And You Get a Roster Spot! And You Get a Roster Spot!

Our team is struggling and needs something - anything - to bring a swift kick in the pants to the Ducks. Many here in the Ducks nest were calling for big trades to shake up the team and jump start the stagnant offense. Others were suggesting pickups on waivers that would benefit the team without having to give up prospects. As a regular reader of the blog, GM Bob Murray took the advice of some readers (others he outright ignored - how rude!), and made the following moves to give the Ducks a different-ish look going into Wednesday's game with the purple princesses LA Kings:

Objective #1: Without cheating name the regular center for all four lines. Ryan Getzlaf, Saku Koivu, Maxime Maceneauer, and...and...I don't know the other one. Oops.

On Thursday, the Ducks jumped at the opportunity to grab (then) Atlannipeg Jet, centerman Ben Maxwell off re-entry waivers. (If he works out, I'm going for the nickname 'Maxwell Smart'. Google it.) His $715,000 cap hit at the NHL level will be split between the Ducks and the Thrashets. His numbers aren't great, but the Ducks see something in him that they like better than the revolving door of rookies and sophomores making the rounds.



Ben Maxwell

#14 / Center / Anaheim Ducks

6-1

195

Mar 30, 1988



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2011 - Ben Maxwell 4 0 0 0 -2 0 0 0 0 1

Maxwell is a Canadian citizen and must obtain a work visa before being able to play for the Ducks. For whatever reason, that process is taking longer than usual. He is expected to arrive in Anaheim tomorrow, but will not dress for the game - or maybe he will. I'm rarely surprised by anything anymore.

Objective #2: Buzz kill.

Days after scoring his first ever NHL goal versus Vancouver, center Peter Holland was sent back to Syracuse. Holland played under seven minutes in the game versus the Wild, the least of any Duck that game. My guess is that Nick Bonino is close to returning to the line-up after sitting out with a hyper-extended knee. With all the troubles the Ducks have had at center, and the centers they've moved to wings (Andrew Cogliano and Brandon McMillan), they're going to throw everything at the wall to see what sticks.

Objective #3: Finn for the win!

For most people around the world, when times are tough, the only logical place to turn is...Finland? Ok, that may not be the national security policy of the United States, but it sure seems to be policy of the Ducks. Where there was once Petteri Nokelainen and Jarkko Ruutu, there is now Niklas Hagman. Duck Buddy David BL floated the idea of the Ducks picking Hagman up, and BOOM, it happened! The Ducks claimed Hagman on re-entry waivers from the Calgary Flames. (Perhaps David BL is David McNabb in hiding...)



Niklas Hagman

#12 / Left Wing / Anaheim Ducks

5-10

205

Dec 05, 1979



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2011 - Niklas Hagman 8 1 3 4 3 2 1 0 1 14

Hagman is joining his fellow Finnish national team buddies, Koivu, Teemu Selanne, and Toni Lydman. The OC Register reports that Selanne has "had is eye on Hagman" for a while. If the Great 8 asks, you will deliver. Like Maxwell Smart, Hagman is being held up by visa issues; however, he was at practice today. Not sure if that's breaking the law, but this is the Ducks we're talking about.

Objective #4: Replace two role-players in the lineup. No big deal, right?

George Parros is the top enforcer and Lubomir Visnovsky is (supposed to be) the top offensive defenseman. With Parros out of the lineup, the enforcing duties have fallen by default to Sheldon Brookbank. Since Sheldon is on D and Lubo is out of the lineup, the Ducks don't want/need Brookbank sitting in the box for five leaving the other defenseman to pick up additional slack while trying to compensate for the loss of Lubo. The solution the Ducks settled on was bringing up defenseman Nate Guenin and winger Jean-Francois Jacques.

Captain Crunch (Guenin) will be on his second stint in Anaheim. He scored his first NHL goal in his first game as a Duck, but showed some non-NHL-level tendencies. Plus, Toni Lydman was ready to come back in the lineup and Guenin's services were no longer needed. He'll play minimal minutes, but provide a little more nastiness to the Ducks D. Speaking of nastiness, welcome back JF Jacques. He was called up and sent back several times during the road trip that would never end, so he could serve his suspension levied by the Shanahammer in the preseason. Jacques is the answer as an extra enforcer. He can beat the crap out of people. As long as he controls his rage issues and decides to destroy people only when appropriate, he'll be an excellent fill-in for George. Sure, neither carries a large offensive threat, but at the time of his injury, neither did Lubo.

If you look at Cap Geek, the Ducks are currently at approximately $61 million - waaaay over the internal budget of $54 to $56 million set by the Samuelis. That figure is a bit misleading. It doesn't factor in the players that are on Injured Reserve: Parros, Visnovsky, Jason Blake, and Matt Smaby (remember him?). The Ducks have the room to bring players up and down because of the extra space, but that doesn't mean they're going to be doing any shopping. Lubo will be back in four weeks, and no one is going to take Blake's contract on while he's on IR. Until then, the Ducks will continue to bargain hunt with players on waivers and trying almost everyone on Syracuse's roster.

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