October 02, 2014

ANAHEIM DUCKS

LAST SEASON: 46-25-11, 103 points. Won Pacific Division. Lost to Nashville in first round.

COACH: Randy Carlyle (eighth season, 11th NHL season)

ADDED: C Antoine Vermette, RW Jared Boll, LW Mason Raymond, G Jonathan Bernier.

LOST: Coach Bruce Boudreau, G Frederik Andersen, LW David Perron, RW Chris Stewart, LW Jamie McGinn.

PLAYER TO WATCH: G John Gibson. After sharing the crease with Andersen or sitting in the minors for the past three years, the 23-year-old American is an unquestioned No. 1 NHL netminder for the first time. He has capably handled a heavy workload before, but the Ducks need him to match the unflappable (and much more expensive) Andersen's steady play over an entire season.

OUTLOOK: The four-time defending Pacific Division champions are trying to go backward to go forward. GM Bob Murray jettisoned the successful Boudreau and re-hired old friend Carlyle, who insists the game hasn't passed him by after getting fired in Anaheim and Toronto over the past half-decade. He'll attempt to coax new mental toughness out of essentially the same roster built around Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. The Ducks should be a Cup contender again, but that window could be getting smaller.

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