The Anaheim Ducks have been a Stanley Cup contender the past five seasons, and their offseason moves largely have been designed to keep them in the running this season. Heading into the NHL Expansion Draft, many believed the Ducks would lose a core member of their deep and talented collection of defensemen because they'd left Sami Vatanen and Josh Manson unprotected. Instead, the Ducks struck a deal with the Vegas Golden Knights that sent talented defenseman prospect Shea Theodore to Las Vegas, enabling them to keep their top four defensemen intact and retain forward Patrick Eaves, who was acquired in a trade from the Dallas Stars on Feb. 24, seemingly as a rental player. It turned out Eaves had chemistry with Ryan Getzlaf, and the 33-year-old was an important player down the stretch and into the Stanley Cup Playoffs until a foot injury ended his season. Rather than exploring unrestricted free agency after setting NHL career highs in goals (32) and points (51), Eaves signed a three-year contract reportedly worth $3.15 million per season to stay with the Ducks on June 23. He is expected to play a top-six role at even strength and help the power play as a net-front presence. Anaheim's offseason was defined more by tweaks than seismic shifts, all of which were designed to keep the difference-makers intact so the Ducks can make a run at the Stanley Cup in 2018 after advancing to the Western Conference Final in 2017.
Ducks achieve goal, maintain roster continuity
NHL.com | Jul 10