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To trade or not to trade… our future?

There’s all this talk about trading now for an immediate result. But what’s lacking in that choice of opinion happens to be the long development to create such a great foundation to get to a championship level, let alone a playoff level. There are too many holes to fill to acquire a championship level as many have noted, but it seems a bit ignorant and selfish to simply say, "Let’s trade our prospects to win one right away."

Players from 2000 – 2006

Player

Position

Year Acquired

How Acquired

Notes

Ilya Bryzgalov

G

2000

Drafted

2nd round, 44th overall; NHL Reg. ‘05/06

JS Giguere

G

2000

Trade

(2ndround pick)

Drafted in 1995, didn’t become an NHL regular until he became a Duck

Andy McDonald

C

2000

Undrafted FA

Debut ‘00/01 for 16 games; Regular in ‘03/04

Sami Pahlsson

C

2000

Trade

(2 no namers)

His rookie season in the NHL. Drafted in 1996.

Joel Perrault

C

2001

Drafted

5h round

Martin Gerber

G

2001

Drafted

8th round

Joffrey Lupul

C/RW

2002

Drafted

1st round, 7th overall; debut ‘03/04

Ryan Getzlaf

C

2003

Drafted

1st round, 19th overall debut ‘05/06

Corey Perry

RW

2003

Drafted

1st round, 28th overall debut ‘05/06

Shane O’Brien

D

2003

Drafted

8st round, 250th overall debut ‘06/07

Chris Kunitz

LW

2003

Undrafted FA

Debut ‘03/04 for 21 games; Regular in ‘05/06

Rob Nieds.

RW

2003

Trade Deadline

Deadline trade for minor league prospects G Damphousse and D Commodore (lazy at the time)

Ladislav Smid

D

2004

Drafted

1st round, 9th overall

Dustin Penner

LW

2004

Undrafted FA

Debut ‘05/06 for 19 games; Regular in ‘06/07

Bobby Ryan

RW

2005

Drafted

1st round, 2nd overall debut ‘07/08

Brendan Mikkelson

D

2005

Drafted

2nd round, 31st overall debut ‘08/09

Teemu

RW

2005

UFA

Scotty Nieds.

D

2005

UFA

Beauch

D

2005

Trade

(FEDOROV)

A wavier player the year before we traded for him.

Todd Marchant

C

2005

Waiver

Pick-up

Moen

LW

2005

Trade

Was traded for little used Holmqvist.

Sean O’Donnell

D

2005

Trade Deadline

Was traded for Joel Perrault.

Prongs

D

2006

Trade

Lupul, Smid, two first rounders, and a second round pick.

To get to the Championship level in 2006/07, the Ducks went through three GM’s and three head coaches. But one of those coaches went to become the Ducks’ GM. That same GM resigned to go back to Canada, a trend setter I see. Anyhow, here’s the lineup we had for the championship season:

2006/07 Championship Roster

Forwards

Kunitz

Andy McDonald

Teemu

Penner

Getzlaf

Perry

Moen

Pahlsson

Rob

Parros/Hartigan/May

Marchant

Carter/Motzko

Defense

Scotty

Beauch

Shane was parlayed into a 1st round pick for 2007. Then the pick was traded down for a 1st and 2nd rounder. (Logan MacMillan and Eric Tangrandi)

Prongs

O’Donnell

Huskins

Dipenta

Jackman

Shane O’Brien*

Goalies

JS Giguere

Ilya Bryzgalov

So before Burke inherited the team, of the top 9 forwards, only two were not part of the line up for the championship season were Teemu and Moen. The 2005/06 season had Lupul already part of the group and therefore the forwards were stacked! The goalies were already set as well. Defense is where Burke made his mark by signing Scotty and acquiring Beauch in a trade. Beauch was still a young prospect when we traded for him. (The team did have Salei and Vishnevski in 2005/06 season.) Pronger came along, but he came at an expensive price: Lupul, our number 1 prospect, D Smid, a 2007 first and second rounder, as well as another conditional first round pick if the Ducks reach the Stanley Cup finals in the next three years.

Making the trade was easy when you consider the following factors: 1) The team will have Scotty, Beauch and Prongs for a few years. You can easily build around that. 2) Look at your top 8 forwards at the time! Lupul can be expendable. Although, I didn’t see the Oil making an outrageous offer to Penner. 3) You also have Bobby Ryan waiting in the wings. 4) You had young defensive prospects still trying to learn the system. I believe the Ducks were one of a few teams that can absorb the huge loss of players and prospects (draft picks included).

Take a notice of how many of players before Burke got here were home grown or were traded for because they were young with potential.

Now let’s look at this year’s roster, 2012-12 season:

2012-13 Ducks’ Roster (not set in stone!)

Forwards

(Ryan)

Getzlaf

Perry

Cogs

Koivu

Selanne

Winnik

(Holland)

(Palmieri)

(DSP)

Bonino

Defense

Beauch

Fowler

Lydman

Souray

Allen

Sbisa

Goalies

Hiller

Fasth

The only place that doesn’t have holes are in defense and net minding. In fact, we have two prospect defensemen knocking on that NHL door and another goalie willing to get that chance! What we don’t have is a proven forwards group with prospects willing to get their chance. Perry and Getz took three years to hit the NHL. For our young group, if we look at the three year plan, those players are RW Palmieri, C Holland, and D Vatanen.

Now let’s look at our prospects. The NHL ETA is just my opinion, so take it for a grain of salt.

Duck Prospects

Position

Player

Drafted

Round

NHL ETA

RW

Kyle Palmieri

2009

1

2012/13

D

Sami Vatanen

2009

4

2013/14

RW

Emerson Etem

2010

1

2013/14

C

Peter Holland

2009

1

2012/13

D

Hampus Lindholm

2012

1

2013/14

LW

Devante Smith-Pelly

2010

2

NHL

G

John Gibson

2011

2

2015/16

C/RW

Rikard Rakell

2011

1

2013/14

C

Nicolas Kerdiles

2012

2

2015/16

C

William Karlsson

2011

2

2014/15

G

Federik Andersen

2012

3

2013/14

C

Chris Wagner

2010

5

2015/16

LW

Max Friberg

2011

5

2014/15

D

Andy Welinski

2011

3

2015/16


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As stated above, it takes time for our prospects to develop a la Getz and Perry. But it also took a lot of time to gather the mass of talent pre-lockout because the Ducks were working with a budget as well. There is one huge difference between then and now is that we don’t have a lot of undrafted Free Agent college players to make the NHL scene with us.

We are not as talented as we may think when compared to the 2005/06 team. With impending FA’s Getz and Perry combined with Teemu’s possible retirement, we may not be able to absorb losing those three players along with the prospects that we will be trading away. Those prospects would be Palmieri, Vatanen, and Etem. There could be a possibility to include Lindholm to that list as well. Outside of those four, no other prospects scream blue chip aside from G John Gibson. Holland hasn’t received any great reviews as a can’t miss prospect, but he’s playing a two way game.

Our defense will need replenishing sooner than later as we may not re-sign Lydman and we don’t know if Souray’s body can hold up all three years. On top of all that, we’re a budget team.

Not too many people realize what good fortune Burke fell into when he accepted the Ducks offer to be their GM. Scotty ($6.7 mil) was available, but we traded away Fedorov and his contract ($6 mil). Ozolinsh’ contract($2.75 mil) was also dealt away in 2005. Beauchmin was a great find and his price was $500 K. Burke created financial space for the Ducks and very responsible during 2005. What he isn’t responsible with is drafting. Even though the Ducks lost two first rounders and a second round pick in the Pronger deal, Burke was able to take Shane O’Brien and make him into a first round pick to which was traded into a first and second round pick. Aside from Bobby Ryan, Gardiner, Schultz and McMillian, there isn’t much to talk about during Burke’s tenure. Heck, Burke let Bryz go through the waiver wire instead of acquiring draft picks for him.

Since money definitely is an issue here, let’s look at our fiscal trend:

Anaheim Salary Expenditures

Rank

Year

Salary

CBA Cap

CBA Floor

Median

Difference

19

2005

$32.1

$39.0

$23.0

$31

+ $1.1

15

2006

$40.5

$44.0

$28.0

$36

+ $4.5

4

2007

$51.3

$50.3

$34.4

$42.3

+ $9

20

2008

$49.8

$56.7

$40.7

$48.7

+ $1.1

12

2009

$55.2

$56.8

$40.8

$48.8

+ $6.4

17

2010

$53.9

$59.4

$43.4

$51.4

+ $2.5

15

2011

$57.5

$64.3

$48.3

$56.3

+ $1.2

Salaries are from a USAToday online site. CBA numbers from Wikipedia.

http://content.usatoday.com/sportsdata/hockey/nhl/Ducks/salaries/2005

Wow! Did Burke up the spending in 2007. That was the year that he signed Big Bert, Schnieder and Weight. Although, the Schnieder signing was due to Scotty being indecisive during the off-season. The spike in 2009 might be off because they, USA Today, are counting Vis’ full $7 million salary when Vis only played 16 games for us. This offseason, we will lose Vis’ $5 million as well as Ellis’ $1.5 million. So I suppose there is some money to spend on another FA. But who’s out there?

Next year, Getz and Perry’s contracts are up. How much more are they going to expect as in a raise? An extra $2 million on top of their current salary? So that is an additional $4 million to 2013 budget. That’s a FA or two there for that money. It may seem easy to say to trade a prospect with a cheap contract for a quality first line winger or a quality second line center, but how much do you think it may cost to afford one? The money isn’t yours and so you don’t have a sense of responsibility to budget, but expect a team to put out the best players out there. We are not the Flyers. Last year, the Kings’ salary was $64.4 million. That is $7 million more than our salary and at the Salary Cap.

This team does have a lot of holes, but too much to overcome if we’re trying to trade away our youth, talent-wise and fiscally. We have no idea if we’re on the right path yet with BB at the helm, but at least our defense and goal tending is secure, on paper. And some of our prospects are on the verge of making the NHL within a year or two with Palmieri, Etem, Vatanen, Holland, and Lindholm. There’s also an off chance you might see Rakell and Friberg make that jump in two years. DSP is already NHL ready and needs a spot on the Ducks’ roster.

In trading away the future now, we stunt the organization’s growth. Since 2005, we’ve only had Bobby Ryan, Brendan Mikkelson and McMillian make the roster. In four years of drafting, we’ve had five players make the NHL : Ryan, Mikkelson, McMillan, Gardiner and Tangradi. Schultz is set to make the NHL. Mikkelson, McMillan, and Tangradi are players that are still trying to establish themselves on the NHL level.

Now let’s look at the past four years of drafting under Murray.

Notable Players Drafted from 2009 – 2012

Year

Round

Player

Position

2009

1 (15)

Peter Holland

C

2009

1 (26)

Kyle Palmieri

RW

2009

2 (37)

Mat Clark

D

2009

3 (76)

Igor Bobkov

G

2009

4 (106)

Sami Vatanen

D

2010

1 (12)

Cam Fowler

D

2010

1 (29)

Emerson Etem

RW

2010

2 (42)

DSP

RW

2010

5 (122)

Chris Wagner

RW

2010

6 (177)

Kevin Lind

D

2011

1 (30)

Rickard Rakell

RW

2011

2 (39)

John Gibson

G

2011

2 (53)

William Karlsson

C

2011

3 (83)

Andy Welinski

D

2011

4 (143)

Max Friberg

LW

2012

1 (6)

Hampus Lindholm

D

2012

2 (36)

Nicolas Kerdiles

LW

2012

3 (87)

Frederik Andersen

G


From 2009 class, Palmieri and Clark have actually seen NHL time. Bobkov is still developing as most netminders need time to develop. Holland and Vatanen are scratching at the door to reach the NHL level. 2010 has already had one mainstay from that year, Fowler. DSP made the team last year, but injuries plagued him. Etem had just finished scoring over 100 point in the minors. Wagner and Lind are slowly developing in the NCAA. In those two years of drafting alone, four players have seen the NHL level. And the scary part is there will be more from those two years!

The 2011 class looks like a class drafted for the future as they will take their time with them to develop. The Tre Konor kids have loads of potential where one person has Rakell and Karlsson listed as two of the Ducks’ top five prospects. Friberg acts like a Martin St. Louis in stature and scoring! Welinski is getting notoriety by being included for Team USA world juniors. And that leads up to Gibson, who’s development has been amazing at juniors and WJC’s.

Last year’s draft has two draftees already scratching at the NHL post with reports from scouts, fans, and our GM. Lindholm may make the team this year as opposed to next year as per Murray. And Andersen happens to be one of the best goalies from over the pond. The Carolina Hurricanes tried to sign him, but it just didn’t’ work out and Andersen went back into the draft. He could have been a red flag as he wouldn’t sign for the ‘Canes, but the team was able to sign Andersen. Kudos to the GM? Kerdiles looks like a power forward in the making as he joins both Welinski and Gibson for Team USA.

Drafting is just as important as acquiring FA’s and trading for personnel. And drafting is the most important aspect to most teams who don’t have deep pockets because it is where a team can develop a great foundation. That’s how the Ducks were able to win a championship. Previous GM’s helped in creating a championship where the players that were involved started all the way back to 2000. It took about seven years with a lockout to come out with a championship. That lockout helped Teemu’s knees. The team hasn’t had much to develop during the Burke years and it’s hurting us now. If our cupboards were full and continuous, then yes we could have made trades or seen more youngings enter our system. Yet not enough of that has transpired.

Thus, I will abstain from the thought of trading our future away right now. I want some of the young prospects get some burn at the NHL level, especially now that we’re rolling four lines. Spread the youth among the veterans for protection and hopefully to inspire the veterans. The Ducks are brimming with talent and are also dealing with an unknown future. I’d rather be prepared with our prospects developing as it is the safer route for now.

This article is user-generated. It does not necessarily reflect the views of Anaheim Calling. Please do not link this article as representative of Anaheim Calling content or viewpoints . . . unless it's <em>really</em> really good.

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