Anaheim Ducks Secure Spot for Defenseman Sheldon Brookbank
Ducks fans got their hopes up Wednesday morning when @AnaheimDucks tweeted that they would be announcing a contract extension later that afternoon.
Many fans were hoping to hear that Bobby Ryan had inked his name to a long term deal, or that veteran Saku Koivu would indeed be returning for a few more seasons in Anaheim.
Some were secretly crossing their fingers that Scott Niedermayer or Teemu Selanne had made an early (and miraculous) summer decision to give it a go for one more year.
They were all wrong.
Instead, defenseman Sheldon Brookbank signed a 2 year deal with the Anaheim Ducks.
A contract that, in my opinion, is a great start for the Ducks in this excessively long offseason.
This signing is the first step of many that will need to come in order to get things on track for the Anaheim blue line, but it is definitely a start.
While Brookbank isn't an offensive defenseman, he doesn't shy from shooting the puck and simply getting it to the net. He was a plus 10, second best on the team behind Koivu, in only 66 games during the 2009-2010 season.
More importantly, Brookbank was an overall improvement over the course of the season, and it is definitely a factor in his re-signing with the team.
He finished the season as a part of the third pairing, and while he didn't average many minutes, his improved play and willingness to be a physically dominating force were enough too keep him on the ice.
The Anaheim roster is definitely far from compiling a blue line to be reckoned with, and while Brookbank isn't necessarily a top defenseman, he is definitely worth the inexpensive cap hit over the course of the next two years as a 5th or 6th option.
As for what's left on the back end of play, the Ducks continue to play the "will he, won't he" game with Niedermayer, an on-going battle with a player that might be considered a liability in James Wisniewski, and of course searching for that key physically dominating man like they once had in antagonist Chris Pronger.
Including Brookbank, Ducks defensemen under contract for the 2010-2011 season include: Lubomir Visnovsky, Steve Eminger, Nathan Oystrick, and Brett Festerling.
All in all, Brookbank is a small piece in a wall that is under a major reconstruction.
There is definitely more to come from Anaheim. With free agency and the draft just around the corner, the Ducks have many questions waiting to be answered, and many fans looking for answers.
Is Bobby Ryan next?
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