Wednesday, August 15, 2007

DiPenta Paper

On Tuesday, Joe DiPenta signed a 1-year deal with the Ducks, extending his stay for yet another season. DiPenta played in 76 games last season with the Ducks registering 2 goals and 6 assists in the process, but when you think of Ducks defensemen, you don't exactly immediately think DiPenta. Especially, not now. DiPenta signs on as quite possibly the seventh defenseman, unless Scott Niedermayer does retire. Then he'll actually make the team update board as the sixth defenseman... still, he's probably not exactly pool worthy.

Chris KunitzAndy McDonaldCorey Perry
Samuel PahlssonRyan GetzlafTodd Bertuzzi
Travis MoenRob NiedermayerBobby Ryan
Brad MayTodd MarchantGeorge Parros
Scott NiedermayerChris Pronger
Mathieu SchneiderFrancois Beauchemin
Sean O'DonnellShane Hnidy
Jean-Sebastien Giguere
Ilya Bryzgalov

It kind of shocked me when I looked down the line of team updates and not having seen an Anaheim one yet, so I had to build a new one. The first quote that comes to mind when I look at this team at the moment... "the only thing harder than winning a championship in sports is repeating." Well, Brian Burke and his Ducks will have a whale of a time trying to win a second Cup as they are haunted by the giant question mark that hangs over their locker room.

Who is gonna be dressed come opening night? Teemu Selanne doesn't have a contract and will possibly retire. Scott Niedermayer has two years left on his deal and could possibly retire. J-S Giguere had hernia surgery and should be ready to go. Todd Bertuzzi's back still ranks as a top concern going into camp. Who is going to take the spot of Dustin Penner? There is probably a lot of concern running rampant in the GM's office these days. With the big three on defense signed, the cap room has dwindled as these 20 guys listed are worth (approx.) $47 million.

If you were to look at the team right now, you would probably come to the conclusion that they'll be the strongest defending team in the league and that defense could win you a championship. But with the punch of Selanne's 40+ goals and Penner's 29 goals missing from the line-up, where are they going to get that one or two goals to win a game?

Now, don't take the line-up above as actual line combos... it's more of a general idea of who's worth more in their position for the pool. I'm sure Getzlaf and Perry will still be together, but it's anyone's guess who their linemate could be. I did insert Bobby Ryan into the line-up above, as he's probably the next best candidate for a big time job this season. They might even be able to snake 20 goals out of the kid this season. A great coup for a dwindling offense.

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