9.28.2008

Selanne's Back!

Have no fear, Ducks fans. Your favorite Finn is back!

Selanne signed a two-year contract with Anaheim earlier today, and James Mirtle has the financial side of things here. However, the most interesting aspect of this deal is the fact that now the Ducks are not only guaranteed, but will be forced, to make at least one roster move to get their salary numbers below the cap.

Now, the obvious option is to make a trade. However, in this situation, the Ducks would need to not acquire a player in return. This aspect will make it hard to dump any real salary, however, unless Brian Burke is willing to trade a marquee player (the only possible option there would be letting go of a defensive player like Samuel Pahlsson, which Burke would never do) for a high draft pick.

Instead, Burke will likely demote several players to the minors, trade a couple of no-name guys or low-potential prospects, and be about 42 cents under the cap by the start of the season; overall, typical money-saving procedure.

Something else interesting: What does this spell for rookie Bobby Ryan? Last season, he scored 5 goals and 10 points in 23 NHL games, and 21 goals and 49 points in 48 AHL games. A natural right-winger, many people assumed that Ryan would take up the second-line right wing spot, but that was before there were reports that Selanne was coming back, before he signed a tryout contract simply to practice with the team, before Burke gave him a two-year deal. Now, it appears that Ryan is destined for the third or fourth line, unless he can transition smoothly to the left wing. Transitioning would actually be the best for Ryan, as not only would he be with two offensive producers (Brendan Morrison and Teemu Selanne) but also two great veteran presences.

Either way, it appears that the Ducks' roster will be a bit stronger this season, depending on how their next moves pan out.