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The Official 2024-2025 Anaheim Ducks Thread


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Great way to end the season with a big victory against the Knights.  Vatrano with a hattrick.  Gauthier with his first point.  Dostal a rock in net.  Lot's to look forward to, including the draft.  

Now, let's get some good assistant coaches in there.  And fill a few pieces in in the offseason.  

Next season, let's hope we start healthy with Leo, Cutter, Terry, McT, Z, Frankie as the top two lines.  

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We should be okay next season if the injury situation can be controlled. A lot of inexperience, so it will still be rocky at times. But, if they continue to improve, moving forward from where we are at now would be a decent season.

We do need a better year from Terry and a good, full year from Z.

And, Verbeek better extend Vatrano in the offseason.

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10 hours ago, deepdrive said:

We should be okay next season if the injury situation can be controlled. A lot of inexperience, so it will still be rocky at times. But, if they continue to improve, moving forward from where we are at now would be a decent season.

We do need a better year from Terry and a good, full year from Z.

And, Verbeek better extend Vatrano in the offseason.

 

As the end got closer and closer, and as Z and Vatrano gelled.  They really are a good pairing.  Vatrano, shoot first.  Z, dishing passes from impossible angles.  Add in McTavish clogging up the middle doing his Perry impression, and you have a potent line.  Also helps that Vatrano has some wheels, so he gets in the play quick when Z is pushing the puck up ice.  

The other plus is, the cupboards are overflowing now.  I listed those 6, but we still have Stoned, KilltheDucks, Lundestrom, Colangelo looked fine and was given more responsibility, Nesterenko looked fine, Jones, Leason actually looked ok for a 4th line center.  Lot's of 3rd 4th line decisions.  

Vatrano will be 31 when his current contract expires.  I can see a 3 or 4 year, if it's reasonable in the $5 million range.  

One other thing about Vatrano and really Z that last 5 games.  I noticed they aren't taking those stupid penalties.  I'm hoping they both finally realize how much their actions are really hurting the team, and affecting their future pay.  Really last game, we only had 3 penalties, 1 of which was deserved, although accidental.  The other two were tickey tac, as was the penalty that was called for the Ducks.  Health and better penalties/trusting your teammate and goalie is going to be big for next season.

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Also, first impressions on Gauthier.  First he's bigger than I thought he'd be.  He's filled in and thick.  Not a skinny like Z but more of a thick like McT and Leo.  Second he isn't a speedster, but has a good first step.  Third, and maybe it's because he's new and players don't know how to play him yet, but he has good puck control in a phone booth.  A Timmy/Z/Leo type control.  Fourth, and something that has been missing on this team for a long time.  His shot.  yeah, I know that Leo/McT/Vatrano has good one timers, but usually we only see that on the PP on a set play.  What I noticed about Cutter is that he has no catch and release shot.  His is a pure shot, he does not catch the puck then shoot it.  It's all one timer, even in a phone booth with little room, and even his wrist shots.  That's going to be big once his teammates trust that.  

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I think Vatrano is going to be closer to 6M than 5. But we'll see. Either way, we can easily afford him.

You know, something that hit me recently was the flawed way we have been looking at future lineups. The Ducks set a good precedent this year with how they handled Leo that could really help them going forward. If they limit the younger guys to say 60 games and have the added games from injuries, there's no reason this team couldn't be playing 14-15 forwards on a regular basis. We're still not there to compete for a playoff spot, so development should be the priority next year. No reason to have guys who are regular healthy scratches. We're not like most other NHL teams where the cap makes this unfeasible.

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My biggest take away from last nights game was that teams might not be able to stop us from entering the zone like they have in the past. Our skating and puck handling skill level has reached a level where we can even move through Vegas's defense regularly. Quite different than in the past when they could just shut us down and force us to dump and chase.

The last few games we play showed it's a good day to be a Ducks fan. I think low 80's in points is very feasible for next year.

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46 minutes ago, deepdrive said:

My biggest take away from last nights game was that teams might not be able to stop us from entering the zone like they have in the past. Our skating and puck handling skill level has reached a level where we can even move through Vegas's defense regularly. Quite different than in the past when they could just shut us down and force us to dump and chase.

The last few games we play showed it's a good day to be a Ducks fan. I think low 80's in points is very feasible for next year.

Playoffs.  Last week for a WC spot.  No less dammit.

As for zone entries.  It's the Z factor.  He has the confidence when the puck is on his stick, to make a controlled entry.  And not only control the entry, but to set up the play.  It also helps that Vatrano is right there with him, and that a Dman is usually not far behind, usually the other Z.  come to think of it, little Z can also skate into the zone with control to set up.  Terry shows that he can dangle into the zone, but in most cases, it's to shoot.  Leo at times has shown he can enter the zone, but it's a big difference between Leo and the Z's.  Just like it's a big difference between Leo and every else on the team.  

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Notice how not a word is being said about our chances to win the upcoming lottery?

It's like Ducks fans are resigned to getting a 4th or 5th pick. 

Don't want to get disappointed again?  Believe it is actually rigged?  Realize the odds are actually what they are?  Or maybe like me, some have looked into the prospects a little and believe our best pick could be at 3-5.

I'm not totally sold on Celebrini or Levshunov.

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1 hour ago, deepdrive said:

Notice how not a word is being said about our chances to win the upcoming lottery?

It's like Ducks fans are resigned to getting a 4th or 5th pick. 

Don't want to get disappointed again?  Believe it is actually rigged?  Realize the odds are actually what they are?  Or maybe like me, some have looked into the prospects a little and believe our best pick could be at 3-5.

I'm not totally sold on Celebrini or Levshunov.

So, if this scenario happened, do you think it's worth looking at?

Say a player that would definitely help the Ducks became available.  I really don't know who that would be right now.  Little Z really screwed up the we need a RHD top liner desperately situation.  But say someone was available.  Would you, after the draft is determined, trade the 4th/5th pick for that player, and say a unprotected first round pick in 2026?  

I'm almost thinking that picking this year when the cupboards are totally full is counterproductive.  And getting picks for when we are contending so that we can have a good prospect pool when we reach our peak may be more important.  

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8 hours ago, gotbeer said:

So, if this scenario happened, do you think it's worth looking at?

Say a player that would definitely help the Ducks became available.  I really don't know who that would be right now.  Little Z really screwed up the we need a RHD top liner desperately situation.  But say someone was available.  Would you, after the draft is determined, trade the 4th/5th pick for that player, and say a unprotected first round pick in 2026?  

I'm almost thinking that picking this year when the cupboards are totally full is counterproductive.  And getting picks for when we are contending so that we can have a good prospect pool when we reach our peak may be more important.  

No, I wouldn't trade a top 5 pick. Next years pick, because of the wide spectrum of outcomes, would also be off the table.  In a couple years, we should have some prospects (or guys prospects are taking the place of) that could be traded for needs or future picks. That's the way I would go.

Vegas has shown how much undervalued talent is out there and available for a reasonable price. You just have to have the guys making decisions be able to see it. Bob couldn't do it and he didn't have the skills to trade for it if he did. So far, I would say our present group is reasonably good at it.

Kind of the same with draft picks. The quality picks are out there. Your operations team has to be able to find them. Some teams are better than others and draft picks are worth more to them.  I think we are in the top half in the league in evaluating for the draft. So, we should value having picks and try to accumulate picks in the top 3 rounds.

To summarize, I think we should try to acquire players through FA and by trading prospects and existing players. We are better off keeping and acquiring draft picks, I think.

Oh, and I don't think the cupboards are full. I do think though,  we have enough top end talent to end the lose to rebuild mode. Pick up a goal scorer and high end RHD this draft; resign Vatrano; pickup a skilled veteran and we should be good to move forward the next few years. After that it should be roster maintenance and gaining experience.

Put your sunglasses on.  The future looks bright.

Well, we'll know a lot more a year from now.  But presently, there's a lot of promise.

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3 hours ago, deepdrive said:

Earlier today, I saw the video clip of Strome's breakaway (no goal) he had at the end of the season.

Just now, saw the breakaway by Matthews (goal).

Nothing to say.

This is what I hope happens next season.  Everyone is healthy to open camp.  Stoned is on the 4th line, probably with Jones and Leason.  3rd line is Lundestrom/Terry/Nesterenko or Colangelo.  Stoned is going to be the filler for when anyone gets hurt on any of the lines.  Ugg.  3 more years left.  

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On 4/20/2024 at 11:04 AM, deepdrive said:

Notice how not a word is being said about our chances to win the upcoming lottery?

It's like Ducks fans are resigned to getting a 4th or 5th pick. 

Don't want to get disappointed again?  Believe it is actually rigged?  Realize the odds are actually what they are?  Or maybe like me, some have looked into the prospects a little and believe our best pick could be at 3-5.

I'm not totally sold on Celebrini or Levshunov.

I'm not focused on it because to me Cellebrini is in a tier all his own. After that there are about 12 guys in the next tier. There are some I like better than others, but to me I wouldn't be surprised if any one of them became the best NHL player of the bunch. The Ducks don't "need" a forward any more than they "need" a defenseman. So basically, I see very little difference between having pick 2 and having pick 5. The chance of winning the one pick is pretty low. 

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So duck stream interviewed beeker. Some interesting things in it. We will be looking at a c next season. Looking for bottom 6 fast grit. Top 4 Rd. But what I thought was an interesting comment, a top 6 right shot. Considering you have leo, cutter, Z, Mct, vatrano, then killtheducks.  Not to mention right shot Terry. They also did talk about Z, and I thought he was real careful with his words during that section. Very noticeable change in tone. Not sure what to make of it, as he didn't say anything about trades, but also did not deny it also.

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20 hours ago, eaterfan said:

I'm not focused on it because to me Cellebrini is in a tier all his own. After that there are about 12 guys in the next tier. There are some I like better than others, but to me I wouldn't be surprised if any one of them became the best NHL player of the bunch. The Ducks don't "need" a forward any more than they "need" a defenseman. So basically, I see very little difference between having pick 2 and having pick 5. The chance of winning the one pick is pretty low. 

Pretty much how I see it too. Just not sold on the upside of Celebrini. But then, I don't have much to go on.

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Verbeek: Ducks targeting top-6 forward, top-4 D-man this summer

Maybe those Stamkos rumors have some legs?

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The 2024 UFA class includes several high-profile right-shot forwards who could fill a top-six role, including Sam Reinhart, Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Marchessault, Joe Pavelski, Tyler Toffoli, David Perron, and Elias Lindholm. On the potentially cheaper - and younger - side, there's also Daniel Sprong and Jack Roslovic.

 

The crop of right-shot UFA defensemen isn't quite as deep, but the likes of Brandon Montour, Dylan DeMelo, Matt Roy, Brett Pesce, Chris Tanev, and Sean Walker could hit the open market.

 

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3 hours ago, gotbeer said:

So duck stream interviewed beeker. Some interesting things in it. We will be looking at a c next season. Looking for bottom 6 fast grit. Top 4 Rd. But what I thought was an interesting comment, a top 6 right shot. Considering you have leo, cutter, Z, Mct, vatrano, then killtheducks.  Not to mention right shot Terry. They also did talk about Z, and I thought he was real careful with his words during that section. Very noticeable change in tone. Not sure what to make of it, as he didn't say anything about trades, but also did not deny it also.

Use the concept of negative painting and it becomes a little clearer why Z is the trade speculation. Instead of looking at who might be moved, look at who won't be moved.

Leo and McTavish seem to make the coaches and Verbeek happy. They bring skill and character to the team that I don't think Verbeek wants to lose. Unless it's a trade he wins big in, I don't think he would move them.

Terry didn't have a good year. But as the team grows in experience, I think it will suit his style more. Also, he's always been a little slow on the development curve, but steady at improving. I think the guy will continue to get better. Doesn't seem to be physically damaged, only 7M a year (if he's grows to be a 35-40 goal scorer), already locked up for multiple years, good character and work ethic/approach. I just can't see a reason to move him. Kind of Silfverberg in the sense that there's always someone else to focus on dealing with trade wise.

Vatrano is not going to be traded unless he can't be extended. The guy brings an energy to the team that it needs and Verbeek caveats. Probably why Zellweger is the smaller defender we kept. The team just is more alive when he's on the ice.

Cutter and our first pick are Verbeek choices. Until they play themselves out of favor, they're not going anywhere.

Killorn was brought in for character. He was overpaid for the same reason. He's a quality player when he's healthy. His contract is probably not movable until the last year. I don't see him going anywhere. Strome is probably the same situation less the talent.

So there you go. That leaves Z. He has potential talent and is a draw. Not what would keep him here, but might make him desirable to another org. The fact that he has a sense that he's worth more than he presently is, only adds to this. I don't think Verbeek wants to trade him. But i do think he has less holding him back from making a deal that would give the team more experience in a equally talented player (By equally talented, I mean would fit in to give the Ducks as much on the balance.)

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2 minutes ago, deepdrive said:

Use the concept of negative painting and it becomes a little clearer why Z is the trade speculation. Instead of looking at who might be moved, look at who won't be moved.

Leo and McTavish seem to make the coaches and Verbeek happy. They bring skill and character to the team that I don't think Verbeek wants to lose. Unless it's a trade he wins big in, I don't think he would move them.

Terry didn't have a good year. But as the team grows in experience, I think it will suit his style more. Also, he's always been a little slow on the development curve, but steady at improving. I think the guy will continue to get better. Doesn't seem to be physically damaged, only 7M a year (if he's grows to be a 35-40 goal scorer), already locked up for multiple years, good character and work ethic/approach. I just can't see a reason to move him. Kind of Silfverberg in the sense that there's always someone else to focus on dealing with trade wise.

Vatrano is not going to be traded unless he can't be extended. The guy brings an energy to the team that it needs and Verbeek caveats. Probably why Zellweger is the smaller defender we kept. The team just is more alive when he's on the ice.

Cutter and our first pick are Verbeek choices. Until they play themselves out of favor, they're not going anywhere.

Killorn was brought in for character. He was overpaid for the same reason. He's a quality player when he's healthy. His contract is probably not movable until the last year. I don't see him going anywhere. Strome is probably the same situation less the talent.

So there you go. That leaves Z. He has potential talent and is a draw. Not what would keep him here, but might make him desirable to another org. The fact that he has a sense that he's worth more than he presently is, only adds to this. I don't think Verbeek wants to trade him. But i do think he has less holding him back from making a deal that would give the team more experience in a equally talented player (By equally talented, I mean would fit in to give the Ducks as much on the balance.)

 

the strange thing about this whole Z speculation, is that I haven't heard Cronin or Beeker speak poorly about him at all.  Even when he got benched, neither Cronin or Z said anything bad about it outside of a learning experience.  Most of Cronin's comments about Z have been positive.  Just looking at Beekers, hoping he grows into what we expect of him comment, and Cronins constant praise of him.  I'm wondering if they are both trying to do tough love on Z and work the immaturity out of him.  Cronin said that the guys in the locker room look up to Z.  Just reading between the lines, it doesn't sound like they are looking to trade him, but to elevate him so that he becomes a letter on the team.  

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8 hours ago, gotbeer said:

 

the strange thing about this whole Z speculation, is that I haven't heard Cronin or Beeker speak poorly about him at all.  Even when he got benched, neither Cronin or Z said anything bad about it outside of a learning experience.  Most of Cronin's comments about Z have been positive.  Just looking at Beekers, hoping he grows into what we expect of him comment, and Cronins constant praise of him.  I'm wondering if they are both trying to do tough love on Z and work the immaturity out of him.  Cronin said that the guys in the locker room look up to Z.  Just reading between the lines, it doesn't sound like they are looking to trade him, but to elevate him so that he becomes a letter on the team.  

I agree.

What I posted before wasn't meant to imply the Ducks want to trade Z.  I was just making the case that if they need a piece to make a trade, he could be the guy who has the least reason to be unavailable. But, maybe not.  I don't have access to Verbeek's mind.

I'd like to think they keep him.  We'll see.

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15 minutes ago, deepdrive said:

I agree.

What I posted before wasn't meant to imply the Ducks want to trade Z.  I was just making the case that if they need a piece to make a trade, he could be the guy who has the least reason to be unavailable. But, maybe not.  I don't have access to Verbeek's mind.

I'd like to think they keep him.  We'll see.

Really there is no hurry to trade him.  We are well under the cap.  He still has 2 years left before his next RFA stint.  What will be telling is if Beeker goes the 3 year with Leo and McTavish.  Terry I get as to why he gave him a 7 year as he was closer to UFA status.  But if you think about it, it's a brilliant move if Beeker continues with it.  Because A, they get to evaluate the player for 3 years.  B, instead of players getting a 8 year deal when they are 19 or 20, pretty much taking them to 29-30 after their entry level and 8 year deal is done.  Beeker would have them through entry level, then 3 years (so 6 years) and if he gives them a 8, 14 total years.  Taking them through their prime low 30's. 

Also, another thing is if they do get that Right shot top 6 (Stamkos rumors were out there, and he would fit perfectly, mentor, old so short term like 3 year contract, he's a big guy, huge on the PP).   The Ducks would have a legitimate 3 dangerous lines to work from.   Even if say Z was moved to the 3rd line.  You can't tell me that a line of Z, Lundestrom, Terry would not absolutely shred other teams 3rd lines.  

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