Anaheim Ducks: Olympians and Trades at the Deadline

SKCorrespondent IMarch 5, 2010

SUNRISE, FL - FEBRUARY 1: Ryan Whitney #19 of the Anaheim Ducks skates against the Florida Panthers on February 1, 2010 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. The Ducks defeated the Panthers 3-0. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

The Anaheim Ducks have had an exciting week.

After seven of their eight Olympians returned to Southern California with medals of varying colors, the team had a few days to regroup and settle in before the chaos of the trade deadline.

Bob Murray is definitely not one to shy away from making big trades as many fans have discovered.  Once again he came through and made several moves, hopefully for the better.

The Anaheim Ducks' roster previously left much to be desired on the blueline.  At Wednesday's trade deadline, Murray tackled the defensive problems by bringing in two blueliners.

Sending backup Justin Pogge to Carolina, the Ducks gained veteran defenseman Aaron Ward.  Ward, a three-time Stanley Cup Champion, brings some much-needed experience to a defensive group lacking consistency.  

However, the trade with the most impact comes in the form of a swap with the Edmonton Oilers

The Anaheim Ducks sent Ryan Whitney north (along with a sixth round pick in 2010) in return for defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky.

What Visnovsky brings to the Ducks organization will remain to be seen until he hits the ice with his new team this upcoming weekend.  As for what the Ducks will be missing without Whitney in the lineup, I'm afraid to say, it's not much. 

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Whitney had an incredibly difficult time in Anaheim. 

While there was much to be desired from the "puck moving" defenseman, his departure for many fans is a positive.  Hopefully he'll be able to bring up his mid-term grade in a new environment.

Perhaps the overwhelming disappointment of Whitney is due to the fact that when you're coming onto a team who once had the services of Chris Pronger, chances are, you will never be good enough.

Maybe that's just me.  I wish the guy luck in Edmonton.

Outside of moving Whitney, Murray managed to shed some extra weight, as Evgeny Artyukhin, Petteri Nokelainen, and Nick Boynton were traded for future picks and prospects.

Vesa Toskala, who did not play one game for Anaheim, was also shipped out to make room for new faces to back up No. 1 goaltender Jonas Hiller.

With 19 games remaining, the Ducks are hoping that a fresh blueline corps will give the team the security it needs to make it into a playoff spot.

Wednesday night the Ducks could have used the services of those new players in order to hold off the visiting Colorado Avalanche.  One would think that six Olympians could find some way to hold onto a two-goal lead on their own.

Apparently not.

Maybe they're just exhausted from carrying around those medals for the last few days.


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