Jun 20, 2014, 9:02 AM EST
The Anaheim Ducks took the Los Angeles Kings to Game 7 in the second round of the 2014 NHL playoffs, so the gap between these two squads doesn’t appear to be huge. But it nevertheless exists and Ducks GM Bob Murray gave it a name when he asked about the missing pieces to Anaheim’s puzzle.
“You watch the Kings, for example, and you watch how Drew Doughty has emerged as a superstar,” Murray said, per the Ducks’ website. “Do we have a defenseman who can be that way? When we won the Stanley Cup, we had Scotty and Chris [Pronger]. That’s in the back of my mind all the time. Where is that guy, can you find that guy, and can you afford that guy?”
The Kings and former Ducks aren’t the only recent championship teams that have been backed by top-tier defensemen. The Chicago Blackhawks have Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, the Boston Bruins have Zdeno Chara, the 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins had Sergei Gonchar, and the 2008 Detroit Red Wings had Nicklas Lidstrom.
Finding a blueliner that can lead you to glory on the free agent market rarely happens as teams are quick to lock up that caliber of player to a long-term contract and it’s similarly unusual to find one on the trade market.
In 2009, Philadelphia had to give up two first-round picks along with two former first-round selections (Joffrey Lupul and Luca Sbisa) to get Pronger mere months before his 35th birthday and even then, it was a good move for the Flyers. Pronger led them to the Stanley Cup Final and might have taken them that one step further had his career not been cut short due to a concussion.
Since they lost Pronger, the Flyers have tried desperately to fill that void, but even a team run as boldly as Philadelphia was lucky to succeed in getting a guy at that level on the market once in the last five years. Most teams haven’t accomplished that much.
So if the Ducks want their own Doughty, they’ll likely have to look within for answers. They have to hope that Cam Fowler continues to progress after taking a step forward in 2013-14 or perhaps that one of their top prospects like Shea Theodore emerges as a top-tier blueliner over the next five years.
In the meantime, Murray suggested that the team also needs a centerman and unlike Doughty-level defenseman, that is something obtainable on the trade market.
Dec 19, 2014, 4:34 PM EST
Bring on the trade speculation.
Dec 19, 2014, 4:10 PM EST
32-year-old has played in 56 career NHL contests.
Dec 19, 2014, 3:37 PM EST
“Where’s the Tylenol?”
Dec 19, 2014, 3:21 PM EST
Off to the Marlies he goes.
Dec 19, 2014, 3:03 PM EST
Jeff Schultz has been called up from AHL Manchester.
Dec 19, 2014, 2:54 PM EST
“This is a great honor and opportunity for Mirco to represent his country,”
Dec 19, 2014, 2:31 PM EST
That said, might he make sense for the Bruins?
Dec 19, 2014, 2:12 PM EST
Henrik Lundqvist’s No. 2 returns for another year.
Dec 19, 2014, 1:37 PM EST
Montreal’s leading scorer was hit hard by Anaheim’s Clayton Stoner.
Dec 19, 2014, 12:41 PM EST
The Wild are getting frustrated.
Dec 19, 2014, 12:24 PM EST
Initial reports don’t sound good.
Dec 19, 2014, 12:06 PM EST
Appeared in just two games this season before re-aggravating an existing issue.
Dec 19, 2014, 11:27 AM EST
The Caps’ struggles with depth down the middle are well documented…
Dec 19, 2014, 11:22 AM EST
Nightmarish campaign for the Finnish defenseman, health-wise.
Dec 19, 2014, 11:19 AM EST
Trade rumors! Get your trade rumors!
Dec 19, 2014, 10:43 AM EST
He’s been a healthy scratch in five of Washington’s last six games.
Dec 19, 2014, 9:55 AM EST
New York has gone 3-3-0 in six straight games without either of them.
Dec 19, 2014, 9:02 AM EST
Although he feels this should serve as “a wake-up call for Berra.”
Dec 19, 2014, 8:02 AM EST
The picture is of former referee Don Van Massenhoven, who will serve as the event’s recorder.
Dec 19, 2014, 1:33 AM EST
These things happen.
- Video: Penguins’ spoof of ‘Christmas Vacation’ is pretty good 9
- Mason hurt, helped off ice at end of Flyers practice 8
- Could Vermette land in Washington? 6
- Pens confirm Maatta has the mumps 5
- As holiday roster freeze approaches, Bruins linked to Oshie, Kassian 25
- Video: Pacioretty taken to hospital, reportedly no hearing expected for Stoner after questionable hit 32
- Video: Canadiens honor long-time captain Saku Koivu 2
- Crosby back for Pens after missing three games with the mumps 1
- Comparing the shot differentials of all 30 teams 10
- PHT interviews Jim Nill, who’s ‘not surprised’ by Stars’ early-season struggles 2