Rumor Roundup: Ducks’ struggles could lead to coaching change, or trades

Lyle Richardson
Anaheim Ducks goalie Frederick Andersen

After coming to within one game of reaching the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, the Anaheim Ducks are off to one of their worst starts in franchise history. With a record of 1-5-2 following a 1-0 loss on Monday to the Chicago Blackhawks, the Ducks managed only six goals in those eight games. During that stretch, usually reliable scoring stars Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry combined for only two assists.

As the Ducks’ struggles continue, there’s growing speculation head coach Bruce Boudreau is in danger of losing his job. Trade rumors have also sprung up. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, speaking with Edmonton’s 630 CHED radio on Friday, raised the possibility of Ducks GM Bob Murray shopping goaltender Frederik Andersen.

Friedman believes they have to give promising John Gibson playing time at some point. Unlike Gibson, Andersen isn’t under a long-term contract. The 26-year-old netminder becomes a restricted free agent in July with arbitration rights. He’ll undoubtedly seek a substantial raise over his current $1.3 million salary.

Following the loss to the Blackhawks, Andersen was winless in six games. However, he also posted up a .940 save percentage and 1.71 goals-against average. Clearly, he’s not the reason behind the Ducks’ slump.

While there are undoubtedly teams with goaltending issues who’d love to land Andersen (hello there, Calgary Flames), trading him would be an extreme measure by the Ducks this early in the season. A coaching change seems a more likely course of action.

The recent speculation linking Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos to the Calgary Flames serves as a reminder of his uncertain future. While Lightning GM Steve Yzerman claimed last June that re-signing the 25-year-old Stamkos was his top priority, the expense of doing so could have long-term repercussions for their payroll.

One reason behind the delay could be due to Yzerman attempting to clear salary-cap room for Stamkos’ hefty raise. The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reports the Lightning GM is believed to be shopping defenseman Matt Carle, who carries a $5.5-million annual cap hit through 2017-18.

Carle had no points through his first nine games, but ranked second among Lightning defenders in blocked shots and fourth in average ice time (18:12). His cap hit is difficult to move at this point in the season, while his modified no-trade clause limits potential trade destinations.

The Columbus Blue Jackets and Boston Bruins are reportedly in the market for a top-four defenseman. Given their limited cap space, however, Carle is beyond their price range. The Lightning must either take back a salaried player or absorb part of Carle’s cap hit, which defeats the purpose of moving him in the first place.

Speaking of the Bruins, their 0-3-0 record in the first week of this season stirred up rumors claiming they were gauging the trade value of key players like defenseman Zdeno Chara and pesky winger Brad Marchand. But after going 3-0-1 during their latest road trip, the speculation has subsided.

Management had been silent about the Chara and Marchand rumor chatter. However, team president Cam Neely recently told a Boston radio station there’s no truth to the speculation.

Trading the 39-year-old Chara, who has two more season remaining on his contract at an annual cap hit of $6.917 million, is a pipe dream during the season. Even if the Bruins were trying to move him and found a club willing to take on his cap hit, the big blueliner carries a full no-movement clause.

Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website,, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).

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Frederik Andersen dives and robs Matt Dumba, but Ducks shutout for fourth time

Jared Clinton
Frederik Andersen makes a superhuman save on Matthew Dumba (via NHL/YouTube)

To put things lightly, things aren’t going Anaheim’s way this season. Saturday night, the Ducks were shutout for the fourth time in 2015-16, this time 4-0 by the Minnesota Wild.

But if the Ducks are looking for something, anything, to latch onto as a highlight so far look no further than this absolutely beautiful stick save by netminder Frederik Andersen.

With Anaheim already trailing 1-0 thanks to a beautiful backhander by Minnesota defenseman Matt Dumba, the Wild blueliner got a chance to extend the lead with a wide open net. Dumba had Andersen down and out and had enough patience to wait before levelling a shot on goal. Unfortunately for Dumba, his delay between getting the puck on his stick and firing the shot gave Andersen enough time to reach back with his stick and deflect the puck out of harm’s way: Read more

The Ducks don’t need changes, they just need some luck

Jared Clinton
Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf (Debora Robinson/Getty Images)

Who would have thought that through six games, the Anaheim Ducks would have one win, three points and be near the bottom of the Pacific Division?

The Ducks were one win away from the Stanley Cup final in 2014-15, but so far this season it doesn’t seem like Anaheim would be able to buy a win. Don’t go thinking this Ducks team is in need of some sort of massive shakeup, though.

There has already been talk this season about Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau finding himself on the hot seat, ways to spark the lineup through shaking up line combinations and even some thinking GM Bob Murray could make a big change to his roster. None of those are real solutions to what ails the Ducks. Truthfully, Anaheim has played quite well, they’re just not getting the results. Read more

Curtis Glencross passes on opportunities overseas, retires at 32

Curtis Glencross. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

Less than 10 months after the Washington Capitals acquired Curtis Glencross as one of their big trade deadline pieces, the veteran left winger has decided to call it a career.

TSN’s Darren Dreger reported Tuesday that Glencross, 32, has said he intends to retire and isn’t interested in pursuing any potential playing options overseas. Other veteran players have found ways to continue their careers in leagues like the SHL or KHL, but Glencross isn’t going to be going down that road.

“We have weighed our options and with the young family I’m enjoying a lot of firsts with them,” Glencross told Dreger.

Glencross’ decision comes as a surprise considering as recent as this past off-season he had latched on with both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Colorado Avalanche on professional tryout contracts. Though he wasn’t able to find a fit with either organization, he would have certainly provided some offensive punch were either team willing to offer him a deal, but both organizations were looking to get younger, not add veterans. Read more

Watch Ducks’ Ryan Kesler butt-end Coyotes’ Martin Hanzal in the face

Jared Clinton
Ryan Kesler jabs Martin Hanzal in the face. (via NHL)

The Anaheim Ducks are winless through three games and the frustration may be getting to center Ryan Kesler.

In Wednesday’s game, with the Ducks trailing Arizona 3-0 in the second period, Kesler and Coyotes pivot Martin Hanzal got into a scuffle in the Anaheim zone. After the pair was pushing and shoving while play continued, Kesler began to turn away from the play before lifting the butt-end of his stick and catching Hanzal with a backhanded jab to the face. Kesler added an extra shot as Hanzal went down: Read more

Ducks make sick teen’s dream come true, skates out as part of lineup at home opener

Jared Clinton
Kai Quinonez (via NHL/Anaheim Ducks)

During the pre-game ceremony at NHL home openers, the last player to hit the ice is generally the captain. And Monday evening, Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf would have been the final Duck to skate out onto Honda Center ice were it not for a special fan in attendance.

As part of the Ducks’s season-opening ceremony, 13-year-old Kai Quinonez was the final skater to hit the ice for the home side. Quinonez suffers from a rare blood disease called aplastic anemia, which he has been battling for the past five years. According to the Mayo Clinic, aplastic anemia occurs when your body stops producing enough new blood cells, and leaves those suffering from the serious condition fatigued and results in a higher risk of infections, bruising and uncontrolled bleeding.

After being introduced to the Honda Center crowd with a full introduction, including a scoreboard graphic, Quinonez skated to the blueline to join the rest of his new teammates: Read more