We're down to the wire now. The group here at Anaheim Calling has picked apart every nook and cranny of this Ducks team and given you what we think you have to look forward to this season.
At the very least, we've given you a space to completely and utterly argue against each and every one of those thoughts. Fair enough. As always, it's our goal to create an open discussion!
But, of course, we're not done just yet. Here's a brief synopsis/summary of what this team looks like on an overall scale. Who's in, who's out and what this means for the team in 2013 (note: rosters reflective of the final game of the 2011-12 season and the pending roster for the 2013 season opener).
Out: Niklas Hagman, Jason Blake, George Parros, Rod Pelly
In: Peter Holland, Rickard Rakell, Brad Staubitz, Daniel Winnik
Granted both Holland and Rakell are rookies, and neither may stay with the big club for very long, but they're new additions to the Ducks roster this season. It's high time the Ducks start looking at some of the younger corps and get them ready for some regular NHL action. In addition the Ducks signed Staubitz and Winnik most likely to beef up the roster after losing players like Parros, Pelly and Hagman. Overall, if you were happy with the forwards from last season, not much is changing this time around. Uh oh. I don't think the Ducks have declined, but I don't think they've improved either.
Out: Sheldon Brookbank, Lubomir Visnovsky
In: Bryan Allen, Jordan Hendry, Sheldon Souray, Sami Vatanen
Again, we see a young face in Vatanen, but he's on the IR at the moment and his NHL stint may not last. As for the losses, Visnovsky claims he would have tried to stay in the KHL anyway, but maybe he really does just hate the Islanders. As for Brookbank, while a decent defenseman, was all too often questionable and is easily replaceable. If you're looking to find the positives in the new group, hopefully Souray on the PP and Allen on the PK will spark the change that the defense is in need of. Here's hoping that Cam Fowler and Luca Sbisa have learned a lot over the last few years and that Scott Niedermayer is as amazing of a coach as he was a player.
Out: Dan Ellis
In: Frederik Anderson
I'll keep this simple - the Ducks are going to be looking to Jonas Hiller to be AMAZING for as many games as possible. If something happens to Hiller, I can only think of one goalie on the market and I don't want him.
We did our best around here to find the good in what this team is going to bring to the table in a very short season. Let's just hope that they can repeat the early parts of 2012 here in 2013.
Overall, this team should be able to score and give this team a chance. On paper, the forward core is sexy. What team wouldn't want Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Teemu Selanne and Bobby Ryan? Ideally, those guys should put up the numbers that can compete with anyone in terms of production. Even if the defensive end isn't up to par and Hiller can't keep up, the Ducks shouldn't have a problem. But, unfortunately, we've seen that this doesn't always work for this team, because as a whole, you need more than four great players.
The fact of the matter is, the defense needs to be just as sexy. If they don't look as amazing on paper, they need to look even better on the ice. Collectively, any hard working team can win. The question is, did Ducks management find the right guys to fuel the fire?