This is the first article in a series of articles that will look at and rate the following categories for every team in the NHL. Prospects: All top prospects on the team and a grade for their overall prospect pool, Old-timers: All players getting near retirement, Division Toughness: A rank out of six for how tough their division is (six being the hardest), Cap Space: How much cap space they have and a look at possible options, Current Position: There current position in the league, conference, and division, 3-Year glance: Self explanatory, Overall grade: A grade for present and future.
Anaheim Ducks Week One
Prospects: Bobby Ryan, Jake Gardiner. The Ducks have many good prospects but these are the only two that really jump out although Bobby Ryan is hardly a prospect since he is on the team full time. The Ducks future is not looking very bright unless they can grab a couple good prospects in the next few years. Ryan Getslaf, and Corry Perry are both young and that will cushion the blow once some of the older Ducks leave. If the Ducks begin to drop in the standings and look out of the race for the cup Neidermyar may be moved at the deadline to get some young talent in Anaheim.
Oldtimers: Chris Pronger, Scott Niedermayer, Teemu Selanne. Scott Niedermayer is dragging his tired carcass to the end of his contract to avoid upsetting his fans. With plenty of cups under his belt don't expect him to pull a Mats Sundin. Chris Pronger may be a few years off but I’m not sure how much he has left to offer. With his rough style of play don't expect him to get any better in these last few years of his career. This should be Teemu Selanne's last season and if he does stick around another year don't have high expectations. Brad May and Brett Hedican are also nearing retirement.
Division Toughness: (5/6) If Dallas can get its act in gear this will be 6/6
Cap Space: $871,167 Not nearly enough room to do anything big unless it's gaining young talent by dumping their old dead weight Scott to gain young cheap talent and prospects. Another thing the Ducks will have going for them even if Scott doesn’t get traded is the fact that all the players I mentioned in the old-timers section combined for about $15,000,000 of cap space that will be freed up once they retire.
Current Position: NHL Eleventh, Conference Sixth, Division Second
Three Year Glance: Anaheim’s next three years depend mostly on their performance at the draft and what they do with the cap space their expensive old players free up. If they don’t do well at the draft the future will not be bright for the Ducks. The money freed up will get them out of the salary jam they are in. If they can get some good free agents and some young talent that they make the most of the Ducks will continue to have successful seasons for years to come.
Overall Grade: Present B+ Future B- Future all depends on what they do with the cap space they are sure to get and making the most of their prospects and draft picks.