruce Boudreau has the gravitas to bench a two-time Hart Trophy winner. Gabby also reduced face of the franchise Teemu Selanne’s TOI down the stretch and in the playoffs.

It’s one thing to talk tough. Living it is quite another.

Ducks commitment to Ryan Getzlaf is for eight years. The commitment to Bruce Boudreau is two years. Should push come to shove, the org is invested in Getzlaf. And he (Getz) knows it.

On the other hand, Bruce Boudreau has been active in hockey longer than Ryan Getzlaf has been alive. Getz doesn’t have a move that Gabby hasn’t seen or tried himself.

With Getzlaf expanding and exercising his newly found juice, the Ducks room just got a lot more interesting.

Hold your screamin’ when you see the return. Ducks GM Bob Murray did say we’d be a very different team next year. Sources I trust are telling me this move was made to get to the Ducks under an internal cap limit. Other sources I trust tell me another move for a second line center is coming.

To Ottawa: Bobby Ryan

To Anaheim: Jakob Silfverberg, Stefan Noeson and Sens 2014 1st round pick.

Now for some analysis eight or so hours after the trade broke on Twitter.

There’s no question our Ducks received three valuable assets in return for Bobby Ryan. Look anywhere you like and you won’t find anyone with a bad thing to say about Jakub Silfverberg and Stefan Noesen. Silfverberg is a roster player. Rest assured he was scouted Brian Burke, who knows a thing or two about hockey players. It would be grossly unfair and unrealistic to put any expectations on him though. He’s a sophomore with all of 34 NHL games experience.

People closer to the Ducks than I are sharing two distinctly different schools of thought. One school, let’s call them Wharton, says this move was made to get the Ducks under an “internally set” cap number. The hockey side is telling me another shoe will drop. GM Bob Murray is looking for an established second line center.

Frankly, I believe both are telling it as they know it and believe it to be. It’s very evident in Murph’s comments. Those words merit vetting in a Backchecking with format. as previously my take is italicized:

On why this trade appealed to the Ducks,
It was the best hockey deal I was offered for him. When trading a guy of the caliber of Bobby, you’ve got to get a deal that helps you now and in the future. That’s what we were looking for. We got a real good hockey player back in Jakob Silfverberg. And the deal gives us Stefan Noesen. Funny story about him: He’s the reason we moved down in the draft a couple of years ago because he went right before our pick. He was a guy we had identified and when we didn’t get him we moved down. Now we’ve been able to get him and we also got a first-round pick in the deal. It was the best hockey deal.

Best hockey deal is bullpucky! This trade was the best cap deal. Bob Murray should be embarrassed  for even trying to sell that in SoCal!!! That comment is 10#’s of scum sucking gutter slugs stuffed into a 5# bag.
The hockey side of this deal can’t be evaluated until we learn what Murph does with the money.

On whether this trade will open the door to more deals,

It sure gives me a lot more [salary cap] flexibility. We were far too close to the cap before and I was not comfortable there. We did not enjoy those years where every morning you would have to figure out whether you were under or over [the cap]. This gives us room if another good hockey deal comes along. If we have to go and get somebody, I now have space to do it. I’m waiting and watching, making a few phone calls on certain individuals to let them know I’m interested.

Now Murray is giving us the straight skinny. The good news is that he’s prepared to spend the money IF the right player should become available.

On whether the Ducks are looking for another center,
There are a couple out there, and we’ve made phone calls. I don’t know that we’re well along the way with them. I don’t know if we’re their preferred destination in some respect, and I’m not going to give lots of term. I’m not doing that. I’m just not doing it. Nothing over four or five years. So we shall see how this goes, and if not, we’ve got a couple young kids who have earned the right to play. We’ve had kids come along that we really like. That’s a fine position we’re in. I have opened a lot of doors today.

The kids at center are obviously Nick Bonino, Peter Holland and Rickard Rakell.  Two LW spots has also opened up for any two among Kyle Palmieri,  Jakub Silfverberg, Patrick Maroon or Devante Smith-Pelley. If none of those guys can win it,  the fall back position is Matt Beleskey alongside the Big Dogs.
As of this writing, Dave Steckel, who could return in a 4th line, PK and face-off specialist role is still available.
Expect to see Bonino, Holland and Rakell compete for TOI at camp and possibly right through to the trade deadline; unless of course one of them establishes himself as the go to scoring line center. If not and our Ducks playoff bound, look for Murph to acquire a second line center at the trade deadline.

On Silfverberg,
First of all, when he won those awards in Sweden, we were watching him. He’s a very smart hockey player, great shot. He scores goals and can make plays, and he’s very good defensively. He’s a two-way, top-six forward at either wing. He’s very versatile. We really like him and have for a few years.

Nothing like putting expectations on a sophomore with 34 NHL games behind him. Silfverberg may become a great top six forward one day but he isn’t one yet.
Fact is, right now our depth chart at LW is Matt Beleskey, Kyle Palmieri, Daniel Winnick then maybe Jakub Silferberg. Let’s get to camp and see what he earns.

On whether Silfverberg could play on the top line,
Oh yeah. He’s definitely smart enough and can make plays. He works and he competes. When we all get to camp and everyone is here, that will be up to Bruce [Boudreau].

That’s hockey speak for, “Hey Coach, get me $5m production from this $900k asset.”

On Noesen,
Stefan is one of these guys who is a big man who has skills. But his skill has to come from playing the power forward role. The job of our organization will be to show him how to use the power forward stuff to make the skill come out. He’s got that combination, where players like him tend to want to go to the skill first and they don’t become the players they can be. The power game has to be part of his game. We’ve got some work to do, but we like what we have. Players like him are hard to find.

Stefan is a power forward. The kind of guys who are worth developing but there are hundreds who fail for each Jerome Iginla who makes it. Noeson”s likely first team in the Ducks org plays out of Norfolk, VA.

On Ryan,
Unfortunately, Bobby played second fiddle for so long here and never got the full opportunity. Through it all, he was an outstanding Duck. He was an outstanding player for us and he was a solid citizen. These are not easy days. I’ve known Bobby forever, since he was drafted. These are tough ones. You can only thank him.

This is the most honest comment Bob Murray made today. I give Bob Murray a lot of points for admitting the failure that was denying Bobby Ryan a full opportunity. At least that is the straight skinny.

On Ryan’s reaction to the news,
I think Bobby expected it. He was totally classy with me. I don’t think it shocked him. I thought the call went fine. They’re not easy calls to make.

Of course he was classy. We’ve watched Bobby grow from an awkward teenager into a media fave. You don’t achieve that without knowing how to carry yourself, comport and present yourself. What did you expect Bob, a reckless barstool tossing tantrum? No wonder Murray used the phone.

On the organization’s depth at forward,
We’re getting back to that point where we have enough bullets, so that when we get close, we have enough to pull the trigger. I’m getting more and more comfortable with the bullets we have. We’re getting deeper and deeper and deeper.

Yes we have more names. The question is are we a better hockey team today without Bobby Ryan? And going forward, will we make the same mistake with Emerson Etem that Murray admitted we made with Ryan?

On the depth on defense,
I’m going to force the issue on Sami Vatanen. I wanted him to play more last year. I want to give him a good, hard look. [Hampus] Lindholm, he’s only going to be 19 years old, but he was really coming gangbusters.

With Slowmo Souray and Bonehead Sbisa in the top six Murph is praying
Sami breaks through and gives us another bonafide puck moving D-man.

On the timing of the deal,
The rumors started out of Philadelphia, and once that starts, I get calls from people. When I get calls for players, I don’t care what their name is, I say, “What are you offering?” Anytime you can upgrade and make your hockey team better and stronger and deeper, you try to do it. It was about that time that call was first made, and we’ve been off and on ever since. I think Ottawa got pushed a little bit by the Alfredsson thing today, and that was a rough situation for them.

We ought to just call these Murph balls. Really Murph? According to you Jakub Silfverberg is an upgrade on Bobby Ryan while Noesen and the 1st round pick make us deeper.
Is it really necessary for me to inform Ducks fans that we are not a better hockey team tonight than we were this morning. This isn’t to say or even suggest we won’t be better as soon as 25 games into the season. Can Getzlaf play as well in October as he does January? Can Etem have a breakthrough season?

So far, I’ve only blogged on this topic with my head. I’ve purposely left my heart out of it. My heart is heavy tonight. It will be fun following Bobby Ryan and learning what he can do with guys like Jason Spezza, Erik Karlsson and some 1st unit PP TOI.

Jeez, thank gawd we sent him East!