So far Bob Murray and the Anaheim Ducks have had one of the quieter offseasons of the NHL’s 31 teams. By most standards, the Ducks had a successful 2016-17 season, coming from behind to win the Pacific Division for the fifth year in a row and making it to the final four of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They mostly proved their critics wrong, many of whom predicted the team would take a big step backwards this year. But for a team that has suffered more crushing postseason disappointments than any other team save for maybe the Capitals over the past half-decade, the Conference Finals aren’t enough. Nothing short of the Stanley Cup will suffice in Anaheim while Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are still the cornerstones of this franchise. With this year’s loss sending Murray back to the drawing board, let’s look at some of his moves so far.
Theodore to the Knights
Sure, Clayton Stoner was the official expansion draft pick of the Vegas Golden Knights but the real prize was young defenseman Shea Theodore. The Ducks had to do something to prevent losing Sami Vatanen or Josh Manson and the price turned out to be twenty-one-year-old who scored nine points in the regular season and added eight in the playoffs. Theodore was the Ducks’ best prospect but since their goal is to win now, Vatanen and Manson are more valuable. Not to mention the presence of prospects Brandon Montour and Jacob Larsson made Theodore even more expendable. It’s pretty ridiculous to think that the Ducks could have a top-six of Vatenen, Manson, Montour, Larsson, Cam Fowler, and Hampus Lindholm in a few years.
Former All-Star Ryan Miller has never really regained his top form from the 2009-10 season and he wasn’t exactly a world-beater in Vancouver last year but for a team looking for a new backup, getting him for two years at $2 million is a pretty good deal. He will likely be an upgrade…