Anaheim Ducks: 5 Storylines To Follow Heading Into Training Camp

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Anaheim Ducks: 5 Storylines To Follow Heading Into Training Camp

Anaheim Ducks: 5 Storylines To Follow Heading Into Training Camp
Jake Roth - USA TODAY Sports

The Anaheim Ducks were impressive for most of the 2013 season, with their success in the conference being overshadowed only by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. For all their regular season success, the Ducks were still eliminated from the playoffs in the first round, a tough way to end a promising year. They will look to bounce back with a mix of young stars and returning veterans, and thanks to extension for Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry they will be contenders for many years to come.

The Ducks made a splash early in free agency by trading away Bobby Ryan, and the impact of his departure and the arrival of Jakob Silfverberg will be a major storyline this season. Anaheim was eighth in the league in scoring last season, and thanks to the solid goaltending of Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth they were ninth in goals against. Special teams was another strong area for the Ducks, as they boasted the league’s fourth-best power play and were 13th in penalty kill percentage. With Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu playing in what is likely the final season for both players, it is sure to be an emotional 2013-14 campaign but one that shows a lot of promise for a still-talented Ducks team. Here is a look at five of the biggest and most compelling storylines for the Ducks as they prepare to kick off training camp.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL featured columnist for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or add him to your circles on Google Plus.

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How Do Ducks Bounce Back After Early Playoff Exit?

Ducks 2013 Playoffs
Gary A. Vasquez - USA TODAY Sports

The Ducks finished the 2013 season with a 30-12-6 record, second in the Western Conference. They were dominant for most of the season, but were bounced from the playoffs in the first round by the Detroit Red Wings. The sting of losing that early and on home ice is likely still fresh for many players, which will provide extra motivation for the coming season.

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Increased Roles For Talented Young Players

Emerson Etem
Kelvin Kuo - USA TODAY Sports

Emerson Etem, Nick Bonino and Kyle Palmieri were among the young players who had an impact for the Ducks last season. All three were stellar in the playoffs, and the Ducks will look to them for depth scoring as they are asked to fill larger roles. Peter Holland, Patrick Maroon and Rickard Rakell are among the next wave of players in a deep Anaheim system.

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Impact of Bobby Ryan Trade

Jakob Silfverberg
Marc DesRosiers - USA TODAY Sports

The Ducks traded away young star Bobby Ryan early this summer, but did well in getting star-in-the-making Jakob Silfverberg, prospect Stefan Noesen and a first round pick in 2014 in return from the Ottawa Senators. Ryan's absence is a blow offensively, and it will be intriguing to see if Silfverberg can help make up for some of the lost scoring. He had 10 goals and 19 points for the Senators last season.

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Goaltending

Jonas Hiller
Gary A. Vasquez - USA TODAY Sports

The Ducks were able to reap the benefits of having two reliable goaltenders last season, but leaned on Jonas Hiller once the playoffs rolled around. Hiller won 15 games while posting a 2.36 goals-against average and Viktor Fasth also won 15 games while posting a 2.18 goals-against average. It will be interesting to see if head coach Bruce Boudreau continues to balance the workload between the two players or rides hot streaks over the course of a full season.

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Teemu Selanne's Final Season

Teemu Selanne
Jerome Miron - USA TODAY Sports

After another summer of debating back and forth, Teemu Selanne decided to return for a 21st season. The 43-year-old had 12 goals and 24 points last season, and is the franchise leader in goals and points. He has stated this will be his final season, so he will be extra motivated to not see the Ducks suffer another early playoff exit.

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