“I’ve never coached a team in the NHL that’s had a second-line center that you’re going to have with Ryan Kesler. It’s a great [acquisition], and it gets you excited.”
That was Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau (per NHL.com), talking about his team’s big offseason acquisition from Vancouver. A former Selke Trophy winner, Kesler will play behind Anaheim’s top center, Hart Trophy finalist Ryan Getzlaf, giving the Ducks one of the top 1-2 center combinations in the NHL.
“This makes us a bona fide threat to become an elite team,” said Boudreau.
So, exciting times for Ducks fans, who saw firsthand what the Los Angeles Kings did with a one-two combo of Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter in these past playoffs.
But fans of the Washington Capitals may also have perked up at Boudreau’s remarks, given the cavalcade of second-line centers that auditioned in D.C. to play behind Nicklas Backstrom.
From Japers’ Rink:
The last time the Capitals entered an offseason knowing who the second-line center would be for the upcoming season was 2008, and Sergei Fedorov was playing for the Caps. Fedorov retired from the NHL after that 2008-09 season, and in each of the ensuing four and a half seasons the Capitals have had to find a new player to handle the second-line center spot.
The 2C spot is still up for grabs in Washington, with Marcus Johansson, Brooks Laich and Evgeny Kuznetsov expected to compete for the role following the departure of Mikhail Grabovski to Long Island.