Chipchura scores. No, seriously.
This is Anaheim Calling to the hockey world. Well Arthur, it looks like I was right, although in a sad technicality sort of way. Bob Murray decided he needed to make a move now in order to improve his club and acquired the "heart and soul player" that is Kyle Chipchura.
We will, of course, take a second to admire the awesomeness of Chipchura's name, and I personally hope that he skates around the ice saying his name like a Pokémon.
All jokes aside, Chipchura has a little size and is supposed to be a defensive forward. But after a 4-2-1 homestand that ended with two losses to division opponents, will Chipchura have any observable effect on the Ducks turning their game around, or is this just a sign that we'll be moving more impressive assets later and filling in with unwanted former First Rounders?
I want to say that this forecasts a Marchant trade, because Sharp has played so well in the circle and because I've been clamoring for a size upgrade on the third line. But at the end of the day, this feels like a roster shakeup that boils down to Murray being uncomfortable with the NHL GP stat on his roster. He'd rather have a guy who's played (regardless of how well he's played), rather than cast his lot with a Sbisa or a Beleskey.
Two seasons ago, Chipchura was a 12-minute guy, and if Nokelainen picks up Marchant's PK minutes or if we promote a healthy Ryan Carter to the third line, then this could still spell the end of Todd Marchant. But Chipchura just doesn't feel like the player that can make the front office more comfortable with that move, unless, as I said, they're feeling really good about Nokelainen or Carter.
For now, I think he'll come in, play for Beleskey and the Ducks will wait a few games to see what they have. This isn't a move that seems to replace anyone on the team, however. Not anyone but Beleskey or Sharp, who haven't exactly struggled in their limited roles.
If Matt Beleskey hadn't just had his best game of the season I'd say that Chipchura could make an immediate impact the way Kyle Calder had, meaning he can stand in front of the net and get lucky a couple of times. I agree that this signals the end for somebody. The homestand did not end on a positive note and, now we will be away from the Ponda Center for the next 21 of 30.
I think the most telling part of this trade is how difficult this question is to answer. Chipchura gives no indication that he will be an impact player. However, the fact that he has some size, something we need, and more experience than the likes of Beleskey and Sharp gives the impression that Murray is trying to do something to keep us playing well and get us into the playoffs. Murray is engaging in a massive misdirection campaign and has been since last year's trade deadline.
I've already said that Murray has been simply acquiring a variety of players and then asking Carlyle to make them fit into his system rather than making smart pick-ups and getting players that can make smooth transitions to Carlyle's system. In the end, Chipchura is another weak attempt by Murray to fill holes that he himself created with his mini fire sale at the deadline last year. As a result, our young players aren't getting the NHL experience they've earned through hard play, and our veterans are going to be sold off for younger players that other organizations have given up on.