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Murray’s Uninspiring Additions
By Michael Walters
Today the Anaheim Ducks officially announced that they signed six free agent players; forward Anton Rodin, defenseman Luke Schenn, goaltender Jared Coreau, forward Brian Gibbons, forward Carter Rowney, and center Ben Street. For more on Rodin, Schenn, and Coreau visit yesterday’s article: Ducks Make Low Key Signings.
Gibbons played 59 games with the New Jersey Devils last season recording 26 total points(12 goals + 14 assists). The two prior seasons he played in the AHL. In 2014-15 he played for the Columbus organization in the NHL and AHL. In 2013-14, he played for the Pittsburgh organization in the NHL and AHL. Gibbons can score goals and skates well so he could be a good addition to the bottom six for Anaheim. He signed a one year deal worth $1 million for the 2018-19 season.
Street spent last season in the AHL and has played in the minors for the majority of the last six seasons with the Calgary, Colorado, and Detroit organizations. He did score 21 goals last season with the Grand Rapids Griffins(Detroit’s AHL Affiliate) and 25 goals in the 2016-17 season. Although he can put up solid offensive numbers in the AHL, it’s yet to be seen at the NHL level. He is a good two-way player, but it’s likely he spends most of his time in San Diego. Street has signed a one year deal worth $750,000.
Rowney spent the last two seasons with the Penguins. He played 44 games last year recording five total points(2 goals + 3 assists). In the 2016-17 season, he played 27 games and earned seven total points(3 goals + 4 assists). He can play center or wing and is decent in the face-off circle. He could be used on the penalty kill and doesn’t take too many penalties. He has signed a three year $3.4 million deal with Anaheim.
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If you are hoping that the Ducks got better or closer to being a Cup Contender, then you might be better off buying a lotto ticket at this point. Most of these signings are only going to replace existing players and fail to seriously address the needs of the team. These additions aren’t going to improve the Ducks fourth line, goal scoring, or solidify a third defensive pairing.
Schenn might work out for the Ducks third defensive pairing, but any improvement will be minimal most likely. Gibbons might be able to add some speed and scoring to the fourth line for Anaheim. Goalie Coreau is going spend time in San Diego and won’t see much time in Anaheim unless both John Gibson and Ryan Miller get hurt. Rodin, Street, and Rowney will also likely spend most of their time in San Diego as well. Of the last three mentioned, Rowney may see the most time in Anaheim mainly on the fourth line. The length of his deal is interesting in that it is three years. He will likely replace and somewhat be an improvement from Jared Boll‘s role, but for three years with an AAV of $1.13 million? One or two years at the most would have made more sense. Looks like any significant improvement for this team will have to come in the form of a trade.
Anaheim still has restricted free agents(RFAs) Ondrej Kase, Nick Ritchie, Brandon Montour, Andy Welinski, Kalle Kossila, Kevin Roy, and newly acquired Chase De Leo. The Ducks have almost $11 million in cap space according to Cap Friendly and should be able to keep most, if not all of these players. Anaheim has given qualifying offers to the RFAs listed above that were on the team last season.
The good news is Patrick Eaves will likely be ready at the beginning of the season, but Ryan Kesler still remains a big question mark. Remember when Bob Murray responded to Elliotte Friedman’s comments about Kesler missing next season? Murray said Friedman can “keep throwing spaghetti at the wall and see what hits.” Well with these uninspiring additions, maybe it’s Murray who is throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what hits.
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July 2nd, 2018