Just over a week ago, Anaheim traded James Wisniewski to the New York Islanders in exchange for a third-round pick in the next entry draft. Just three days later, Anaheim had filled the defender position with Andy Sutton and a new 2-year contract with him, and announced the next day they had inked Kyle Palmieri to a three-year entry-level contract.
Wisniewski was traded to the Islanders shortly after the Ducks had agreed to a one-year, 3.25 million dollar contract. In exchange for the 26-year-old blue liner, Anaheim acquired another draft pick, a third-round selection in the 2011 Entry Draft. Wisniewski played in 69 games with the Ducks last season tallying 56 penalty minutes, and 30 points (3+27=30). There is no doubt in my mind that he will be missed from the Ducks’ blue line roster, however at this point, we all have to sit back and hold on for whatever ride GM Bob Murray is taking us all on, maybe its better to close your eyes at this point.
On the following business day, Anaheim announced that they had scooped up veteran defender, Andy Sutton, and locked him down for a 2-year contract that was per-year less expensive than Wisniewski’s agreement. Sutton split last season between the Islanders and the Senators totaling 72 games played and racked up 13 points (5+8=13) and 107 penalty minutes. Standing at 6’6 and 245-pounds, it isn’t a huge shock that he came in at second in the NHL in blocked shots with 204, and was ranked top 10 in number of hits with an impressive 197. Murray boasted about the blue liner saying that “He has size, physicality, and a willingness to put himself in front of pucks to block shots.” I’m sure Jonas Hiller would love to face fewer shots this year than he did last year and adding Sutton’s size and strength is destined to help decrease that number.
The most recent of Anaheim’s singing and trades was to ink young star, Kyle Palmieri to a three-year, entry-level contract, that will keep the 19-year-old right wing in a Ducks jersey for a while. Palmieri was Anaheim’s first round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft ranking him the 26th overall pick. The young winger played the 2009-2010 season in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) with the University of Notre Dame and played in 33 games with them, scoring 17 points (9+8=17). Palmieri has caught many peoples’ eye with his speed, sporting a 5’10, 191-pound frame, and his impressive stickhandling abilities. Hopefully we’ll get to see some more of him this season.
So in conclusion, we bid farewell to Wisniewski and his larger contract in favor of a bigger and cheaper defender who will make sacrifices physically to limit the number of shots the goalie he helps out faces, and Anaheim agreed to a 3-year deal with Kyle Palmieri which will keep the young wing around a while longer.