It had to happen sooner or later. Age, and the speed of the game, caught up with the Ducks. It didn’t help that Anaheim was decimated by injuries – leading the league in man-games lost in 2018-19 – but the Ducks’ top players have been fading for a few seasons now. What remains to be seen is how smoothly the team can retool on the fly. A strip-down rebuild is out of the question because of the term remaining on three big contracts. A new coach with a new outlook will surely inject hope next season.
IMMEDIATE NEEDS: Anaheim’s production is the worst the league has seen in two seasons. Injuries and age have caught up to one-time difference-makers Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler. There isn’t any cap room to consider a scoring free agent, so the Ducks have no choice but to force-feed one or two ...
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About the Author
Brian Costello joined The Hockey News in 1990 when the likes of Bruce Boudreau, Randy Carlyle and Joel Quenneville were players, not coaches. Costello covered major junior hockey for five seasons before getting called up to THN. He likes to focus his attention on pre- and post-NHL careers, following closely the progress of the draft, up-and-coming prospects and fancying himself a Hall of Fame expert.