Anaheim Ducks – Trade Dust Settles
Whew! I don’t know about the rest of you out there, but yesterday was a crazy, crazy day for an Anaheim Ducks fan. My cell phone kept going off all day long at my office with the NHL alerts; my boss asked every time: who are we losing now?? (He is also a Ducks fan as well) It did seem as if Anaheim was going bonkers with the trades and we lost a few good players. At least in my mind….. As I’ve said in the past about new players: I’ll reserve judgment until I can research them and more importantly, see them play. For now, let this be my ‘goodbye’ to players I’ve watched and come to love. Business is business, but it’s still hard. When you watch a team, even as a fan, you become invested. The Ducks had so many UFA’s at the end of this season; I guess the trades shouldn’t have come as a surprise. If the organization was looking to shake things up, they certainly did yesterday.
I’ll start with D Chris Kunitz: pittpen, you are lucky, lucky, lucky!! His first game out, he records a goal and an assist. (Our first game without him: Bruins killed us 6-0. I’m just saying…) He is a great player, as I’m sure you can see already and I am now watching the Penguins as well because of him.
Center Brendan Morrison was claimed off waivers by the Dallas Stars. He’s had a rough year with an injury and just couldn’t seem to get it going. He played for Anaheim this past Tuesday at Chicago and showed what a professional he is. I think it would be hard to play knowing your team just put you on waivers. He had 10 goals and 12 assists in 62 games this season.
Defenseman Steve Montador is one trade that I was really bummed about. I absolutely loved Montador as he was a player that did whatever he needed to do for the team. He played hard, dropped the gloves and was fun to watch. GM Bob Murray said it best when he called Montador a ‘warrior.’ He really is and the Bruins will be better off for this trade.
Center Sammy Pahlsson is a trade that I was shocked, but not shocked about. He was our leader in face-offs, so I know he’ll continue to be missed in that area. (While I know he’s been sick, I had a weird feeling about him.) He’s been a constant for this team and I’m thinking that the Blackhawks can only be a better team with Pahlsson, once he becomes acclimated to them. (I have a friendly grudge with a friend as he is a ‘Hawks fan, so that was hard for me to type.)
Now I get to the two trades that really, really bugged myself, my boss, my sons: the trading of LW Travis Moen and D Kent Huskins to the San Jose Sharks. My first thought: seriously? Really? Do the Sharks need anymore?? Moen?? Noooooooooo!
Defenseman Kent Huskins is just now coming off a foot injury; I understand he was actually on the ice recently. I know he was a popular player and looking at his stats, a pretty good defense player. He hasn’t played since December, but when playing, he is a solid player. The Ducks lost a bit in defense when he went on IR. When healthy, he’ll be an asset to an already solid Shark team.
Left Wing Travis Moen is the one of the last trades I expected. He is a hard-hitting, in your face player who doesn’t hesitate to step up for his teammates. (Here’s a link to the controversial Ott v Moen fight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bmAiuaRKow judge for yourself.) I’ve borrowed the following stats from the Ducks website:
- Last game: Scoreless with three hits, Feb. 28 @ DAL
- Scored goals in consecutive games (2-0=2), including the third SHG of his career on Jan. 28 vs. CHI
- Played his 300th career NHL game, Nov. 19 vs. WSH
- Posted a season-high 20:30 TOI with six hits, Nov. 2 vs. CGY
- Scored the second SHG of his career (also Mar. 12, 2008 vs. VAN), Oct. 25 @ MTL…also recorded his first GWG of the season
- Logged a career-high four-game point streak from Oct. 14-19, registering 1-3=4 points
He is a player that I always knew would come out swinging – he may not score multiple goals like Getzlaf or Perry, but he never hesitated to make the hit. I would look forward to his shift and as I like the hard hitting style of play, will really miss Moen on the team.
When all is said and done, the trades here look to be good ones for the future of the franchise. As I wrote in a different post, the team needed to look to the future. The situation with Scott Niedermayer (Brett Favre, anyone?) will eventually come to a head; acquiring some of the players this past month or so will at least allow the team to have defensive options. As a fan, it will be strange to see this team tomorrow night against the Stars. I will be looking for #32 (Moen), or #5 (Montador), for example, and it will be odd not to see them. Just as it was hard not seeing #14 (Kunitz) I have to remember that this is business. The teams who acquired the Ducks players: I truly believe that they will add to their new teams and I wish them all the best. As for the future, this humble Ducks fan sees the future looking brighter. Now, if we can just make it into the playoffs…….