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Roster Report

The Sports Xchange
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MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Teemu Selanne led the Ducks in scoring with 66 points at 41 years of age in his 19th year in the NHL. No player was better in the first half of the season as Selanne often had to carry his slumping teammates on many nights. Selanne finished with 26 goals, marking the 15th time that he scored 25 or more and making him the second-oldest player behind Gordie Howe to score that many goals in a single season. He finishes the campaign 12th all-time in goals (663), 19th in points (1,406) and fourth in power-play goals (248).

MOST DISAPPOINTING PLAYER
Ryan Getzlaf easily had the worst season of his seven-year NHL career. Getzlaf had a career-low 11 goals and needed to score twice in the last three games just to get to double figures. At times, he had long scoring droughts, including a stretch where he scored one goal in 32 games. His 56 points are also the worst since his rookie season. The Ducks' captain will be entering the final year of his five-year deal next season.

BIGGEST NEEDS
Beyond a return to form by disappointing center Ryan Getzlaf, the Ducks sorely need a second-line center and more scoring depth on the wings as Bobby Ryan, Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne were the only reliable options. Like many other teams, the Ducks would love a top-pairing defenseman to play with Cam Fowler and ease the load on respected veteran Francois Beauchemin. They'll need a backup goalie to replace injury-plagued Dan Ellis but that might have been solved with their apparent agreement with Swedish goalie Viktor Fasth.

FREE AGENT FOCUS
The Ducks are expected to let go underperforming wingers Jason Blake and Niklas Hagman as their contracts are up, freeing up $5.5 million of cap space. Backup goalie Dan Ellis also doesn't figure to be re-signed and that's another $1.5 million off the cap. The Ducks will also have some hard decisions to make on defenseman Sheldon Brookbank and popular enforcer George Parros but desperately want Teemu Selanne to come back for another season and will attempt to re-sign Saku Koivu. Unless he looks to go the trade route, look for general manager Bob Murray to use some of those savings to go after a second-line center in free agency or upgrade their forward depth.

PLAYER NOTES

--LW Bobby Ryan scored twice against Calgary to finish the season with 31 goals, which ranked him second on the Ducks behind Corey Perry's team-high 37. Ryan has often been the subject of trade rumors and could help the Ducks fetch a nice package in return. But the winger also has topped 30 goals in each of his first four seasons, joining Alex Ovechkin as the only current players to have done that.

--G Jonas Hiller didn't end the season on a good note as he allowed five goals in a loss to Calgary but his year is a success only because he played in a career-high 73 games after having the second half of last season wrecked because of persistent vertigo-like symptoms. Hiller's 32 consecutive starts and 73 in all set franchise marks. The quality of his play also improved throughout the season as he rebounded greatly after a poor start. Hiller finished 29-30-12 with a 2.57 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage.

--D Cam Fowler finished with a team-worst mark of minus-28, which sparks great concern about his defensive play after his second season. Fowler's offensive numbers also dropped sharply from his rookie year as he ended with only five goals and 24 points. The fact is the Ducks out of necessity give the 20-year-old more responsibility on the back end than most defensemen his age. Fowler has played against the other team's top lines all season. While his numbers don't look promising, the Ducks believe that he has taken forward steps in his development.

--D Sheldon Brookbank finished a strong bounce-back season by logging 24:23 and 23:29 of ice in his final two games. Brookbank set career highs with three goals and 14 points while being a plus-11 that was best on the team. The Ducks love him and see the rugged blue-liner as the ideal seventh defenseman who can step into the lineup at any time. But Brookbank, 31, is an unrestricted free agent and will likely seek a raise from $800,000 salary.

--C Saku Koivu finished the year with points in three of his last four games and five of his last nine but also didn't score a goal after Feb. 21, a span of 22 games. With 11 goals and 27 assists, Koivu no longer produces the kind of offense that's needed for the second line. The Ducks do want to re-sign the classy veteran but probably at a lower amount than the $2.5 million he made this season along with the idea of having him center the third line. Koivu is still an effective penalty killer, wins faceoffs and can still play some on the power play.

MEDICAL WATCH

--D Lubomir Visnovsky sat out the season finale against Calgary due to an upper-body injury suffered Thursday night that was the result of a hit by Edmonton's Darcy Hordichuk.

--D Nate Guenin is recovering from a fractured orbital bone above his left eye after being struck by a puck on March 21 against St. Louis. Guenin missed the final seven games.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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