What direction are the Anaheim Ducks trying to go?
As the Anaheim Ducks prepare to open training camp with a new coach and plenty of new faces, what exactly is the franchise's plan moving forward?
My belief was the team was poised to move into the modern age of the league by injecting the lineup with youth. A move that surely included enduring all the growing pains associated with a club moving beyond its past success and into a new era.
To be vaguely vague in explaining my expectations for the Ducks in 2019-20, I want to use a phrase used so often that many of us don't even realize it's a convoluted way to say absolutely nothing... it's is what it is.
Today, I don't believe it is what it was supposed to be.
This past weekend the Ducks young guns were on full display at the Rookie Face-Off in Irvine. Max Comtois, Troy Terry, Max Jones, Sam Steel, and Keifer Sherwood did not disappoint. The future looks bright, especially of offense.
An injection of offensively gifted youth to a solid core of Ryan Getzlaf, Jacob Silfverberg, Adam Henrique, Rikard Rakell and Ondrej Kase, saddled with a solid D group and John Gibson gave us more than enough reason to get excited about the upcoming season.
Not to mention our season seats just arrived and it had me feeling some type of way. The Ducks may not make the playoffs, but they would be fun to watch grow into a winner together.
Now we are hearing that Kase may be on his way to Carolina for Justin Faulk. Anaheim wants a right-shot defenseman to shore up its defense and improve its power play because ... they have illusions of grandeur?
A move like this reeks of a team that cannot accept what they really are. Agree or disagree?
That said, if this deal were to happen it does make sense.
Kase is immensely talented and could be a staple offensively for the Ducks if he stays healthy. He's crafty with speed. Any team would be happy to have a healthy Kase on the ice. That's the kicker though. In his first three seasons, Kase has not been healthy. The 23-year-old managed to play in just 30 games last season and already has a troubling history of concussions. This following a breakout season in which he scored 20 goals and 38 points in 66 games.
Faulk is coming off a season in which he played in all 82 games, collecting 11 goals and 24 assists. Six of his goals came with the man advantage. The Ducks ended the 2018-19 season 24th in the league on the power play st 17%.
Why I have my concerns regardless of whether it makes sense or not.
Anaheim is the same team that traded away popular point-producing right-shot defenders Sami Vatanen and Brandon Montour. Granted they got decent value in these deals, but it feels like the Ducks are a team stuck between the idea of a rebuild and the belief they can somehow find a way into the playoffs. This is called the Minnesota Wild plan. Never really good and never really bad, just stuck somewhere in the middle. Faulk is a UFA next summer and would need a new deal if this deal was to be consummated. This too reeks, it reeks of an expensive mistake. A mistake I'm not convinced Anaheim needs to make this season.
Additionally, the Ducks had an NHL worst 196 goals for. So, there's that too. It's hard to score more goals when you start to subtract the guys we know can score the goals.
Thanks for reading,