Anaheim Ducks: 5 Reasons to Follow the Flyers' Lead and Blow Up the Team
Paul Holmgren created a lot of frustrated Flyers fans last offseason when he seemingly dismantled what had been a relatively successful Philadelphia core. Gone were the services of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, two players that made up the centerpiece of the Flyers' offensive production and leadership.
While the Anaheim Ducks are hardly considered the Flyers' Western Conference counterpart, the similarities between the two teams are enough that they bear some consideration.
Both teams had questions regarding their established core players, both teams failed to advance deep into the playoffs despite a wealth of talent on their rosters and both teams had a lot of offensive firepower at their disposal.
The question now becomes, should the Anaheim Ducks follow suit and dismantle their core as the Philadelphia Flyers have done? Here are five reasons why the answer to that question is yes.
The trade rumors surrounding Anaheim have existed simply due to the fact that the team has performed so poorly yet possess so much talent on their roster. The possibility of the Ducks making such drastic changes and having them benefit the team in the middle of the season is very unlikely.
However, the offseason provides a more manageable amount of time to take into consideration both possible trades and free agent signings before training camp even starts. If the Ducks are going to blow up their team, an offseason would be very helpful for establishing chemistry within a new-look roster.
Moving Players Makes Room for Prospects
Sometimes starting from scratch is a good thing, especially when it means your younger players get a shot at more ice time. It worked in Philadelphia, with the emergence of Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds and Matt Read.
Food for thought if you're an Anaheim Ducks fan, as the team boasts some the brightest young prospects in the game. Next in line would have to be Emerson Etem and Kyle Palmieri.
They Don't Have to Pay for a Goaltender
Part of the reason Paul Holmgren shed so much star power during last year's offseason was to accommodate the massive salary of Ilya Bryzgalov.
Anaheim already has their proverbial "Bryzgalov" in the form of Jonas Hiller. As of late, Hiller has been returning to his usual All-Star form. When he is on his game, he can be every bit as good as any goaltender in the league.
Should the Ducks decide to completely revamp their roster, they would have the benefit of not needing to go out and sign a big name goaltender to complete that process. It would give them the opportunity to fetch a more significant return in exchange for what they would be giving up.
A Chance to Re-Work a Stale Offense
You could argue both ways, but it might have been a good thing for the Philadelphia Flyers not to be totally sure where the bulk of their offense would come from this year.
Without the services of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, the Flyers were able to take a more organic approach to their offensive production, which turned out higher point totals for Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr. In a Richards and Carter world, that might not have happened.
The same could be true for a Getzlaf, Perry and Ryan world.
A Fresh Perspective
Roster moves of the Richards and Carter caliber don't have to be about getting someone's attention, or scaring players into performing better by showing them that no one is "untouchable." Sometimes it is truly just better for both parties.
It offers new life to athletes who aren't performing well in a particular jersey, and presents new opportunities for those athlete's former teammates to step up and fill a role that they may have been better suited for all along.
Not that this isn't a brave step to take. The risk involved is high to be sure, and the list of teams that have tried and failed is longer then that of those who have succeeded. Yet the Flyers are an excellent model of how this can work, and if the Ducks Management feels this is necessary, the benefits could outweigh consequences.