While most of Anaheim's roster is coming back for the 2013-2014 campaign, the Ducks will be missing a few key players this season. We start with the biggest loss.
Bobby Ryan, LW, sometimes C, but naturally RW ... so let's go with Forward
2013 Stats: 46 GP, 11 goals, 19 assists, 30 points, 16:35 Average TOI and 17 PIM. Bobby posted his lowest points per game since his rookie season while also getting his lowest average ice time in five seasons. He bounced between lines all season, as he did most of the time he was a Duck.
Where did he go? Ottawa. Sigh.
What did we get for him? On July 5, it finally happened. After multiple seasons of rumored trades, Bobby was finally dealt to the Ottawa Senators for forwards Jakob Silfverberg and Stefan Noesen and the Sens' first-round pick in the 2014 draft.
Bobby is under contract for two more seasons at a cap hit of $5.1 million, so the Ducks do get some cap relief in trading him. After signing Perry and Getzlaf to long-term contracts, it was pretty clear that Bobby would be heading out. Silfverberg is still on an ELC. so he's only owed $900,000 this season.
Who is going to fill his role this year? Perhaps a full season of Kyle Palmieri if he's given quality minutes? Maybe some bounce-back from Teemu Selanne and some unexpected thunder from Silfverberg? The Ducks signed Dustin Penner to play up top with the big boys, but it appears they'll largely be hoping on increased scoring from their younger players to make up for Bobby's production.
In my mind, the Bobby situation could have gone four ways. The Ducks could have a) kept him, b) kept him and acquired a 2C for him to play with, c) traded him to address positions of weakness (D and/or a 2C), or d) traded him for redundant pieces. They opted for D, getting back two more wingers for a system that is already flush with wingers. There were merits to trading Bobby for the right return, but it's pretty clear this was not the right return.
Toni Lydman, D
2013 Stats: 35 GP, 0 goals, 6 assists, 6 points, 19:23 Average TOI and 12 PIM. Finished the season a -1. Toni wasn't spectacular for the Ducks but was mostly a solid bottom-pairing defender. He played extremely well in limited time in the playoffs before Justin Abdelkader sent him into early retirement with a hit to the head.
Where did he go? Retirement.
What did we get for him? Toni was on the tail-end of a 3 year, $9 million deal that saw him earn $3 million each season. The Ducks received some slight cap relief with his retirement, necessary to cushion the blow of the big contracts for Getzlaf and Perry.
Who is going to fill his role this year? With Toni playing mostly bottom-pairing minutes, his departure likely opens up room for younger players like either Sami Vatanen or Hampus Lindholm. Marc Fistric was signed to provide insurance for Sheldon Souray's injury and aside from Nolan Yonkman, there aren't many other players who figure to fill Toni's absence.
David Steckel, C
2013 Stats: 21 GP, 1 goal, (Ed. Note: One of the weirdest goals ever, btw -CK) 5 assists, 6 points, 10:37 Average TOI and 4 PIM. Won 57.1% of his faceoffs. Stecks was acquired from the Leafs during the middle of last season and instantly became the best faceoff man on the team while anchoring the Ducks' fourth line.
Where did he go? Minnesota Wild as a free agent.
What did we get for him? The Ducks received very minor cap relief for the departing Steckel, as he was only making $1.1 million last season.
Who is going to fill his role this year? Your guess is as good as mine. Right now, it looks like Daniel Winnik, Rickard Rakell, or maybe even Peter Holland will slot in as the fourth-line center. The problem is that none of these guys (or anyone else on the roster for that matter), can win a faceoff when it matters. While there's been a good deal of hockey literature about the importance of winning facefoffs, the Ducks did not make life easier on themselves by letting Steckel walk.