Offseason Roundup: Anaheim Ducks
Over the next month, theScore's NHL editors will review all the offseason moves for each team around the league.
The Anaheim Ducks are one of the teams that benefited from a trade request made by a team in their division. Instead of having to battle against Ryan Kesler, they'll have him on their side.
Including Kesler, five new faces enter the Ducks organization by way of trades and free-agent signings. General manager Bob Murray extended four other players, notably Devante Smith-Pelly.
The most intriguing storyline to chase during the trade deadline and into the draft was that of disgruntled Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler's destination. This wasn't going to be another Roberto Luongo situation - or so everyone hoped - and he would be on the move before the start of the season.
Kesler gave his list to general manager Mike Gillis, who wasn't in the picture when new general manager Jim Benning pulled the trigger. The in-conference deal may come back to bite the Canucks.
In exchange for Kesler and a 2015 third-round pick coming to the Ducks, Anaheim lost Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa, first-round pick Jared McCann, and a third-round pick (dealt to the New York Rangers).
The Ducks signed Bonino to a three-year, $5.7-million extension in November before dealing him. Sbisa was under contract for another year at $2.9-million and played big minutes when the Ducks were hurting and desperate for defensemen due to injuries.
Among the extensions are 2010 second-round draft pick Smith-Pelly (two years, $1.6-million), Jakob Silfverberg (one year, $850,500), Patrick Maroon (three years, $6-million), and Sami Vatanen (two years,-$2.525 million).
The Ducks were busy this offseason and picked up Nate Thompson for fourth and seventh-round draft picks, and Louis LeBlanc for a conditional 2015 fifth-round pick.
Among their free-agent signings were Dany Heatley (one year, $1-million) who is set to play with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf, Clayton Stoner (four years, $13-million), and veteran backup goaltender Jason LaBarbera (one year, $750,000).
The end of a career was celebrated as Teemu Selanne hung up his skates and decided to retire at the age of 44. After 21 NHL seasons, Selanne retires with 1,457 points in 1,451 games and a bronze medal at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics with Finland.
With all the movement this season, the Ducks did not have a first-round draft pick.
Selanne's departure will mean a shift for the Ducks. They no longer have the veteran around and his comments this summer regarding his rift with coach Bruce Boudreau don't shine positive light on the season. The Ducks will cross their fingers and hope Heatley is the answer to the missing puzzle piece on their top line with Perry and Getzlaf.
In net, Jonas Hiller may be gone, but Frederik Andersen and John Gibson are more than capable of holding their own. The team is being infused with younger talent which marks a shift with the retirements of Selanne and Koivu.
If the Ducks can massage all the pieces together the right way, an early playoff exit will not be in the cards.
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