Ducks entering a make or break season
When the Anaheim Ducks struggled early in the 2011-12 campaign, trade rumors started to fly. For a time, it seemed plausible that the Ducks might conduct a fire sale.
Even after the season ended, Bobby Ryan’s name has still frequently come up, and earlier this summer, Ryan publicly expressed his frustration.
Perhaps Ryan will get traded before the start of the 2012-13 campaign, but that alone wouldn’t be the end of the potential turmoil in Anaheim.
Teemu Selanne can’t play forever, the Ducks have a severe lack of offensive depth, and both Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents next summer. The Ducks want to re-sign them, but who wouldn’t?
If Perry and Getzlaf want to, they can simply play out the final season of their respective contracts and then get top dollar with almost any club in the league. There will probably even be a few squads that will be more than eager to offer them matching contracts in the same vein as what the Minnesota Wild did with Ryan Suter and Zach Parise.
Why would they leave Anaheim? Well, they might not. They might be comfortable and just want nice, long contracts complete with no-trade clauses. Maybe they’ll even be motivated by the possibility of the next CBA altering the way long-term contracts work.
However, it’s typically easier for a winning franchise to convince their talented players to stay. Over the last three seasons, Anaheim has failed to make the playoffs twice and has lost in the first round.
They need a strong season to prove to players inside and outside the organization that the Ducks are still moving in the right track. Otherwise, this team might look very different in 2013-14