It doesn't take a room full of infinite monkeys pounding away on an infinite number of typewriters to figure out it has been a slow news summer for Ducks fans. As such, just about anything these days seems to pique my interest. It's no secret the Ducks have been lacking a physical presence on the blueline since they traded Pronger, which made the news of New Jersey waiving Colin White for a potential buyout a very intriguing proposition.
Adding to my curiosities today was the news that there's still no news about Teemu Selanne coming back. There was a quick comment on the OC Register discussion boards on how the organization is being held up by Selanne's decision making process. I have mixed feelings on that sentiment. Full analysis after the jump, starting with White and moving on to Selanne.This is the second time I've deviated from a prior statement and admitted that I'd like it if the Ducks pursued a defenseman. I think both fall into the category of exceptional circumstances. A few threads ago, I admitted that the now UFA Chris Campoli might not be a bad target. Now, I find myself wondering if Colin White might be worthy acquisition after his buy out. There's no telling if he's interested. But, the guy is a two time Cup winner in NJ and has shown over the course of his career that he knows how to use that 6'4", 220 lbs. frame of his. Sutton was supposed to be that physical presence, but he never really put it together. I think White could be a considerable upgrade over Sutton and the newly acquired Kurtis Foster in the category of physical defenseman.
The scuttlebutt on Foster claims the guy just doesn't know how to use his body. Meanwhile, White has already made a career out of punishing guys in front of the net. Foster will be 30 in November, and it is unlikely that his physical play is going to magically blossom down here in Anaheim. White might be the veteran presence the Ducks need to finally shore up the D and solidify the pairings. I'd like to see something along the lines of Lubo-Lydmann, Beauchemin-White, Fowler-Sbisa. White is a slightly more prone to injury. That means Brookbank or Foster will have to play about 15 games this year in his absence, but if he can stay healthy for most of the season and the post-season, he'll probably be worth the 2-2.5 it'll take to sign him. We might have just received Foster, but White is the winning, veteran, physical defender we've needed for a while. I think he's worth a chance. And if GM Bob Murray can, by the grace of the hockey gods, negotiate him below 2 million, all the better.
As for the Selanne situation, I myself have been wondering about it for a while as well. My opinions of Selanne soured a little bit after my revelation that Kariya took all the blame for the two of them heading to Colorado, which made me sad because Selanne was always my favorite player. I remember being so angry when he got traded, but I digress. It's undeniable that Selanne's turtle paced decision making is bad for the organization's progress. The "Will he? Won't he?" puts pressure on Murray to think of acquiring scoring while also preserving Selanne's roster spot. If he spent Teemu's money before Teemu came back - a la Burke after we won the Cup - I'd probably stop being the only person around here who dislikes him.
However, I think the alternative is so much more painful. If the Ducks didn't wait for his decision, and they did make moves without leaving space for him, it would be disastrous for the roster and the organization. The Ducks simply cannot afford to do anything but wait - and they must wait. Selanne has been Anaheim's favorite son since he came back after the lockout. He's delivered on the ice, both in terms of numbers and memories. His impact literally can't be measured. And so, we continue to wait. It's the right thing to do. It's like waiting for your girlfriend/boyfriend to get ready for a great night out. Sure, it takes a while, but the result is just worth the wait. Therefore, to anyone out there, vocal or otherwise, who thinks the Ducks shouldn't give Selanne all the time he wants to make his decision, back off!