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Ducks announce Hiller, Koivu, Winnik won't be re-signed

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Jonas Hiller nor Saku Koivu will be back in Anaheim. (Getty Images)
Jonas Hiller nor Saku Koivu will be back in Anaheim. (Getty Images)

More NHL Offseason: NHL rumors | Updating rumor mill | 2014-15 preseason odds

In a move that could be seen from a few miles away, the Anaheim Ducks announced on Thursday that they won't be re-signing free-agent-to-be Jonas Hiller.

After being disposed from his starting role by a couple of rookies at the end of the season and into the playoffs, Anaheim is going to go the youthful approach with John Gibson and Frederik Andersen in the mix and then potentially any additions.

Considering he was rumored to be on the trade block earlier in the season, Hiller's departure comes as no surprise.

But he's not the only Duck who won't be offered an extension by the team. GM Bob Murray also said on Thursday that veteran center Saku Koivu as well as Daniel Winnik will also not be back in Anaheim.

Koivu isn't too big of a surprise either. He will turn 40 years old later this year and this season he played just 65 games, seing his point total dip to 29 for an average of 0.45 points per game, the fewest of any season in his career.

Still, he's been in Anaheim for a long time and like fellow Finn Teemu Selanne, was a huge part of the franchise. Saying good bye isn't always easy.

"It was the hardest decision of the three," Murray said of Koivu. "He had a great career. We just have younger guys pushing for spots."

It's entirely possible this could be it for Koivu and if so, it's quite a career. But we'll cross that bridge when it comes because Koivu will hit free agency and certainly some team(s) could see a benefit of a veteran centerman.

After a season in which the Ducks had the most points in the Western Conference and nearly took out the Kings in the second round of the playoffs, it would seem to bode well for the Ducks and their prospects that they can dismiss three veterans (not including Selanne) and still figure to contend.

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