The Anaheim Ducks are facing a daunting management task over the next several months. As the inevitable retirements of Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu loom closer, and no clear replacements on the roster, the Ducks second line is almost non-existent. Add to that the questions surrounding Bobby Ryan, and the expiring contracts of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, and you have uncertainty surrounding five of their top six forwards.
What makes matters worse, is that with the NHL lockout in full effect, general manage Bob Murray can’t attempt to re-sign either Getzlaf or Perry. If the teams do end up playing a shortened season, Murray will have to scramble to get contracts in front of both players, or run the risk of seeing two of his only three viable forwards walk during next year’s free agency period.
This makes things very difficult for Anaheim moving forward. While they’ve gone a long way in solidifying their defense, if the Ducks were to loose even just Selanne and one of the big three next year, They would be left with Koivu, Andrew Cogliano and Matt Beleskey to fill in the gaps. That’s not exactly a threatening lineup.
The lockout hurts in more ways than one. Decreasing the size of the window that Anaheim has to anchor its core group of offensive talent makes a difficult situation even harder. Here’s to hoping we get players back on the ice as soon as possible, for everyone’s sake.