tsn.ca’s Scott Cullen has his annual review of all 30 NHL teams as we approach the countdown to the busiest day of the season. I take Scott’s excellent groundwork a step further and look at some players and situations taht might make sense for our Ducks.First what tsn.ca’s Scott Cullen posted:


UFA in 2011: Teemu Selanne, Todd Marchant, Aaron Voros, Paul Mara, Andreas Lilja, Curtis McElhinney.

RFA in 2011: Maxim Lapierre, Kyle Chipchura, Luca Sbisa.

Top Prospects:
Jake Gardiner, D, Wisconsin (WCHA)
Emerson Etem, C, Medicine Hat (WHL)
Nicolas Deschamps, LW, Syracuse (AHL)
Justin Schultz, D, Wisconsin (WCHA)
Peter Holland, C, Guelph (OHL)

Others of Interest: Joffrey Lupul, Brandon McMillan, Sheldon Brookbank.

No-Trade Clauses: Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu, Lubomir Visnovsky.

The Plan: While the Ducks patched together a serviceable defence corps this season, inking vets Paul Mara and Andreas Lilja on the cheap, they could use another bona fide top four defenceman if they are going to keep pushing for the playoffs.

There’s enough firepower up front, when healthy, so there are no glaring needs there; maybe a veteran checker. G Jonas Hiller has been outstanding and the Ducks have signed Ray Emery as an insurance policy, so Anaheim should be in a buyer’s position as they jockey for playoff position.

Bringing in another Top 4 D-man is a little tricky. We’re committed to Visnovsky and Lydman for two more seasons. Rookie Cam Fowler, while not without some rookie moments, is already a legit Top 4 NHL D-man. Luca Sbisa is well on his way to realizing his abundant promise as well. Do we want to commit beyond this season to a new Top 4 D-man? I think not.

Cullen’s analysis of a Top 4 D-man and a veteran defensive forward makes sense. I’m not sure about the veteran forward though. If you believe our Ducks are a Cup contender this year, well okay. I’m not there though. The experience gained by a guy like Brandon McMillan is worth more than a vet like Panthers Cory Stillman or Columbus Ethan Moreau might bring.

The Francois Beauchemin chat is humorous. We didn’t think he was worth the big contract he got from Toronto two years ago. He’s done absolutely nothing to show he’s worth that kind of contract. So why are some Ducks fans wasting bandwidth advocating bringing back Frankie? I don’t get it.

Burkie’s advertised price for Tomas Kaberle is laughable. Leafs were offered  Tampa Bay’s Ryan Malone and they probably should have taken it. It’s doubtful Leafs will do much better on a late first round or second round entry draft pick. If Kabs refuses a trade and leaves via UFA this summer, look for the gathering howls @ Brian Burke to grow louder.

Chris Philips is on everybody’s short list. He might have been moved already if not for that pesky NTC he’s got.  It’s Philips who controls his own destiny. Sens GM Bryan Murray is also holding out for the absolute best return.

Panthers will probably get some offers for Bryan McCabe but I hope the Ducks pass. McCabe at 35 has a lot of miles on him, his numbers have been consistently lower over the past 4 seasons. I really wonder just how much he has left in the tank.

One under the radar player who might become available is the St. Louis Blues Eric Brewer. At age 31, Brewer is something of a career underachiever but he’s solid. He can play in any situation and is versatile enough to assume any role. A solid vet, pending UFA. If the Blues become sellers he’s the one guy I’d want who I think we could get for a reasonable price.

Another intriguing player is the Oilers Dustin Penner. Not widely known is the fact Dustin very nearly refused the Oilers offer sheet. It was only after a “Are you freakin’ nuts” conversation with teammates that Penner decided to move on.

Ducks have the cap room to take on a couple $4 million contracts like Brewer and Penner. The real question is, do Brewer and Penner bring enough that we could compete for the Cup? If you answer yes, be prepared to part with a couple goodies from the cupboard.

I do know this, nothing sends a message that management believes than to bring in talent of the caliber of Brewer and Penner.

There is always the possibility of the blockbuster. The reset. With names like Atlanta’s Zach Bogosian and St. Louis Erik Johnson and an unpredictable play his cards close to the vest like Bob Murray, anything and nothing can happen.

  1. buick22 says:

    Penner would be great as he Perry and Getz are still really close, and would go right back together PPG style. Johnson would be good, interesting to see who Murray keeps, and who he sends packing, mostly it will depend on what teams are buying/selling. Much will change in two weeks.

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