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08-16-2009, 03:14 PM
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Elvs
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The Ducks Panel: on the summer and the line-up

"The Ducks Panel" is back. Thought I'd share it with you:

http://www.svenskafans.com/nhl/artikel.asp?id=306976
(link in Swedish)

Translation: (sorry for some rough parts).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvstrand View Post
The Ducks Panel: on the summer and the line-up

Anaheim belongs to the most active teams this off season. Some writers and fans of different nationalities got to give their opinions on some happenings around the Ducks this summer and some thoughts for the upcoming season.

The Ducks Panel is back! This time to discuss some of what has happened this summer and to share their thoughts for the upcoming season. Much have happened around the Anaheim Ducks this summer and the opinions are many and different. Among other things, the panel members this time got to be coaches a while and put together their own line-ups for the Ducks.

The following questions were asked:

* The Ducks have lost Chris Pronger on the blue line and instead added some offense by getting Joffrey Lupul and Saku Koivu, your thoughts around this?
* Except from Lupul, also Luca Sbisa was a part of the Pronger trade, what do you expect from him next season?
* Anaheim stands without a minor-league team in the AHL next season, your thoughts on this?
* It seems like the Ducks are changing identity in terms of playing style, a good or a bad thing?
* Assumed that Niedermayer remains captain and Getzlaf remains alternate captain, who should be the 2nd alternate captain?
* If it was your call, how would you put together the Ducks lineup next season?

Contributory:
Adam Brady, Director of new media for the Ducks and Honda Center
Dan Wood, Ducks reporter on The Orange County Register
Andreas Elvstrand, Ducks reporter on SvenskaFans.com
Rickard Fransson, Ducks reporter on SvenskaFans.com
Richard Label, American Ducks-fan
Ken Vezina, Canadian Ducks-fan

###

The Ducks have lost Chris Pronger on the blue line and instead added some offence by getting Joffrey Lupul and Saku Koivu, your thoughts around this?

Adam Brady
- Even though it's tough to lose a player like Chris Pronger, I thought it was a fantastic trade. The Ducks were going to have a hard time fitting Pronger under the salary cap, so a trade seemed inevitable, and what Anaheim got in return was huge, including Lupul, Sbisa and some draft picks. Adding Koivu was a major acquisition because it fills a glaring need from last year Ė lack of secondary scoring. Adding Lupul and Koivu will have a huge positive impact on the Ducks' attack next year.

Dan Wood
- First and foremost, I think it was going to be extremely difficult to continue to pay Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer something close to a combined $13 million per season. That just eats up so much salary-cap space that it is difficult to address other areas of concern, particularly with other high-priced players such as Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Jean-Sebastien Giguere on the roster. Cleary, the Ducks have been short on scoring the past two seasons, so they needed to address that. Koivu and Lupul should help a great deal, and adding a player of Koivuís character is a tremendous bonus. The flip side, of course, is the defence isnít going to be as strong without Pronger. The Ducks will have to hope Ryan Whitney and James Wisniewski can thrive in larger roles, and also hope they keep the puck in the opposition zone more of the time to lessen pressure on the defense.

Andreas Elvstrand
- The lost of Pronger is huge and could turn out being very noticeable. The Ducks have been spoiled the last few years having a really strong group of defensemen. When they won in 2007 they were carrying some underpaid forwards that now have received salary raises. The consequence is that they canít afford to keep the same defence if they want a chance to win. A good defence is needed to win, but a good offence is also necessary, something that the team lacked last season. Having two top five defensemen in the league is not necessary to win, but you will need two lines that can produce. Koivu and Lupul also tends to step up in the playoffs and can hopefully contribute to keep the Ducks power play on a high level despite the loss of Pronger.

Rickard Fransson
- I think it was very right. Anaheim was in such a good position at defence so it was a smart decision from GM Murray. I donít think Pronger was as sharp at the end which may also indicate it was right to let him go. It will be magical to see Selanne - Koivu again and Lupul will contribute with much offensive power.

Richard Label
- This is one we will just have to wait and see. I like that Murray is acquiring assets for assets that could either not be kept or were going to go anyway (see Moen, Palhsson etc). When Whitney was acquired, it became pretty clear that Pronger was going to be traded if Scott Niedermayer returned. The old adage says defense wins championships and I think that is true, but the Ducks really needed to improve their offense. During the playoffs, they literally lived or died off the Getzlaf line. In this sense, they should be much better off, but in a way Pronger helped out the offense with his transition game and of-course his PP quarterbacking. We'll just have to wait and see how the new guys are and how effective the defence will be without Pronger.

Ken Vezina
- Prongerís loss will be felt, but the important thing for the Ducks wonít be how well they replace him, but how well they adjust their game plan to suit their new-look lineup. No one can replace what Pronger brings, heís a truly unique talent. However, that doesnít mean this team canít improve in his absence. Koivuís history speaks for himself. Extremely talented, competitive, and deceptively tough, heís a perfect fit for the 2nd line. The only questions I have at this point is whether or not he can stay healthy. Lupul is the most interesting case. He definitely has the skills to be better than he has been thus far in his career. You can never underestimate the effect of a playerís comfort with his environment on his on-ice performance. This is home for him, so it could be his best chance to reach his potential. The best part about it for the Ducks is that they donít need him to score 35 goals. Heís part of the supporting cast and 20+ while not being a defensive liability will do. More sure would help, though.

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Except from Lupul, also Luca Sbisa was a part of the Pronger trade, what do you expect from him next season?

Adam Brady
- I haven't seen much of Luca Sbisa, obviously, but from what I've heard, he's a tremendous prospect and should play a big role next year, despite being only 19. Joffrey Lupul played a little with him in Philly and has already had some glowing comments on Sbisa, saying he thinks he'll be a tremendous player next year. He should be a top-four defenseman for the Ducks starting this coming season.

Dan Wood
- Coach Randy Carlyle plans to start Sbisa in training camp playing alongside Niedermayer, to give Sbisa every chance to develop into a regular NHL defenseman. Itís the same ploy Carlyle used with Francois Bachman a few years ago, and that worked wonders. All the reports on Sbisa are very encouraging, but I know from experience that young defensemen are extremely hard to project. Some turn into great players. Others donít. Sbisa will get every opportunity to succeed, but Carlyle isnít always patient with young players, especially defensemen. The Ducks certainly need Sbisa to fit in and play a significant role. Only time will tell whether he does.

Andreas Elvstrand
- Anaheim usually donít put much pressure on their talents by giving them limited responsibility to begin with. However, Sbisa could now turn out playing in the first defensive pairing with Scott Niedermayer, something that is good in my opininon. The pressure should be lower playing with a guy out of that caliber, rather than having to be the go-to-guy in the third defensive pairing. Without Pronger the Ducks are in need for their young defensemen to step up, I think Sbisa could surprise many next season already.

Rickard Fransson
- Vi probably shouldnít expect too much from Sbisa. The potential is there, we know that. He will be schooled in the coming season and hopefully he turns out to be an established NHL-player and maybe more as time goes.

Richard Label
- Caryle mentioned starting him out with Niedermayer and I think that is an excellent idea to really jumpstart his development. I've only heard good things about him and he was definitely in my mind the key asset of the deal.

Ken Vezina
- It sounds like he is going to get every opportunity to start the year paired with Scott Niedermayer, an incredible opportunity for a young blue-liner. Regardless of where he starts, I expect him to keep his game extremely simple and focus on using his skating and passing ability to help the transition game. I have no offensive expectations for him.

---

Anaheim stands without a minor-league team in the AHL next season, your thoughts on this?

Adam Brady
- It's not an ideal situation, having to spread the Ducks' prospects among several minor league teams. But when the situation with Iowa fell through, the Ducks needed to find an ideal affiliate to replace them and that takes time. There was a chance that problem could be solved by the end of this summer, but now it appears it won't be until next (2010-11) season.

Dan Wood
- This is definitely not a good situation. General manager Bob Murray will try to make the best of it, spreading prospects among multiple minor-league teams and then doing everything possible to get their own affiliate for the 2010-11 season. There are many problems with not having your own affiliate Ė not controlling the coaches, difficulty placing players, especially goaltenders, and not having players trained in the NHL teamís system. There is no way to paint a rosy picture on this.

Andreas Elvstrand
- Obviously, itís bad lacking an affiliate in the AHL. Fortunately in this bad luck though, many prospects have already made it to the NHL the last few years. Festerling and Mikkelson are also halfway up in the NHL while Beleskey and Mitera could do many appearances with the Ducks the coming winter. That almost only leaves Logan MacMillan in the AHL among the better prospects, as many are still in College. Pogge, Pielmeier and Levasseur are goalies and donít have to buy into any playing system, but could get limited ice time where they are placed. An own affiliate where all talents are together creates a security, but now things are the way they are and theyíll just have to go from there.

Rickard Fransson
- Itís not good at all. A problem that the organisation needs to solve immediately, but itís difficult to speculate in which team it could be.

Richard Label
- It isn't a good thing and we've already felt the effects. Wirtanen signed in Finland and Bonino chose to remain in college for another year. It will hurt most the players first going into the AHL like Logan MacMillan who need that first year of development with the organization.

Ken Vezina
- There is no sugar-coating it, this is not a great situation. I expect the younger guys who are borderline NHLers to get every chance to make the team out of camp. Itís going to be real interesting to see where Pogge ends up, since in a sense is a shot at redemption for him. The organization is just going to have to ride it out and establish some key relationships in the AHL where they can trust the organizations theyíre handing their players to.

---

It seems like the Ducks are changing identity in terms of playing style, a good or a bad thing?

Adam Brady
- I don't think they've completely gone away from the "tough" style, although some have felt that way with the loss of Pronger. But the Ducks still have plenty of tough guys in George Parros, Mike Brown, James Wisniewski, etc. That being said, the Ducks' reputation as a tough team might have led to them being called for some penalties they didn't deserve the last couple seasons. With that in mind, they may have leaned away from that style a bit, but they still remain one of the harder-hitting teams in the league.

Dan Wood
- Certainly, with former general manager Brian Burke gone, there is not as much emphasis on the rough-and-tumble style. While that style produced a Stanley Cup championship in 2007, the Ducks have paid for it ever since because they have a horrible reputation with NHL referees, and that has contributed to their being short-handed far more than they are on the power play. Certainly, some of that is warranted, but I honestly believe the Ducks have been called for penalties that other teams arenít simply because
of their reputation, and at the same time, other teams are not called for similar infractions against the Ducks. Obviously, Pronger has his own reputation, so that only added to the problem for the Ducks. Now, if the Ducks can learn to stop whining about calls so often, they might get better treatment from referees. That would be a good thing. And I think they still have enough toughness that other teams will not be able to take advantage of them.

Andreas Elvstrand
- I like physicality and toughness as long you can play it with discipline. This the Ducks succeeded with when they won 2007, but since then it hasnít been close as effective. In my opinion the team has to a big extent starred themselves blind on size and toughness since winning, and forgotten that players like Selanne, McDonald and Niedermayer also were big parts to the success that time. There are still physical influences on the team, but now there maybe will be a better mix of toughness and skill than before.

Rickard Fransson
- I donít think a change of identity has completely made an appearance. I rather think that the old tough attitude remains for sure, but now with a mix of skill. Itís maybe whatís required to go all the way this season. I think it was quite obvious against Detroit in the play off series that skill and fire punch was missing. It is there now!

Richard Label
- Yes, it certainly does seem like they are. I personally like toughness and physicality, but it is not the only way to win. Our team is still big and will not get pushed around. I will say that I would like the team to forecheck on a more consistent basis and more effectively.

Ken Vezina
- A teamís style has to be dictated by the strengths of the personnel. The team has plenty of sandpaper (Getzlaf, Perry, Wisniewski, Brown, Parros, etc), but the focus is going to have to shift to a high-energy transition team. Itíll be a good test for Carlyle, who in my opinion has been one of the leagueís best coaches since he took over the club, to see if he can effectively coach the shift.

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Assumed that Niedermayer remains captain and Getzlaf remains alternate captain, who should be the 2nd alternate captain?

Adam Brady
- I really think it should be Koivu. He has a great reputation as the longtime captain of the Canadiens and I think he automatically has the respect of the guys in that room. That being said, there are plenty of other guys on that team Ė guys like Todd Marchant, Teemu Selanne, etc. Ė that are leaders whether they wear the "C" or the "A" or not.

Dan Wood
- First off, I donít think there is any question that Niedermayer will remain captain and Getzlaf will remain an alternate captain. For my money, Niedermayer is among the top captains in the league, and barring something unexpected, Getzlaf will almost certainly become Ducks captain eventually. As for the other alternate, there is no shortage of attractive candidates. Koivu, the longtime captain in Montreal, might seem to be the obvious choice. Carlyle wants to talk to Koivu to determine his potential interest in such a position. Coming to a new team, Koivu might prefer not to wear a letter, but my guess is that if he wants it, he gets it. If not, veterans Teemu Selanne and Todd Marchant could be considered. Both have been strong team leaders in recent years even without wearing letters. Carlyle also mentioned younger players such as Perry and Wisniewski as possibilities to become alternate captain.

Andreas Elvstrand
- There are many experienced guys and some young guys with leadership skills. Teemu Selanne had been my first choice but he has earlier explained he donít want to carry a letter on his chest. I would therefore select Todd Marchant to alternate captain, he is a leader and clearly has heart for the team. Saku Koivu had of course been a very smart choice as well, and if you want to give it to someone younger, Ryan Whitney and Bobby Ryan would have been good choices.

Rickard Fransson
- A player that is the leader type, has tons of experience and also heart for the team. Iím obviously talking about Todd Marchant.

Richard Label
- They are so many options. I would personally give it to Todd Marchant. The guy is a true warrior and leads by example. He has also been with the team a number of years.

Ken Vezina
- This is a great chance to reward a younger player for conducting himself as a professional. Guys like Marchant, Selanne, and Koivu are all natural leaders and will command the attention of the room regardless of having a letter or not. Ryan Whitney seems like an individual of high character and heíll be counted on to assume a larger role on the club this year. I wouldnít mind seeing an ďAĒ on his chest.

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If it was your call, how would you put together the Ducks lineup next season?

Adam Brady
Bobby Ryan - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
Joffrey Lupul - Saku Koivu - Teemu Selanne
Erik Christensen - Todd Marchant - Petteri Nokelainen
Mike Brown - Andrew Ebbett - George Parros
(Ryan Carter, Drew Miller)

Scott Niedermayer - Luca Sbisa
Ryan Whitney - James Wisniewski
Sheldon Brookbank - Nick Boynton
(Brett Festerling)

Jonas Hiller (Jean-Sebastien Giguere)

Dan Wood
Bobby Ryan - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
Joffrey Lupul - Saku Koivu - Teemu Selšnne
Todd Marchant - Ryan Carter - Evgeny Artyukhin
Mike Brown - Petteri Nokelainen - George Parros
(Erik Christensen, Andrew Ebbett)

Scott Niedermayer - James Wisniewski
Ryan Whitney - Nick Boynton
Luca Sbisa - Sheldon Brookbank
(Steve McCarthy)

Jonas Hiller (Jean-Sebastien Giguere)

Andreas Elvstrand
Bobby Ryan - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
Joffrey Lupul - Saku Koivu - Teemu Selšnne
Evgeny Artyukhin - Todd Marchant - Petteri Nokelainen
Ryan Carter - Erik Christensen - Mike Brown
(Andrew Ebbett, George Parros)

Scott Niedermayer - Luca Sbisa
James Wisniewski - Ryan Whitney
Nick Boynton - Sheldon Brookbank
(Brett Festerling)

Jonas Hiller (Jean-Sebastien Giguere)

Rickard Fransson
Bobby Ryan - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
Joffrey Lupul - Saku Koivu - Teemu Selšnne
Evgeny Artyukhin - Andrew Ebbett - Petteri Nokelainen
Mike Brown - Todd Marchant - George Parros
(Ryan Carter, Erik Christensen)

Scott Niedermayer Ė James Wisniewski
Ryan Whitney - Luca Sbisa
Nick Boynton - Sheldon Brookbank
(Steve McCarthy)

Jonas Hiller (Jean-Sebastien Giguere)

Richard Label
Bobby Ryan - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
Joffrey Lupul - Saku Koivu - Teemu Selšnne
Evgeny Artyukhin - Todd Marchant - Petteri Nokelainen
Mike Brown - Ryan Carter - George Parros
(Andrew Ebbett, Erik Christensen)

Scott Niedermayer - Luca Sbisa
Ryan Whitney - James Wisniewski
Nick Boynton - Sheldon Brookbank
(Brian Salcido)

Jonas Hiller (Jean-Sebastian Giguere)

Ken Vezina
Evgeny Artyukhin - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
Ryan Carter - Saku Koivu - Teemu Selanne
Bobby Ryan - Todd Marchant - Joffrey Lupul
Mike Brown - Petteri Nokelainen - George Parros
(Erik Christensen, Andrew Ebbett)

Scott Niedermayer - Luca Sbisa
Ryan Whitney - James Wisniewski
Sheldon Brookbank - Nick Boynton
(McCarthy)

Jean-Sebastien Giguere (Jonas Hiller)

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Thanks to everyone participating in this entry of ďThe Ducks Panelď.


Last edited by Elvs: 08-16-2009 at 03:22 PM.
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