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Anaheim Ducks

Anaheim Ducks Draft Their Way

Anaheim DucksWell, the biggest news of the NHL Draft Day 2009 was obviously the trade of Chris Pronger to the Philadelphia Flyers. Considering it was mentioned within the first 2 minutes of the telecast, I would say it was big news indeed. So, Pronger and Ryan Dingle were traded to the Flyers for Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa, two first round selections (2009 & 2010) and a conditional third round pick (2010 or 2011). I am sad to see Prongs go and am glad that he didn’t go to the Kings. The Flyers are not a team the Ducks play too often; say what you will about Pronger, I don’t want him playing against the Ducks. People seem to hate him until he’s on their team. He was a part of the Stanley Cup winning team and I wish him all the best.

First of all, I have to say that Bob Murray has done a phenomenal job since taking over as GM. He shook up the team, made trades that were needed and got them some cap space. As we all know, it’s not over yet. Yes, some of the trades were hard to swallow (Kunitz still comes to mind) but they were needed. Hockey is still a business.

In the past two days, the Ducks drafted 3 defensemen, 2 centers and 1 right wing as well as a goaltender. As I am not as versed in the draft as I’d like to be (I’m still learning), I can’t predict when (or if) these kids are going to end up at the Honda Center:

• Center Peter Holland
• Center/right wing Kyle Palmieri
• Defenseman Matt Clark
• Goaltender Igor Bobkov
• Defenseman Sami Vatanen
• Right wing Radoslav Illo
• Defenseman Scott Valentine

I am most interested in Bobkov as I am a huge goalie fan; can’t help – I just am! (There were a couple of Swiss goalies that didn’t get drafted; I was bummed.) This link explains these picks far better than I ever could, if you’re interested:

http://ducks.freedomblogging.com/2009/06/27/closer-look-at-ducks-draft-picks/15461/

Out of all this, Joffrey Lupul comes back to Anaheim. He was originally drafted by the Ducks in 2002. In 2006, Lupul was part of a deal to Edmonton that brought Pronger to Anaheim. Now, in 2009, Pronger is part of a deal that brings Lupul back to Anaheim. Isn’t that an interesting circle of life? (Cue The Lion King music…..wait! The Samulei’s own the Ducks. Not Disney. My bad.) Lupul could be a major part of the secondary scoring that the Ducks need. He is reportedly happy to be back, so that is a good start.

Luca Sbisa was also part of the trade. He is an Italian-born Swiss defenseman who played not only in a Stanley Cup final in 2009, but also in the WHL finals. Murray feels he’s a good addition saying, “He can do everything, and he’s a guy who just goes out and plays. I know Philly was planning on having him on their team this year. My guys tell me he will play on our team this year, but he will ultimately determine that.”

I am very interested to see how these two pan out for Anaheim, even though Lupul has been here before. Things have been written that this team is rebuilding. I have to agree with the fans who have said they are not rebuilding, but retooling. I like retooling better. After all, no team – no matter how good we may think they are – can stay the same.

We still have free agency to get through and one notable testing free agency is Defenseman Francois Beauchemin. I’d like to keep him, but that may not be an option. If he can get more money playing somewhere else, who can blame him?

I’m also trying to keep up on the goalie situation at Anaheim. I keep saying I want to keep both Giguere and Hiller, but am wondering if that is unrealistic.

One last thing: thank god for the Olympics!!! While it has not been said the Olympics is (are?) the reason, we have Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne coming back for the 2009-2010 season!!!!!!!!!! WHOO HOO! I do believe over the past two days, I’ve heard collective sighs of relief from Duck fans everywhere.

Looking over everything that has happened to the Anaheim Ducks in the calendar year 2009 (so far!) this upcoming season looks to be exciting, indeed!!!! I believe it was Pierre McGuire that commented Anaheim was now a team to be reckoned with. I’m paraphrasing, of course. But, I have to agree.

LET’S GO DUCKS!!!

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Discussion

5 comments for “Anaheim Ducks Draft Their Way”

  1. That was quite a trade, you guys got the better end of the deal in my opinion - considering the cap and UFA situation the Ducks are in.

    Posted by sharksfanNo Gravatar | June 28, 2009, 1:59 pm
  2. Absolutely agree! This next season is going to be verrrrrry interesting!

    Posted by DuxRoxNo Gravatar | June 28, 2009, 3:19 pm
  3. I just wish Pronger wouldn’t have gone to Philly…

    Posted by pittpenNo Gravatar | June 30, 2009, 6:07 pm
  4. the Penguins play Philly alot? I was glad the Ducks DIDN’T play the Flyers often. Don’t worry - Kunitz knows Pronger……..

    Posted by DuxRoxNo Gravatar | June 30, 2009, 7:58 pm
  5. Yeah, the Pens and Flyers are in the same division. Those games are always ones that I dread because of how physical they are.

    Posted by pittpenNo Gravatar | July 6, 2009, 6:02 am

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