and whither the Ducks next year - what moves would you make if you were Burke?
I'm going to address better this in a later post when I get a better handle of who's owed what, but short answer: the Ducks are in a very comfortable place salary and talent-wise, thanks a lot to the kids. There are future raises to consider, and I don't think we want to be top-spenders (I think the Samuelis promised season ticket holders a price freeze for next year), but here are the main points:
- Selanne (UFA) and Andy Mac (RFA) should both be given pretty decent offers, considering they played for a combined $1,627,000 this year. Of the two, I am of course more inclined on keeping Selanne, as he does tons for the Ducks off the ice as well.
- Salei (UFA) I think is leaving, based on language coming from both camps. I think Friesen (UFA) walks also, either replaced internally or cheaply.
- New faces might include Chistov, Smid, and possibly Konopka.
- Still, I think the pressing need will be a top-3 defenseman, someone particularly who can spell Niedermayer and Beauchemin on PP minutes. This will allow Vish / O'Donnell / Dipenta to fall to more realistic roles. These three guys along with Salei were in a lot of ways redundant. I am not averse to putting all our UFA efforts into this move.
- Talking about future rosters is a bit tough on Duck boards, given that Carlyle changes lines a ton, and we're not sure which is our fourth line anyway.
- I am always against getting rid of Pahlsson or Vishnevski, and this year any of the kids. Fortunately, there appears to be no pressing reason to do away with any of them.
- Though there is indeed some debate on Jiggy vs. Breezy, it might not be bad for the Ducks to suck it up and keep both, at least to start next season. $5 - $6 MM isn't such a bad price for a quality netminding duo, at least until you can decide who is better or what else you might need on the ice. There will be no particular rush, I think, to move Giguere, unless of course there is a super-sweet offer.
Note that I am not really that concerned what our opening day roster looks like, as Burke has shown a willingness to really stir the pot mid-season. Of course, Burke has also shown me that nobody is safe.
Except, of course, the Niedermayers.