Let's start with the moves Bob Murray has made.
McMillan has been stuck in Norfolk for most of this season, and he has not shown real promise since the 2010-2011 season. Lombardi is capable of stepping into a bottom six forward role for the big club. Both players are in the last year of their respective contracts. The difference is that McMIllan will become a restricted free agent this summer whereas Lombardi will become unrestricted. If Lombardi chips in during the playoff run, Murray will end up looking pretty good. That is, unless McMillan signs an extension with Phoenix and turns into the player we thought he was capable of becoming a couple years ago.
Harry Z has split time between the NHL and the AHL this year, and in his seven NHL games he has collected 36 penalty minutes and a four-game suspension. Sounds like a nice guy.
Overall, no major shakeups for the Ducks. Probably the biggest disappointment is that Murray did not pick up a top six forward. As is apparent from all the other trades made today, such players were definitely on the market. Here's a look at some missed oppor— I mean, other moves made around the league.
This one surprised me a little. Erat has spent all eleven of his NHL seasons in Nashville and he had a no-movement clause there. On the other side, Washington drafted Forsberg last summer with the eleventh overall pick, which was considered one of the steals of the first round. What does this mean for Ducks? If the Preds manage to sneak in to the playoffs, the Ducks could very well face them, likely in a 2 vs 7 matchup. With this trade, they lose one of their more dependable offensive weapons, which could have an effect on the outcome of a potential series. However, Forsberg has the potential to give them an elite scoring threat a few years down the line.
Minnesota gave up a lot for the Buffalo captain, but Pominville is a good player in the prime of his career with a contract that lasts until next year. What does this mean for the Ducks? The Minnesota Wild already had the potential to do damage in this year's playoffs, and Pominville only makes them better. If the Ducks and Wild survive long enough to meet in the postseason (because the Wild will not far fall enough to play the Ducks in the first round), expect the Ducks' 8-1 all time playoff record against them to take a little bit of a beating. 12-4 sounds about right to me.
For the first time I can remember, Columbus is trading for the present rather than the future. Given their playoff bubble position and how well they have played in recent stretches, I'm sure their fans are excited about their new GM Jarmo Kekalainen going for it rather than hedging his bets for coming years. (Although they did get rid of a couple of players with truly outstanding first names.) What does this mean for the Ducks? Gaborik and Comeau have not played their best hockey this season, but if Gaborik in particular can raise his game the way he has shown he can in the past, the Blue Jackets will push to join the top eight in the West. One elite scorer can turn the tides of a best-of-seven series, and should the Ducks meet the Jackets in the first round, they will have to deal with a potential game-changer in Gaborik.
Joe Nieuwendyk is essentially doing the opposite of what Kekalainen is doing. By trading away their captain and some of their best players, the Stars' management have thrown in the towel for this season in the hopes that their moves will pay off in the future. I can't help but think Roy would have been the second line center the Ducks need right now. This one is a disappointment for sure. What does this mean for the Ducks? The next two games against the Stars (by the time anyone reads this, the next one game) get a little easier, and the Canucks get a little scarier. So do the Bruins and Penguins, but if that ever becomes a concern this year, I'm a happy man regardless.
The Kings' blue line has taken a beating this season, and Regehr is as good a replacement as any for their injured D-men. What does this mean for the Ducks? It helps the Kings, which is never a good thing.
An already formidable lineup adds Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow, Jussi Jokinen, and Douglas Murray. I don't care if the Rangers just smoked them 6-1. This team is a juggernaut, and assuming Sidney Crosby is healthy come playoff time, they are absolutely Stanley Cup favorites. What does this mean for the Ducks? Teemu Selanne no longer has to deal with Douglas Murray, which can only be a good thing, especially if the Ducks and Sharks get together in May. The only way this trade can hurt the Ducks is if they do make it out of the West, in which case Crosby, Malkin, Iginla, and Co. will be waiting to demolish them the same way they will have demolished the East by that point.
End result? The same thing happened that always happens on deadline day: The good teams got better, and the bad teams got worse. The Ducks didn't improve much, at least not as much as most of us were hoping. Top six forwards around the league changed hands, so Bob Murray can't say the opportunity wasn't there. Bottom line, the Ducks have a pretty good team going into the stretch run, and we are all excited to see what they can do. Some of us just wish we had one more good player to be excited about.