Sunday, January 08, 2006

Ducks Rebuilding

When Brian Burke took over the Vancouver Canucks he claimed that the team could compete right now and the would not rebuild. Then he went out and rebuilt, getting rid of Mark Messier, Pavel Bure and Alexander Mogilny and brought in a very successful Canucks team that has been one of the better teams in the NHL.

Now that Burke is in Anaheim, he appears to be following the same process with the Ducks. He has traded Sergei Fedorov to Columbus. Today, it was announced that Petr Sykora and a 2007 fourth round draft pick to the New York Rangers for Maxim Kondratiev. In all likelihood, Sykora will be the best player involved in that trade but with the prospect of free agency, he may not play these years as a Mighty Duck. Kondratiev is a useable defenceman who is young enough that he may mature into a very good player in the next few years.

Most important to the Mighty Ducks, Anaheim has opened up a roster spot that can be won by a young player with the potential for a big future. If Joffrey Lupul or Ryan Getzlaf get the playing time that Petr Sykora abandoned this will help them improve as players for future Duck teams. As long as the Mighty Ducks manage to keep these guys for their prime (which is not a given under the CBA) the Ducks could become a legitimate power in the future.

It appears that this plan was made after the beginning of the 2005/06 season, because the signings of Scott and Rob Niedermayer are contradictory to the plan. It looks like Burke made the decision he needed to rebuild after seeing his team play for a month or two.

If things work out, the Ducks could become a very competitive team in a year or two.

Here is TSN's story on the Sykora trade.

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