The 2009-10 Anaheim Ducks featured two players who were likely taken in the first round of your fantasy draft; Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. Perry lived up to the billing, producing an almost identical line to the previous season. He lead the Ducks with 76 points, and at 25 years of age, should keep up this production for several more years. Getzlaf, on the other hand, was a major dissapointment. He was hampered all season by an ankle injury and missed 16 games. He still put up a very respectable 69 points in those 66 games, although his PIMS fell from 121 to 79. This made him arguably one of the most 30 valuable players on a per game basis, and with a fully healed ankle, could be a big steal on draft day next year.
The third key member of Anaheim’s offence was Bobby Ryan, who posted a solid sophomore campaign, potting 35 goals and 29 asssists. Depending on ice time, he could have as much value as Perry next year, but with a significantly lower price tag.
Other notables up front were Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu, both of whom are UFA’s. The wild card next year is of course the maddening Joffrey Lupul, who managed 10 goals despite lacing up in only 23 games thanks to a back injury.
There wasn’t much exciting happening on the Anaheim blueline last season, and it figures to be the same come 2010-11. Scott Niedermayer began to show his age with a -9 rating, and is a UFA. James Wisniewksi had a dissapointing 30 points, -5 campaign after a strong showing with the Ducks at the tail end of 2008-09. Ryan Whitney is gone, packaged to Edmonton for Lubomir Visnovsky. Visnovsky put up big point totals during his time in Anaheim, but was -6 in 16 games, a trend which should continue as he is not considered much of a defensive defenceman.
Top prospect Lucas Sbisa should break camp with the big club, but don’t expect him to put up enough points to be relevant in the fantasy world.
Jonas Hiller finally supplanted Jean-Sebastien Gigeure as the Ducks go-to guy between the pipes last season, starting a career high 59 games while posting a 2.73 GAA and .918 SV%. He signed a four year, $18 million extension while Gigeure took exile in Toronto. With no one but Curtis McElhinney backing him up, expect Hiller to shoulder a big workload next season. The increased workload may hurt his pereipheral stats, but he should still be a strong option in net.
On the Bench:
Randy Carlyle has manned the team since 2005, the first season of Getzlaf, Perry and Penner. These players historically always played well in his system, the Ducks only need a little more depth to actually compete and likely will with Carlyle still with the team. Another poor showing may mean Carlyle will lose his job, but he did win a Cup with this very team.
The Bottom Line:
Overall, the Ducks season can probably be considered a disapointment, both in real life and in the fantasy realm. The team missed the playoffs despite having more points than Stanley Cup finalist Philadelphia, while Getzlaf and Niedermayer underachieved (Olympics notwithstanding). The team has around $30 million coming off the books with Bobby Ryan as the only major RFA to re-sign. It would be prudent to expect a long-term contract there as he may be the one true player the Ducks need to keep. General Manager Bob Murray will have a lot of money to play with come July 1st, so expect Anaheim to bolster their depth on the blueline while adding more scoring depth.