Archive for Anaheim Ducks

2009 NHL Awards – Rookie of the Year Finalists

Posted in Hockey with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2009 by FEGNS

calder trophy-rookie of the yearToday the NHL revealled the 3 finalists for the “Rookie of the Year award,” The Calder Memorial Trophy.

As expected, standout Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason was on the list of young stars… as was Anaheim Ducks breakout forward, Bobby Ryan and Chicago Blackhawks power forward, Kris Versteeg.

Notable exceptions to the list include the minute-muching, defensive anchor from the Los Angeles Kings, Drew Doughty; and the lanky goalie with a quick glove from the Nashville Preditors, Pekka Rinne.

Let’s break down the incredible seasons that these five young players had.

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2009 NHL Awards – The Givens

Posted in Hockey with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2009 by FEGNS

nhl-awards

As of April 12th, 2009… the recipients for three of the many yearly NHL awards were decided: The Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy (which is awarded to the most proficient goal scorer each season), the Art Ross Trophy (which is awarded to the most proficient point getter each season), and the Presidents Trophy (which is awarded to the team with the best record at the end of the regular season). 

These awards are not determined by votes and as of the end of the last regular season game this past Sunday night, their winners have been determined.

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Stanley Cup Playoffs – Round 1 (West) Predictions

Posted in Hockey with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2009 by FEGNS

 stanleycup2009-west (1st Round Predictions)

As a continuation of yesterday’s playoff predictions, here I’ll jot down some thoughts and theories regarding the Western Conference round one Stanley Cup Playoff match-ups.  To see the first post with Eastern Conference predictions, Click Here.

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NHL Final Standings Predictions – WEST

Posted in Hockey with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2009 by FEGNS

A couple of days ago, I decided that I’d take a crack at figuring out what the final standings (and therefore the first round of the playoffs) would look like in for the Eastern Conference.

This is the second post (of two) on this topic… here we’ll discuss the Western  Conference and what might end up happening in the closing weeks of the regular season.

Pictured to the right is the current playoff picture in the western conference (as of the morning of 3.28.2009)…

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Penguins Trade Whitney to Ducks for Kunitz

Posted in Hockey with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2009 by FEGNS

Yesterday (Februaray 26th, 2009) the Pittsburgh Penguins traded 26 year old defender Ryan Whitney to the Anaheim Ducks for 29 year old wing Chris Kunitz and 20 year old forward prospect Eric Tangradi.

 The Penguins have been looking for a star wing to put on a line with Sidney Crosby for quite some time now, and now that they have Kunitz… they’ll find themselves still looking for a star wing to put on a line with Sidney Crosby.

The bottom line is that this trade makes little sense from the point of view of the Penguins.  They trade arguably one of the best young defenders in the game with a very reasonable cap hit of $4 million for 4 more years, for an overpriced, underachieving winger who makes approximately the same amount of money as Whitney over the course of the next 3 years.

Furthermore, consider that Penguins star defender, Sergei Gonchar only has one more year left on his current contract…  Which defenders will the Penguins lean on for offensive production if Gonchar decides to leave in a year now that they’ve traded Whitney?  Kristopher LetangAlex Goligoski?  While very promising, both are still young and cannot be relied upon consistantly without some veteran guidance. 

The penguins are on a slippery slope following this trade.  They are (for all intents and purposes) one defender away from becoming the same debacle that is the Ottawa Senators this season.  No team can be successful without quality puck moving defensemen on their team… regardless of how good their forwards may be.

The one bit of good news is that they managed to snag a pretty decent forward prospect from the Ducks in Tangradi.  Tangradi is currently second in OHL scoring and could be a very good winger in the NHL right about the time Kunitz’s current contract is expiring in 3 years.  The Pittsburgh farm system is pretty bare, so the addition of Tangradi definitely helps them in the longer term.  Tangradi is the “silver lining” of this trade for the Penguins.  Hopefully he progresses into the NHL as successfully as his talent and size suggest he will.

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As for Anaheim… What can I say?  This is just a brilliant move by new GM Bob Murray.  He really hit his this one out of the park…  Anaheim management knew better than anyone what Chris Kunitz is and what Chris Kunitz isn’t.  Kunitz isn’t a franchise piece or a “game breaker.”  He is a serviceable wing of the same mold as 50-100 other guys in the league.  Truth be told, the Ducks probably overpaid a little bit when they resigned him, but following this trade… that is a mistake they no longer have to live with.

Their defensive core is looking like it could be very depleted as soon as this summer, with Scott Niedermayer and Francois Beauchemin both slated to become unrestricted free agents.  Niedermayer may just retire, but should Anaheim lose one or both of these guys, the addition of Whitney grants them plenty of defensive depth for years to come.

In addition to proactively addressing a possible off-season dilemma on the back end, Anaheim has also opened up more room in the depth chart for breakout young star, Bobby Ryan to slip into.  Ryan will now see increased responsibilities and ice time that he has proven to be ready for.

All around great move by the Anaheim Ducks in my opinion.  The Pittsburgh Penguins on the other hand… probably should have been patient and fielded a few more offers.

Ovechkin – Goal of the Year?

Posted in Hockey with tags , , , , , on February 19, 2009 by FEGNS

Last night (2/18/2009), Alexander Ovechkin (the hardest working all-star in hockey) scored an absolutely stunning goal against the Montreal Canadians.  The speed at which Ovechkin skates with the puck, and the determination that he has to score goals in just unparalleled right now in the NHL.  There will be many more highlight reels coming over the years with “Ovechkin” as a tag.  That’s for sure. 

At this point in the season, the “goal of the year” goes to either the Ovechkin goal above, or the below goal by Bobby Ryan of the Anaheim Ducks (scored 1/8/2009 against the LA Kings).  I’ll let you guys decide which is your favorite.