Posts Tagged ‘Bobby Ryan’

Tonight’s Game:
Phoenix @ Anaheim, 7:00pm start at the Honda Center. Audio stream available at http://ducks.nhl.com/index.html

The previous post, A look at the intangibles really begins this blog’s Ducks coverage of the 2013-14 season. If you haven’t at least skimmed it yet, you’ll be better equipped to understand this one and forthcoming posts through training camp.

At first blush, swapping out Daniel Winnick from the “checking line” for Emerson Etem would indicate a slightly different role for Saku Koivu and Andrew Cogliano. It ain’t necessarily so. All three forwards are proven penalty killers and defensively responsible. The move should improve scoring from the checking line. As Coach noted, “Their speed will give opposing teams fits.” Some sandpaper is sacrificed but Etem’s overall toughness shouldn’t be underrated.
The skill sets are complimentary. As noted all are defensively responsible and great skaters. Koivu and Cogliano are decent playmakers and finishers. Etem is a promising sniper.

One move this blogger has been waiting for and referenced here previously more than once is trying Daniel Winnick at center. Now wwe understand why that hasn’t happened until now.  “We wanted to try this last year, but there was just never a break, and we didn’t want to throw him into the fire.” Boudreau added, “He’s going to stay there for a while, at center, during the preseason,”
With Patrick Maroon and Devante Smith-Pelly on the wings, Winnick could well result in a very physical Stopper Line reminiscent of Pahlsson, Niedermayer & Moen.
Memo to fourth line center hopefuls Peter Holland, Rickard Rakell and Antoine Laganiere: Pick it up a notch!

Notice we have comments from Coachevidencing his thinking on the aforementioned opportunities. Now for one that isn’t being talked about in the blogs or reported on by mainstream media:

Where does Kyle Palmieri fit? Is he Bobby Ryan 2.0? The guy we never find a spot for and instead move him around and ask him to spark whatever line he happens to be on that shift? Jeez, I hope not.
In the early going at least Dustin Penner hasn’t played himself off the top line. Bones, Flash and Silfver are developing chemistry and producing results. The 3rd and 4th lines could be set.
Palmieri has earned more than a 4th line role. He’s aiming to become The Twins linemate. To earn that plum he’ll have to prove himself better than Penner and overcome locker room politics. Not an easy task for a guy who has only recently established his NHL cred.
Boudreau wouldn’t reveal his lineup for tomorrow’s preseason opener against Phoenix (7 p.m., Honda Center), but said “we’ve got the first three games mapped out, in a perfect world, and all seven games mapped out for the goalies.”

Note to credentialed local media: The only reason we don’t have an answer to, “Where Palmieri fits” is because you aren’t asking the question. Aside to readers: Credentialed media claims the main reason for lost audience is increased competition. Just once I’d like them to consider the quality of their reportage.

Note to me: Exhale ;)

Three of the above quotes can be found in this report by Kyle Shohara of AnaheimDucks.com.

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.

Yesterday, czhokej and I indulged a rare chance to hang out, share a salad, flirt with waitresses and chat Ducks hockey. The food was tasty, the waitresses good sports and the chat compelling. Here are some quick hits:

First up was the top line and all the events surrounding it. New contracts to Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. The Bobby Ryan trade. The signing of Dustin Penner. cz pointed out that Dustin Penner was the top scorer on the Kid Line during our Ducks Cup year.  Pancake was brought in to stabilize the top line. If he’s successful much of the day-to-day roster and roles fall into place. If not, coach will continue to rotate guys off and on, in and out through a seemingly endless search for consistency.

A couple of minutes into the now annual is Teemu coming back, we realized we weren’t sure where he would play. As if to punctuate the moment a mushroom rolled off my fork. Saku’s role has changed and Teemu isn’t a checking line player. First line? For now Dustin Penner is penciled in alongside the Big Dogs. Second line? Does he have enough left to beat out the up and coming Emerson Etem? First unit PP? Teemu lost that job to Nick Bonino and Bobby Ryan last season. When he did get first unit PP line it came when Getzlaf was moved to the point.

If Penner fails, maybe Teemu is the solution on the top line. Much of Penner’s success or lack thereof actually depends on which Getzlaf hits the ice in October. Is it the dominating player we saw during the shortened season or do we get his evil twin, the perimeter playing Giveaway Getz who glides around the ice instead of skating? Eight million doesn’t seem to buy what it used to get you.

While I see Ducks Iron Man Andrew Cogliano as trade bait, we wondered if he would return to the checking line. Cogliano and Emerson Etem showed genuine chemistry on the PK. Could they continue to be a dangerous duo in ES situations?

Coach has said he expects bigger things from Matt Beleskey next season. Could Matt produce those “bigger things” alongside Koivu & Winick? Beleskey would be the shooter and adds a physical element to the checking line.

Nick Bonino will center a line. There’s plenty of competition among his potential linemates. Selanne, Etem are the leading candidates on RW. Palmieri, Silfverberg on LW.

cz notes that Cam Fowler was much improved defensively last season. I noted Scot Niedermayer’s influence as Cam seemed to be taking that rover-D role and trying to control the tempo when he has the puck.

We both hope for more offense from the back line. I see it coming from a luckier and less snake bit Cam Fowler and Sami Vatanen. cz is keeping faith with Luca Sbisa. We think Sheldon Souray will take a few games off in back to back and 3 games in 4 nights situations. Though he and Beauchemin should be counted on for 5-6 goals.

The goaltending is solid to spectacular.

Replacing Bobby Ryan and possibly Teemu Selanne won’t be easy. Still, these Ducks could be a real offensive powerhouse next season. Consider, Perry 35-40, Getzlaf 25, Penner, Etem & Palmieri 20+, Bonino, Cogliano, Silfverberg 15+, Koivu, Beleskey 12, Fowler & Vatanen 10. That’s over 200 goals without anybody having a career year or exceeding expectations. Add a handful of goals each from Beauchemin, Souray, Sbisa and the fourth line. All of a sudden we’re enjoying a team that can score anywhere and anytime.

With excellent goaltending behind them the 2013-14 Ducks are a well-organized team primed for success.

THN’s Tyson Geick cornered Corey Perry for a quick interview. Pears talked about how much fun he was having at Drew Doughty’s Grand Slam for Cancer, looking forward to the Olympics and the Bobby Ryan trade.

Pears called Ryan a good friend and teammate and added, “Everybody will have to step up to replace his 25-30 goals.”

Bobby Ryan set the bar a little higher than Perry seems to remember. Ryan scored 31, 35, 34 and 31 goals in four full seasons as a Duck.

The trade was a salary dump pure and simple.  There’s no way our Ducks are a better team today than we were before the trade. OTOH, could we have kept Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry for less than $8+m?

When you add it all up, Ryan’s contract just became too expensive in a declining cap year.

 

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.

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!

With the Entry Draft just a day away the blogosphere and twitterverse is burning  bandwidth by the terabyte. The big stories of course involved compliance buyouts both executed and terminated. As you probably know, Vincent Lecavalier, Ilya Bryzgalov and Danny Briere are the big buyout names. NYR announced they won’t buyout the remainder of Brad Richards contract.

For all the chatter and buyout action, amazingly, only one trade has been consummated so far. Calgary sent Alex Tanguay and Cory Sarich to Colorado for David Jones and former Duck Shane O’Brien.

Not saying Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller is in play but his name has surfaced in mainstream media stories. Unlike how they handled the recent spate of Bobby Ryan trade talk, Ducks have been quick to put the word out that they haven’t shopped their No. 1 goalie. Whether Ducks are just getting smarter about it or it’s an admission that they actually shopped Ryan is open for speculation.

I go with the former. Bob Murray has always played his cards very close to his golf shirt. He tends to ignore local media and favors the global hockey media for announcements. Jeez, he even gives more to the L.A. Times than he does to the OCR or Orange County and Inland Empire media.

Pierre Lebrun is reported to have tweeted that Hiller is available for the “right price.” The right price is a solidly established second line center. Teams reportedly interested in Hillsy include the St. Louis Blues, Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders.

The Blues are an intriguing trade partner. Especially when we think in terms of an old school blockbuster hockey trade. Blues are similar to our Ducks in that they see themselves as one player away from making a push for the Cup. They thought they had that piece in goalie Jaroslav Halak but have serious doubts after Halak’s injury riddled season. Brian Elliott is too inconsistent to be trusted in a starter role. Newcomer Jake Allen is too inexperienced.

The Blues have the pieces to acquire both Bobby Ryan and Jonas Hiller. Much of their north of $16m in cap space will go to Alex Pietrangelo. But, they have an opening on LW following the retirement of Andy McDonald. They’ve shown a willingness to part with RW T. J. Oshie but Ducks are loaded on RW. Would they part with 2nd line center Patrik Berglund? Kevin Shattenkirk? Alexander Steen? Hiller for Berglund straight-up?

Islanders have the solid and heady playmaker Frans Neilsen who has established himself as their second line center playing behind John Tavares.

Ducks have long coveted Flyers Sean Couture and Brayden Schenn. So far Philly GM Paul Holmgren has been reluctant to trade either. Would he part with one for a proven goalie? Flyers have certainly been challenged between the pipes in the past two decades.

Another intriguing idea following a Darren Dreger report that the Bruins could move Tyler Seguin. The young Seguin went second in the 2010 draft after the Oilers took Taylor Hall. You might recall the whole Tyler or Taylor debate. Apparently, Seguin isn’t happy playing on the wing in Boston. Additionally numerous state Nathan Horton has informed the Bruins through his agent that he intends to test free agency. Might we see a swap of 2nd overall picks Ryan for Seguin?

There’s certainly much chatter around our Ducks and it involves Bobby Ryan and/or Jonas Hiller. Will Murph pull the trigger for a second line center? TSN is tracking the chatter faster than I can bring it to you. You can follow it here.

Update: Ben Lovejoy has signed a 3 year contract with our Ducks. L.A. Times Helene Elliott and OCR reporter Eric Stephens are reporting it to be a $3.3m contract. Many had him leaving while this blog only reported that the sides were still talking. Another example that you can trust this blog to keep the facts from getting in the way of speculation.

Holy cats this scrunched season has been difficult on this blogger. Can’t thank yougetwhatyouputin enough for his help during the season. No sooner do we come down from the SCF and wham we head straight into Entry Draft weekend.

The Gossip Girls are having their fun. Generating site hit stats with unfounded rumors and speculation that our Ducks are about to trade Bobby Ryan and/or Jonas Hiller.

In news you can take to the bank, OCR’s Eric Stephens is reporting that our Ducks don’t intend to use any compliance buyouts this summer. From other sources I’ve picked up that Murph is presently negotiating with Saku Koivu on a one year contract. He’s talked with Ben Lovejoy’s agent but there’s nothing to report as of this posting. Toni Lydman has probably played his last game in a Ducks uni. Our Ducks will wait for Teemu’s decision but there’s a soft deadline of July 5, the day pending UFA’s become available.

With compliance buyouts already making Danny Briere and Vinny Lecavalier available Ducks are forced to pass on those opportunities due to lack of cap space. Ducks are most likely to look to their young, Sami  Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm to win jobs on the blue line. Emerson Etem, Kyle Palmieri, Peter Holland and Devante Dmith-Pelly to firmly establish themselves on the Ducks roster.

As to the draft, our Ducks pick 26th in the first round followed by the 45th, 87th, 147th and the 177th pick in subsequent rounds. Our Ducks will not be picking in the fourth or seventh round. The second round pick at 45th overall is the NY Islanders pick and our part of the Lubomir Visnovsky trade.

It is highly likely that all of our picks in this draft will play in the AHL, Major Junior A, NCAA or in of the European elite leagues next season. It is highly unlikely a pick in this Entry Draft will make the NHL coming out of camp. As such, I’ll wait to see who we pick rather than burn bandwidth on kids who will be a couple-3 years away from getting their mail C/O the Honda Center.

Hockey News’ fantasy reporter Daryl Dobbs published his off season look at our Ducks. Our backchecking with follows in intalics.

Pending UFAs – Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu, David Steckel, Matthew Lombardi, Radek Dvorak, Toni Lydman, Jordan Hendry, Ben Lovejoy, Nate Guenin.

Pending RFAs – Harry Zolnierczyk, Matt Beleskey, Kyle Palmieri, Mat Clark

Of the above David Steckel, Ben Lovejoy, Matt Beleskey and Kyle Palmieri are expected to be retained. Our cap challenged Ducks will have to make a couple of major moves in order to bring back Teemu Selanne and/or Saku Koivu. Even if the Finn Twins signed heavily discounted contracts.
Mat Clark could be held over but he failed to break into the NHL during his EL contract. He might be a late bloomer or he could be semipro grade.

Looking to add – Selanne had 13 points in his last 42 games (combined regular season and playoffs). His ice time dwindled as the season wore on and if he decides to return for another season I will be surprised. The Ducks need a second-line right-winger. Assuming Kyle Palmieri has found a home on the Corey Perry-Ryan Getzlaf line, Bobby Ryan and Emerson Etem (who were only tried on a line together in a couple of games) will need a right-winger.

Dobb’s sticks with the safe assumption that top six jobs are Palmieri’s and Etem’s to lose. That’s how it looks going into camp. Unless Palmnieri has a breakthrough season, expect Coach to continue to spot play Matt Beleskey on the top line, especially when he wants a more physical presence. Emerson Etem is Teemu’s heir apparent.

Ready for full time – Etem played 30 of the last 31 games of the regular season, plus all seven playoff games. Consider him a full-timer with a role that is almost certain to expand. As a result, expect his 0.26 points-per-game average to increase in 2013-14.

Sami Vatanen is a dynamic offensive defenseman who is ready to make the jump full time now that he’s played the North American game for a full season. With 45 points in 62 American League games, plus another two points for Anaheim, he’s clearly adapted well and makes for a must-own in keeper leagues.

Center Peter Holland is ready for a third-line role, though he may be more of a mid-season addition as opposed to breaking camp with the team. Short-term he holds little value, but his long-term outlook as a second-line center is pretty good.

Hulking winger Patrick Maroon is also on the cusp of making the jump. He has potential for 60-plus points, but not for a few years – and only if he’s brought along accordingly. Historically, his production at different levels has taken a couple of years to get rolling and the NHL will be no exception.

Next season looks to similar to this season in that young guys coming up will be asked to replace and improve on veterans moving out. Teemu is already forever remembered but he may not be missed if Bobby Ryan bounces back from an off year and Etem and Palmieri breakthrough.

Adding Sami Vatanen and his right-handed shot will change the zeitgeist of our Ducks blue line. If Dobbs is right that Vatanen produces 30 Points , he’ll bring needed support to our only other genuine puck moving D-man Cam Fowler.

Next season will no different from last season in that we’ll be looking for young guys to establish themselves as bonafide NHL players. Peter Holland and Patrick Maroon don’t have to be anymore than consistent depth forwards. If they can’t though, the GM  will again be bargain shopping for vets like Matthew Lombardi and Radek Dvorak.

Fantasy Outlook: A good team that has a little bit of everything and ample depth in every position. Goaltending is especially strong with Viktor Fasth and Jonas Hiller battling it out for No. 1, with Frederik Andersen also impressing – and John Gibson on the way. If Cam Fowler can take a step forward offensively and Vatanen has a 30-point rookie season, the Ducks should be competitive once again. There are no superstars on the way, but their pipeline is a good one that promises to produce a steady flow of NHL players in all positions. Coach Bruce Boudreau has opened things up for the Ducks and the team finished seventh in goals scored – a trend that should continue.

Pressed against the salary cap in 2013-14 as things stand now, the Ducks may have to trade Bobby Ryan and bring in a cheaper option. How that goes down will have huge waves in fantasy hockey. Fantasy Grade: B- (last year was C-)

Looks like another summer of stupidity when trading Bobby Ryan is the auto-reflex solution to every problem. We already have to replace 35-40 goals lost to the expected retirements of  Selanne and Koivu. While Palmieri and Etem look to be good bets, neither is a certainty.
After losing 35-40 goals, conventional mainstream media wisdom wants us to find a cheap 30 goal scorer to replace Bobby Ryan? Maybe now you get a sense to why I roll my eyes at the notion.
At least they’ve stopped with the trading Jonas Hiller nonsense.
There are other solutions, including but not limited to trading Cogliano and Sbisa. This is likely if DSP takes a step or two forward after his step backward last season and Hampus Lindholm shows any kind of ability to go with his high Hockey IQ.
Another option would be to exercise a compliance buyout of slow-footed Sheldon Souray and pickup a lower cost stay@homer like pending UFA Doug Murray. If you believe Sami Vatanen is 30 points in the bank, we keep the snarl in a Murray and improve on Souray’s offense.

Projected depth chart:

Kyle Palmieri – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Bobby Ryan – Nick Bonino – Emerson Etem
Daniel Winnick – David Steckel – Matt Beleskey
Patrick Maroon – Peter Holland – Devante Smith-Pelly

Francois Beauchemin – Ben Lovejoy
Cam Fowler – Sami Vatanen
Bryan Allen – Douglas Murray/Hampus Lindholm

Jonas Hiller – Viktor Fasth

Fantasy Grade: B+

The noise is coming from fans and Gossip Girl websites so it’s not serious at this point. I get it though. Corey Perry had an off-year and playoff so we should trade Bobby Ryan. Viktor Fasth had abdominal injury so what’s the first thing folks want to do? You got it, trade Bobby Ryan.

The so-called logic here is that we’re fine at forward and need help on the back line. I love declarative statements because there’s just no ambiguity in the shortsightedness. I’m not sure any team in the NHL can afford to lose two top six forwards in the same year.

The other top six forward we’re going to lose is Teemu Selanne. Even if Flash returns he won’t be coming back as a top six, first unit PP, 25 goal scoring near point a per game player. Father time took that Teemu Selanne away from us.

If you’re seriously proposing trading Bobby Ryan you must hope that the promising but still unproven Emerson Etem and Kyle Palmieri will replace the 55-60 goals that we get from Ryan and Selanne.

Far too often teams make the mistake of weakening an area of perceived strength to improve an area adjudged to be weak. Chris Kunitz and Eric Tangradi for Ryan Whitney was such a trade. Usually this type of trade only works to the extent you get beat a little differently. The team doesn’t improve overall.

Not only are those pounding TRADE BOBBY RYAN NOW on their keyboards using flawed logic, it’s really dangerous if for whatever reason Etem and/or Palmieri don’t move forward and Teemu shows his age.

Luca Sbisa is a horse of a different color. With Vatanen and possibly Lindholm moving up the depth chart, Luca could easily slip to 7th or lower. No team wants to pay an AHL player $2.175MM.

If we move a top nine forward, the guy most likely to go is Andrew Cogliano. I think that will prove regrettable but Murray will need the cap saving if really does intend to bring Selanne and/or Koivu back.