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Countdown to the 2013-14 Season: Key Additions

You've already seen them in action, but here's a little background on four new Ducks that we are likely to see on opening night.

Jeff Gross

Dustin Penner, LW

Where did he come from? We're all familiar with Penner's journey, but it's worth recapping. Penner had his professional breakthrough with the Ducks in 2006-07, when the played on the iconic (seriously, though) "Kid Line" with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry and scored 29 goals. That season, only Teemu Selanne scored more goals for the Ducks than Penner, who set a franchise rookie scoring record. And then there were the game-winning goals that he scored on the way to the Ducks' Cup victory. Penner's entry level contract expired after the Cup season, and then-GM Brian Burke was unwilling to match an offer sheet from the Edmonton Oilers.

What did we give up for him? Nothing! Penner was acquired through free agency.

Why was he brought in? To recreate the magic. Even though Penner won a second Cup with the Los Angeles Kings, he is now known primarily for his weight and marital struggles. And even though the RPG line was often touted as the best in hockey, Bobby Ryan never had the crease-crashing presence that Penner had in his heyday. This season is an excellent opportunity for Penner to get a fresh start by returning to his roots.

Jakob Silfverberg, F

Where did he come from? Silfverberg was acquired in The [Bobby Ryan] Trade this summer, along with Stefan Noesen and a 1st round pick in the 2014 draft.

What did we give up for him? Bobby Ryan. I was gobsmacked and a little sad when Bob Murray finally pulled the trigger, but I'm also glad to not see any more "Why Bobby Ryan Should Be Traded" articles on AC.

Why was he brought in? After scoring 10 goals and 19 points in 48 games with Ottawa last season, Silfverberg began his first Ducks training camp on a high note. A natural right wing, Silfverberg shifted to left wing, and showed early chemistry on a line with Teemu Selanne and Nick Bonino. Silfverberg went to the locker room with five minutes left in Sunday's 2-1 loss to Colorado after being knocked to the ice. However, I believe he will be able to carve a niche for himself on the Ducks' roster.

Mark Fistric, D

Where did he come from? Fistric was drafted 28th overall by Dallas in 2004, and has spent most of his career with the Stars organization. However, the Stars traded him to the Edmonton Oilers right before the beginning of the 2013 season. As an Oiler, Fistric recorded 6 assists in 25 games, and 32 PIM.

What did we give up for him? Nothing! Fistric was signed as a free agent on August 20th.

Why was he brought in? Fistric was signed to bolster a Ducks defense depleted by injuries to Francois Beauchemin and Sheldon Souray. With Luca Sbisa's recent injury, his presence has become essential. Fistric can be reckless in his physical play, and is another rental defenseman in a long line of them, but he has an impressive career +26. He also had 88 hits, and blocked 53 shots last season. It will be tough to fill Beauchemin's shoes, but it seems as though Fistric will be an adequate temporary replacement for Souray and Sbisa.

Nolan Yonkman, D

Where did he come from? Yonkman has spent the last two seasons in the Florida Panthers organization, spending most of his time with their AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage. In 2013, Yonkman was scoreless in 7 games with the Panthers (he did log 11 PIM). As a member of the Rampage, Yonkman played in 7 games, logged 7 assists, and tallied 93 PIM.

What did we give up for him? Nothing! The Ducks snapped up Yonkman through free agency.

Why was he brought in? Depth. Yonkman has been a career AHL defenseman, but injuries to the Ducks' regular defensemen have allowed him to have more than a cup of coffee with the big club. However, it should be noted that Yonkman cuts an intimidating figure on the ice (he's 6'6") and provides veteran leadership (he was a captain in the AHL). And he scored a goal in the Ducks' rout of Phoenix on September 17.