Ryan Getzlaf had a MVP calibre season, and should have garnered more support for the Hart Trophy. He turned it up a notch, and won himself a very sweet contract. Corey Perry (a former league MVP) got himself the same lucrative contract, but after a far less impressive season. It finally looked like the ageless Teemu Selanne's age had finally caught up with the "Finnish Flash". Selanne scored 12 goals, but had by far the worst plus/minus on the team at -10. Bobby Ryan was mostly effective (30 PTS in 46 GP), but Anaheim will need extraordinary play from ordinary defensemen going forward to replicate the same kind of success they experienced in 2013.
It's not quite clear why the GM was nominated for Executive of the year. Yes the team turned around their fortunes from last season, but the only move of significance made in the last 365 days was Victor Fasth, who didn't even play in the playoffs. Yes, Teemu came back, but I'm not sure how much of that can be credited to the General Manager. Did he fly to Finland and beg? Bruce Boudreau should get most of the credit for turning this roster around, not the boss upstairs.
Preseason Rank: 25
Midseason Rank: 5
Final Rank: 4
GM Grade: B-
1st Star: Ryan Getzlaf
2nd Star: Francois Beauchemin
3rd Star: Corey Perry
UFAs: Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu, Dave Steckel, Matt Lombardi, Ben Lovejoy, Toni Lydman
RFAs: H. Zolnierczyk, Matt Beleskey, Kyle Palmieri
Best Contract: Emerson Etem 2 more years at $875K
Worst Contract: Corey Perry 8 more years at $8.6M
What I said about them in preseason: If ever there was a dynasty here, it's over. Perry and Getzlaf are pending unrestricted free agents, but clearly the loss of Pronger and Niedermayer were a death blow to this team's elite status. It will be a long time before they win another Cup.
We will see the true skill of this General Manager by the success of this roster next season. If it all comes crashing down, then he's overrated. If they once again find themselves near the top of their conference, then we'll know they are for real. Emerson Etem has to be their brightest light of the youngsters and with Kyle Palmieri give the Ducks a solid foundation for the future at the forward position. Last year's first round pick defenseman Hampus Lindholm (that guy on the bike at the combine) missed most of the season with a concussion. The Ducks need him to one day be the great athlete they saw ride that bike like nobody else could.