One more word of thanks to those of you who took the time to read my first post, and special thanks to nephew23 for helping me clean up some "technical difficulties." Anyway, last time I noted that all future posts would be more condensed and follow a general format, so let's get right to it.
The latest signing by the Ducks is of a Norris Trophy winner, but before you all think that the "n" in Lindstrom really was a typo, I'm talking about Randy Carlyle. The club gave the coach, whose impressive 138-74-34 record ranks tops in wins and winning percentage in franchise history, a two-year extension. Quotes from both GM Brian Burke and Carlyle himself regarding the re-signing can be found here
This is good news for all Ducks fans, outside of those who have/will have Giguere or Hiller on their fantasy teams, as the former NHL defenseman is notorious for not revealing the starter for the next game until that day's warm-up (and even that can be deceiving). While Jiggy always has a spot on my own fantasy lineup, I still like this strategy of keeping your cards close to your chest, as it gives the Ducks yet another edge over the competition. My advice for poolies? If you have the roster space, pickup both. If not, I would just draft Giguere and watch the situation closely (which Duck fans should be doing, anyway!)
The most significant part of this signing does not involve Carlyle, however, as it may also be an indication of Burke's future with the organization. As fellow MYHB blogger JPDucks points out, Burke would not extend his man through the 2010-11 season if he did not intend to stay with the Ducks for just as long. This isn't simply speculation on JP's part, either, as he found an interesting quote which I suggest you all take a look at over on his blog
Personally, with the signing of Burke's good friend and inaugural Ducks coach Ron Wilson and the more recent poaching (yes, I said poaching
) of Burke's Senior Advisor, Al Coates, I began to doubt that we'd see the man hovering over the Honda Center ice beyond this upcoming season. In late June, my doubts grew with the announcement that former Vancouver GM Dave Nonis would essentially be taking Coates' post. I get the sense that this move was made so that Burke could spend the year training his protege to take over the helm in the summer of 2009, when his contract would expire and allow him to jump ship to Toronto, as many have speculated for months now. My heart hopes JP is right, but my head tells me it's not going to happen.
In other news, Curtis Zupke has officially confirmed in the Ducks OC Register blog
that the Ducks will NOT be one of the 18 or so teams to come out with alternate jerseys next year. While I'm a bit disappointed at this news, I'd much rather see the team slightly alter their current look to make their crest more visible on their jerseys. Apparently, I'm not the only one with this sentiment, as The Hockey News
has chosen the relatively new logo as the worst one in the league! I already posted this on the official boards and AllDucks.com, but in case any of you missed it, here's the quick PS job I did to illustrate my simple remedy (you may need to click on it to view it full size):
Joining the Flock
Each post I'll be taking a closer look at one of the Ducks' more significant acquisitions, in chronological order. This week we'll start with a player that may be more important than most fans think...
G #31? - David LeNeveu
Born in Fernie, BC | Age 25 | 6'1" | 187 lbs. | Cathes Left
Originally drafted by PHX in 2002 (2/46)
Signed to a one-year contract on 7/7/08
08-09 Salary Cap Hit: $600,000
Most Duck fans will be familiar with LeNeveu, who spent his entire NHL career with division rival Phoenix before being traded to the Rangers in February. Last season, he was stuck behind former Duck Ilya Bryzgalov and Mikael Tellqvist on the Desert Dogs' depth chart and had even less of a chance to join a New York crease that already featured Henrik Lundqvist and Stephen Valiquette. Although he faces the most formidable duo yet in Anaheim, he is still very capable of backing up Giguere or Hiller in the event that (knock on Sher-Wood) either goes down with injury.
As far as skill, he has all the makeup of a NHL-caliber goalie: plenty of raw talent, good size and an overall collected demeanor. Keep in mind, this is the same guy who broke Ken Dryden's ECAC shutout record and was a Hobey Baker finalist for Cornell after his sophomore year (In an interesting side note, one of the other finalists that year was Chris Kunitz, yet both men lost out to Peter Sejna, who is currently looking for a club to play with after an unsuccessful stint with St. Louis). In fact, goalie coach Benoit Allaire liked his potential so much that it is said that he convinced management to bring him to Broadway as part of the Montoya-Sjostrom deal.
There is no reason to believe that David will not flourish under the guidance of Benoit's brother, like Giguere, Hiller, Bryzgalov and Gerber before him. LeNeveu appears to be a late bloomer who, with the help of a goaltending guru like Francois, will be a solid NHL backup in the near future. In the mean time, look for LeNeveu to be the primary puckstopper for the Ducks' new affiliate in Iowa.
Right now I'm thinking of making this blog a weekly feature, so unless any major news breaks between now and next Sunday, I'll see you at the same Duck time, same Duck blog.
Keep on quacking!
(Please make comments in the forum thread!)