Three years ago today I posted this:
Anaheim changes name to "Norris Ducks"
This is unbelievable. Chris frickin' Pronger? To go along with Scott frickin' Niedermayer? A pairing that is a blueline staple for Team Canada, let alone Team Anaheim.
And to think, all we had to do was wait around while other GMs continued to shoot themselves in the foot?
I'm going to have to post on this for the rest of the summer, but here's some quick takes:
- I have spoken out against top-heavy salary structures in the past, but I think with these two guys (both clocking in at above $6 M per year), you can make exceptions. For one, they will be throwing in 25+ minutes a night (our most important minutes). Secondly, each of them is capable of 'carrying around' a cheap carry-on partner like Beauchemin ($500k) or Vishnevski (yet unsigned). The salaries look decent if you think about 'blueline pairs' rather than 'blueline individuals'.
- Losing Lupul hurts us somewhat, but I think having to sign him (RFA status) would hurt somewhat also. I have no idea what he is likely to command (especially given his four-goal playoff game vs. Colorado), but it is likely to be higher than we would have liked to commit to. Lupul does have a lot of upside, but that is true for a lot of our young roster. The difference is, most everyone else we know what we're paying.
- To think about how in the past, Anaheim had trouble attracting top players, seems so far away now. Our last several offseasons have seen such signings and acquisitions as Petr Sykora, Adam Oates, Sergei Fedorov, Vinny Prospal, Scott Niedermayer, Teemu Selanne, and now Chris Pronger. That is not a shabby list at all.
- A special thanks goes out to Ruslan Salei, whose encumbering deal with Florida enabled one less potential Pronger bidder. Maybe the most valuable thing Salei has done for us.
- Was there some sort of discount we got for losing to Edmonton in the conference finals? I guess we certainly didn't owe them any favors.
- I guess the only thing we have left to do this offseason, then, is to re-attain former Duck Sean Pronger, to give Rob Niedermayer some nepotism company.
Ah, the memories. So Ducks fans, have yourself a happy Pronger Day today, and the rest of you patriots have a happy and drinky fourth.