Anaheim Ducks: Is There Room For Ben Lovejoy Next Season?
An impressive regular season did not lead to the kind of postseason success that the Anaheim Ducks were hoping for, but with most of their players coming back next season the team is in good shape. The Ducks are incredibly deep in net, and also got a great season from their defenseman. One depth defenseman who stepped his game up in the playoffs was Ben Lovejoy, and if the price is right the Ducks may want to bring the veteran blueliner back for another season.
Lovejoy played in 32 regular season contests, and had 10 assists while seeing 18 minutes of ice time per game. An injury to Toni Lydman early in the playoffs gave Lovejoy a chance to step up, and he did an admirable job against the Detroit Red Wings. He chipped in two assists in the seven-game series, while seeing a three-minute increase in ice time. He finished the postseason as a team-best plus-4 and was not penalized once. Since coming over from the Pittsburgh Penguins, Lovejoy has proven to be a great addition for the Ducks, and a great bargain with a cap hit of only $525,000. If the Ducks are able to bring him back at a similar price, there is no reason they shouldn’t consider it. With Cam Fowler, Francois Beauchemin, Luca Sbisa and Bryan Allen all coming back, there will be limited spots available. Sheldon Souray is signed for another two seasons, and youngster Hampus Lindholm may finally get his shot. That may leave Lovejoy as the odd man out, but after his performance in the playoffs there should be more than a few teams interested in his services.