Don’t Expect the Anaheim Ducks to Overhaul Their Roster at the Trade Deadline
(Photo courtesy of ducks.nhl.com)
By Steve Palumbo (@StevePalumboNHL)
The Anaheim Ducks played possibly their best game of the year in a 5-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night. The Ducks have collected points in five straight going 4-0-1 during that stretch. Two weeks ago it seemed like the Ducks were about to be torn apart and reconstructed from scratch. Now that may not be the case after all.
The Ducks turnaround seems to coincide with general manager Bob Murray publicly calling out his team for their poor play on January 4. Since then Anaheim has played much better. However they are still just 14-22-7 and reside among the bottom feeders of the NHL. Murray made it very clear that he intended to make moves to improve his team but in today’s NHL that is easier said than done. Murray may instead elect to build around his current core players.
Murray said from the start that his intentions were not to make a move just to make a move. If another club is interested in getting high-caliber talent, such as Bobby Ryan, Corey Perry or Ryan Getzlaf, than he expects the same in return. That may not bode well for contending clubs looking to bolster their perspective rosters for a long playoff run. Most big deadline deals involve clubs trading impending free-agents for a return rather than lose them for nothing. The Ducks don’t fit into that category.
“I’ve become a very patient person in my life, which people find funny,” Murray said in a recent interview. “I will wait and do the right thing for the organization when it’s there.”
Bobby Ryan’s name has been floating around the rumor mill for much of the season and yet he’s still in Anaheim. Although he seems to be the most likely to find himself in a new home come Feb. 27. There are several teams that could use the speedy winger. The New York Rangers have been rumored to covet the New Jersey native. It’s also likely fellow Eastern Conference rivals the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers may be looking to add their already dangerous line-ups.
But don’t be surprised if Murray doesn’t find a deal to his liking and ends up standing pat.
Even without a roster upheaval this is still the same team that finished fourth in the Western Conference a year ago. They still have the reigning Hart and Rocket Richard recipient in Perry on the roster and, when healthy, a solid starting goaltender in Jonas Hiller. Not to mention the majority of the roster is under the age of 27. Not exactly a recipe for rebuilding.
While a change or two may be inevitable, Ducks fans can rest assured their favorite team won’t be gutted.