The Anaheim Ducks, Bob Murray, and the summer
Erik Stephens of The Athletic (mailbag): Bob Murray feels the heat every second that ticks in Anaheim. The pressure mounts to give fans something to believe in even if it is not a playoff run this season. With the Anaheim Ducks and their failures last season, that is paramount.
Bob Murray and Dallas Eakins will not see 2022-23 if the Ducks are anything as awful as 2021. Murray was extended by ownership to reshape the Anaheim Ducks into a team that can compete for years to come.
That must start to happen. However, there are obstacles.
Free agency to address scoring needs may not be the best bet. After Gabriel Landeskog and Taylor Hall, options get slim and fast. Players like Brandon Saad and even Kyle Palmieri are not going to come cheap.
The left-handed defensemen must develop too. Then, even the right side could look thin as well. Anaheim and Bob Murray may have to address this quickly especially if they cannot extend Hampus Lindholm at some point.
When there are lots of holes and problems, more issues often arise. Anaheim is also not like Arizona. They will not be weaponizing cap space to take cap on to facilitate deals for other teams. Anaheim wants to help themselves.
It will be a summer of activity for the Anaheim Ducks. How that pays off in 2021-22 will pave the future of management for years to come.
Patrik Laine and the Columbus Blue Jackets
Brian Hedger of The Columbus Dispatch: Patrick Laine may sign that qualifying offer of $7.5 million after all with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Laine struggled to just 24 points (12 goals) in 46 games. Whatever the reason, there exists some rebound potential.
Laine feels like he was misused last season but all sides seem to harbor no long-term misgivings. The Finnish forward looks to be highly motivated and Columbus has brought in Pascal Vincent from the Winnipeg Jets.
However, what gets interpreted is intriguing as it reunites Jack Roslovic as well with Vincent. The streaky goal-scoring winger becomes an unrestricted free agent for 2022-23 at just 25. Laine has one huge opportunity.