There was a plan for the Ducks after last season's disaster, General
Manager Bob Murray insisted, even as everything seemed to crumble around
As the saga involving highly touted prospect Justin Schultz came to a
bitter end, another headache arose when high-scoring winger Bobby Ryan
went public with his displeasure over being part of the trade rumor mill
and openly questioned whether there was a future for him in Anaheim.
general manager Bob Murray was taking plenty of heat last season. But
some of his strategic moves during the offseason have the team off to a
hot start.Murray pushed on with his plan to reshape the Ducks and keep them competitive even as upcoming contract negotiations with stars Ryan
Getzlaf and Corey Perry loomed like potential storm clouds and the
franchise's direction at a crossroads.
Fast forward eight months and the Ducks not only haven't waved the
white flag but are one of the NHL's surprise stories with their 12-2-1
start that sits them only behind Chicago for the best mark in the
Murray's plan is not only looking pretty good these days but he may have struck gold with a number of moves.
Enticing impressive Swedish goalie Viktor Fasth with a one-way NHL
contract could become a masterstroke. Free-agent signings Sheldon
Souray, Daniel Winnik and Bryan Allen look like perfect fits. Even the
recent pickup of defenseman Ben Lovejoy for a low-round draft pick has
paid dividends with Cam Fowler sidelined.
Just don't count on the behind-the-scenes Murray to pat his back.