[Ed. Note: Throughout the All-Star Break, the Anaheim Calling team will be giving their mid-season reports. First up was our intrepid Crunch reporter Alex and her analysis of our Ducklings. Next, the man I'm pretty sure was sober when he wrote this - Daniel.]
I like introductions, probably because I teach public speaking, so you'll have to forgive me for not beginning in earnest, as they say. The All Star Break is a good time for quiet reflection on everything that has happened, and for me to write things that will make people wonder if the world will really end in 2012.
First Half Most Valuable Player: Bob Murray, General Manager.
I don't know who's jaw just dropped, but I heard it and it made me laugh.
Ok, so Murray technically isn't a player. However, There are really only two choices for MVP anyway: Teemu Selanne and Corey Perry. Selanne because you know, he's Selanne, and Perry is the only one of the Big 3 who has managed to turn in consistent efforts. Therefore, I felt I had to think outside the box. Let me clear something up, this doesn't mean I don't think Murray should keep his job. He should definitely be fired. I've said for a long time that if Murray didn't want to get Carlyle the players Carlyle wanted/needed, then he needed to get rid of Carlyle. Well, things got bad...really bad, and he finally got rid of Carlyle. Hiring Boudreau gave the fanbase something to care about again, and that's pretty invaluable.
Speculation was rampant. People wanted to know how the team would change, if Bobby Ryab would improve, if there would be personnel changes to fit Boudreau's need. It gave the fans a reason to talk about their Ducks moving forward rather than how badly they wanted the season to end. I still don't have a lot of confidence in the man as a GM. But, if we are talking about the person who made the largest impact on the team in the first half, it was Murray.
First Half Least Valuable Player: Jason Blake, Left Wing
Apparently, the Ducks want to convince the fan base that Jason Blake is actually a leprechaun. Ducks lose him after starting the season 4-1, and forgot how to play hockey. Blake comes back and the Ducks rattle off wins like an auctioneer calling bids. I'm not a subscriber to the theory that we are a better team with Blake in the lineup. Personally, I can't wait to see Devante Smth-Pelly in his spot on the third line after we trade him. However, it's hard to have less of an impact than not playing. If the Ducks were seriously affected by him not being in the lineup, then clearly he was the least valuable player as he was no help at all. Moreover, everyone not named Perry, Selanne or Francois Beauchemin can probably fit into this category, so I don't really see the point in going after them. Blake didn't play so he was the least valuable. It's nothing personal.
Bold Prediction for the Second Half:
I have two because I am a dirty, dirty cheater. First, Corey Perry is going to put the fear of god into goalies everywhere and join Pavel Bure and Alex Ovechkin as the only back-to-back winners of the Richard Trophy. Second, I twisted Alex's words in her post, and believed that she was predicting a trade of Kyle Palmieri. The more I think about it, the more I like it. Palmieri is the type of asset that should be sold high, IF he is going to be sold. Maybe, he can be packaged in a deal for that top defenseman we covet. It's not as crazy as it sounds, which is saying something because it sounds pretty crazy. Still, I can't shake the feeling that Murray will finally make a trade that will surprise everyone, because I'm beginning to think he secretly reads the blog and fancies my opinion. Palmieri is the type of player who gets moved in those situations.