With the upcoming March 4th trade deadline and the Ducks right in the thick of the playoff race one would think the Ducks maybe looking to swap a player or two to help with that final push to secure a spot in the tight Western Conference. Watching the Ducks this season it has been very disappointing. Many thought they would be more of a contender than they have shown.
This year they don’t have their trip to London to use as an excuse or the late arrivals of Scotty and Teemu. Sure there have been a couple of injuries here and there and the loss of Francios Beauchemin was big, but with one door closing another opens.
The salary cap was able to open up for Bobby Ryan to step into the mix bringing much needed energy and scoring. The hunger the Ducks once showed has been dormant for most of the season. The goals are not coming as easy as they use to and you can see the frustration there in all of their faces. I don’t believe age is a factor for this team. There is no need to trade for younger players.
The Ducks have great veteran leadership all around with the mixture of youth, speed, grit and talent. Bobby Ryan has showed that he can play at this level and is a definite lock not to go anywhere. His name shouldn’t even be uttered in a trade right now.
Goal-tending has been shaky this season and J.S. Giguere hasn’t been himself, but I’m sure we all know why. It’s always hard losing someone close to you. We all know this. I believe Randy Carlyle has been smart giving more starts to Jonas Hiller, who has been doing a great job this year, holding down the fort while Giggy gets back on path which I believe he is doing now. He should be ready by the time the playoffs come and Hiller will give the Ducks solid goal-tending as well when he his called on once or twice.
The energetic play of Ryan and Andrew Ebbet have been rays of light for the Ducks and I think the play of the rookies have possibly raised the spirits and play of the veterans just in time to make a final push into the playoffs. The ageless Teemu Selanne still skates with ease and has that scoring touch that teams will have to look out for. The long road trip is going to be a big test and with the recent victory over Buffalo I believe the Ducks are getting that feeling of knowing they can win again. Steve Montador seems to be getting better and better each game and he’s making great decisions with the puck. I believe him to be the Francios Beauchemin of this year. Talking about defense, there have been words of possibly Chris Pronger being dealt.
I really believe that making any waves with the defense right now will only hamper the Ducks chance of getting into the playoffs. I believe the veteran experience of Pronger, Scott Niedermayer and Bret Hedican mixed with a younger less experienced defense-man has been working for the Ducks and the organization shouldn’t shuffle the cards they already have. If any move were to be made it would be on offense.
The Ducks have been struggling in the face off circle and I believe that is the one thing that is needed for this team (Adam Oates where are you?) With Samual Phalsson out right now the Ducks are without their best face off man and have no one else really to turn to.
If the Ducks are looking to get somewhere in the playoffs they best be looking for someone who excels in the face off circle. Adam Oates was a key player in the Ducks first trip to the Stanley Cup finals. The Ducks are in need of another solid veteran face off man just like Oates to get the job done. Right now that is the only missing piece to the puzzle for this Ducks team.
Being the heavy Ducks fan that I am its hard to put players on the trading block. I would like to keep the roster as is. I’m still upset that Brad May was traded to Toronto, but believe it was the best for him since he wasn’t playing as much as he did last year. With the acquisition of Mike Brown, Ryan Carter is expendable. One of the three M’s could possibly be dealt, but only one; Todd Marchant, Travis Moen, or Brendan Morrison.
If Moen were to go Marchant would fit in very nicely in the shut down line. I believe a draft pick and current Duck could possibly get us a decent face off man, but other than that the Ducks should just sit and not make any other moves.