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Ducks GM says Selanne, Koivu are only ‘untouchables’

Jan 4, 2012, 11:48 PM EST

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The Anaheim Ducks made a stunning run to a playoff spot last season, but in a way, that might have deceived management into thinking that the team is better than it actually is. The 2011-12 season has been a cruel reality check, but Randy Carlyle’s firing might not be the only big move.

Ducks GM Bob Murray spoke with The Los Angeles Times’ Helene Elliott, revealing that veteran forwards Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne are the only players who might be “untouchable” in trades. As much as that has to do with Selanne retiring with the Ducks, the biggest reason might be that Selanne and Koivu’s contracts have no-movement clauses. (In other words, Selanne could get his way if he asks for a trade.)

The biggest – and maybe most worrisome – takeaway is that Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan could be had at the right price. Murray said that he’s not looking to rebuild and give up on this season, but core players will decide if they stay by how they play.

Murray could be playing with fire

Look, there’s no denying that the Ducks’ big three of power forwards are coming up small. The problem is that Anaheim is a low-budget team that often competes largely based on Selanne + those three, who carry affordable cap hits. Here’s what those players are getting in terms of cap hits and their all-important yearly salaries via CapGeek.com:

Ryan Getzlaf: 2011-12 cap hit: $5.325 million; 2011-12 salary: $5.75 million
2012-13 cap hit: $5.325 million; 2012-13 salary: $6.125 million;

Corey Perry: 11-12 cap hit: $5.325 million; 11-12 salary: $5.375 million
12-13 cap hit: $5.235 million; 12-13 salary: $4.875 million

Bobby Ryan: 11-12 cap hit: $5.1 million; 11-12 salary: $5.263 million
12-13 cap hit: $5.1 million; 12-13 salary: $5.623 million
13-14 cap hit: $5.1 million; 13-14 salary: $5.623 million
14-15 cap hit: $5.1 million; 14-15 salary: $5.623 million

OK, so maybe that trio isn’t earning the $16 million-or-so that they’re receiving this season, but you’re not going to find much better value in a trio of scorers than that. This thought is especially true since their current struggles and Murray’s back-against-the-wall situation will only encourage rival GMs to exploit the situation with low-ball offers.

Deep down, Getzlaf-Perry-Ryan should be the Ducks’ only untouchables,* but we’ll just have to see if cooler heads prevail.

* – Yes, that means trading Selanne should be considered, especially if they can get some quality talent in exchange for what might be his final NHL season.

  1. danphipps01 - Jan 5, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    No kidding. Selanne would be the FIRST guy I’d consider moving. First, he’s practically the only guy who isn’t flailing wildly out there instead of playing hockey. He’s as agelessly ridiculous as ever, and a lot of teams would absolutely LOVE a guy who performs that well for his salary. Four mil for what Selanne brings? Even if it’s just half a season and a playoff run, I’d trade respectably valued guys for that.

    Contrast that with their top three – all well under thirty and with exceptional performances in every year together thus far. Betting your captain or your star goal-scorer in a trade that would doubtless favour the other team because of their poor production and your desperate trading position is stupid. These guys are going to rebound once the team as a whole improves – and let’s face it, the Ducks have a pretty bad roster once you get past the names of their top six forwards and the occasionally-spectacular Lubomir Visnovsky. Better to scrap this season, trade Selanne and get useful pieces back in return that can be used to turn the team into something more resembling an NHL roster.

    More generally, though, it’s going to be hard to see lasting improvement in Anaheim as long as they’re forced to work on a ridiculous internal budget. If every other team has more to work with than they do and their cheap-ass owners treat the franchise like a profit-turning investment without caring if it can actually win games or not, new ownership is needed to salvage things. Ownership of an NHL team is a responsibility, not a way to pad your bank account. It CAN be that too, but trying to run a team on as close to NHL minimum wage as possible and expecting it to win anything is just irresponsible, ignorant and selfish.

    • warpstonebc - Jan 5, 2012 at 3:22 AM

      Agreed. I find it ridiculous to insinuate Perry could leave before a great but frankly short-term asset in Selanne. In fact, Selanne is perfect because even if you ship him within the division, he’s not going to haunt you for another decade as the one that got away.

  2. bcjim - Jan 5, 2012 at 9:18 AM

    Selanne is not going anywhere..at this point, they should make sure they keep winning…winning the Yakupov/Grigorenko sweepstakes that is.

    • bcjim - Jan 5, 2012 at 9:19 AM

      Its like suck for luck….Fail for Nail.

  3. haterzgonahate - Jan 5, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    cue the Maple Leaf trade rumors and the ___ would look good in blue n white comments

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