What's Next?

The Ducks will have plenty of question marks as they move past their disappointing loss to Detroit in Game 7 and look ahead to the 2009-10 season

Friday, 05.15.2009 / 3:53 PM / Features
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What\'s Next?

By Matt Vevoda
AnaheimDucks.com

“Good luck to Bob Murray this summer,” Getzlaf said. “He has his work cut out for him. He’s fully qualified and knows what he wants. I’m excited to see what we bring next year.”

Even though the thought of the Ducks’ season being over now is still too fresh to completely fathom, the focus has already shifted on what will become of the team in 2009-10.

Entering the first offseason under Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Murray, Anaheim has plenty of question marks going forward. Who will and won’t be back from this version of the Ducks, which came together for a late-season surge that saw them down the top-seeded Sharks and nearly knock off the defending champion Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Playoffs?

 “Good luck to Bob Murray this summer,” said Ryan Getzlaf after Thursday night’s Game 7 loss at Detroit. “He has his work cut out for him. He’s fully qualified and knows what he wants. I’m excited to see what we bring next year.”

Before the team can ponder which players they may want to bring in from the outside, the Ducks will first need to figure out the fate on several of their own. Anaheim has seven players scheduled to be unrestricted free agents and another six restricted free agents come July 1. The person at the top of that list is future Hall-of-Famer and team captain Scott Niedermayer, who has flirted with retirement each of the past two seasons.

“I haven’t thought about it much,” said the defenseman, who may opt for another go-around with the Ducks to also get a chance to play in the impending 2010 Olympics being held in his native British Columbia (Vancouver). “I will now. We’ve had a lot of fun playing the last few months. The team has played well. It’s been fun to be here. I’ll figure it out.”

Others joining Scott Niedermayer in the unrestricted group are his brother Rob, his longtime defensive partner Francois Beauchemin, do-it-all forward Todd Marchant and one-year Ducks Bret Hedican, Josh Green and Brad Larsen.

“I haven’t thought about it much,” said Niedermayer of his future. “I will now. We’ve had a lot of fun playing the last few months. The team has played well. It’s been fun to be here. I’ll figure it out.”

On the restricted are defenseman James Wisniewski and forwards Mike Brown and Erik Christensen, three players acquired during the season that played huge roles in the team’s stretch run. They are joined by prospects Brett Festerling, Troy Bodie and Petri Kontiola. Being restricted free agents, Anaheim will have the right to match any offer that may come these players way in the coming months and teams who sign them would have to give draft picks to the Ducks as compensation.

“We all know Bob Murray,” Teemu Selanne said. “He wants to have success. That’s a great sign.”

Wondering whether or not to hang up his skates alongside Niedermayer the past two summers has been Selanne. A free agent during those periods, the Finnish Flash is signed with the Ducks through next season and may also have an eye on playing in the Olympics once again. But he too will also take some time to figure out the future.

“I want to see what’s happening, what direction they want to go, and go from there,” Selanne said. “I feel I can really play at this level, and play well. I think it (a decision) is going to happen pretty quick.”

While the sting of losing to the Red Wings in the closing minutes of regulation in Game 7 will undoubtedly take some time to fade, the Ducks showed incredible grit and determination to even get to that point.

Mired near the bottom of the Western Conference standings at the trade deadline, Murray made several bold moves that proved to invigorate the Ducks. In 12th place as late as March 18 and afforded little room for error, the team went a remarkable 10-2-1 to close out the regular season and claim the final spot in a chaotic playoff race.

Given little chance by prognosticators against San Jose, the Presidents’ Trophy winners, Anaheim coolly dispatched the Sharks in six games of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. The Ducks were in it until the end against Detroit too in the Semifinals, fighting back from a two-goal deficit to tie the game in the third period of Game 7 before their season was cut short.

“Obviously nobody knows what’s going to happen with this team,” Selanne (left) said. “They have big decisions coming up. You can’t really think about that too much because you don’t know, but the future for this franchise, I think, is very great. There are a lot of main guys here. They’re young. It’s a great way to build a good team, so a lot of good things are happening here.”

“We definitely take the second half of the season as a success, but we dug ourselves a pretty big hole at the (All-Star) break,” Getzlaf said. “Our guys did an unbelievable job coming back. Guys (brought in) at the deadline meshed in really well and gave our team that boost. We’re pretty excited and happy to have gone as far as we did, but we didn’t reach our goal.”

Said another key acquisition, Ryan Whitney, “We really jelled as a team and became pretty close and probably had as good a chance as anyone to go all the way.”

Tough decisions will have to be made on the team’s roster going forward. But aiding the cause is the fact that the team has an incredible young nucleus to build around in Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan, Whitney and goaltender Jonas Hiller. The 27-year-old netminder shined in the 2009 postseason with two shutouts, a 2.23 goals-against average and .943 save percentage.

“Obviously nobody knows what’s going to happen with this team,” Selanne said. “They have big decisions coming up. You can’t really think about that too much because you don’t know, but the future for this franchise, I think, is very great. There are a lot of main guys here. They’re young. It’s a great way to build a good team, so a lot of good things are happening here."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 31 56 28 87
C. Perry 81 43 39 32 82
N. Bonino 77 22 27 14 49
M. Perreault 69 18 25 13 43
A. Cogliano 82 21 21 13 42
C. Fowler 70 6 30 15 36
K. Palmieri 71 14 17 9 31
D. Winnik 76 6 24 6 30
H. Lindholm 78 6 24 29 30
S. Koivu 65 11 18 3 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 20 5 0 .923 2.29
J. Hiller 29 13 7 .911 2.48


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