The Anaheim Ducks season ended all too soon after their first round loss to the Dallas Stars. With a great team already under contract for the most part, I have a sure fire checklist to put the Ducks back in contention not only for the Pacific title, but the Western Conference and Stanley Cup.
I’m not exactly saying I could manage better than Brian Burke. I would like to think I could, but if Burke and the Ducks follow my checklist, I can promise all involved a good season.
1. Locking Up Scotty and Teemu:
Everything for the Ducks right now revolves around keeping, or losing, Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermayer. These two players will determine in a large part what position the Ducks will need to add to.
With no real rumor one way or another regarding these two, we will break it down in every way. Regardless of them staying or retiring, the Ducks must improve goal scoring and keep the physical nature they are already making popular in Southern California.
With the return of these two, the Ducks will have a lot less pressure on filling these positions for the future via the draft this offseason. Even with their return, it would not be a bad idea to begin prep work now for their eventual retirements.
2. 2008 NHL Entry Draft in Ottawa, Ducks Select 12th Overall:
I would suggest the Ducks drafting either Zach Boychuk or Kyle Beach in the first round (See player links for more details). In the later rounds, the Ducks should primarily focus on rough, grinding-type forwards, with a good scoring touch to keep the style the team has established going. A couple defensemen should come in the early rounds as well, but with the already great depth on the blue line, I don’t feel the Ducks have much to worry about immediately.
3. New Affiliation Established:
The Ducks already have established the new home for prospects in Iowa. The new logo and such regarding the Iowa franchise is expected to be released between now and July.
4. Signing Free Agents.
Even with a slight increase to the salary cap, the Ducks will still probably not have much room for any major additions. Trades are certainly a possibility. I wouldn’t completely rule out the idea of the Ducks signing and trading Corey Perry (very unlikely) for a key forward from somewhere else. I don’t expect the Ducks to worry about free agency. Rather, primarily only on signing the players whose contracts have expired, primarily Corey Perry and Jonas Hiller .
5. Looking Ahead to Training Camp:
Dates have not been established yet for training camp and preseason games. The schedule will probably not come out until free agency begins in July. Last year's training camp began Sept. 11, with the first game in London on the 13th.
For the latest news on the Anaheim Ducks this offseason be sure to stay connected to The Puck Drop: Your Source for Everything Anaheim Ducks.
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