Anaheim Ducks

For Ducks, Hagelin trade is all about keeping up — literally — with the NHL’s elite

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SUNRISE — To hear Bob Murray explain it, acquiring Carl Hagelin from the Rangers was his way of keeping up with the NHL’s top teams.

“We can play with some speed now,” the Ducks GM explained. “If you watched Tampa Bay and Chicago [in the Stanley Cup Final], that was pretty quick.

“You see who’s in the finals and you see how we got beat — the speed element of the game is getting bigger and bigger and bigger. So we have to move along with the times, and we got a guy that can really skate.”

Hagelin, who won the NHL’s fastest skater at the 2012 All-Star Game, certainly gives the Ducks some wheels. Widely regarded as one of the quickest wingers in the game, he now joins a team that already boasted one tremendous skater in Andrew Cogliano who, like Hagelin, has also won the ASG’s fastest skater competition (in 2009).

Of course, Anaheim had to give to get. That meant shipping out another speedster and former first-round pick Emerson Etem who, despite his skating ability and skill set, never seemed to find his niche with the club.

“He’d just gotten to a point where a change was good for him,” Murray explained. “With our coaching staff the way it was, I felt it was time for him to move on.”

Hagelin figures to play much larger role with the Ducks than Etem did. Coming off a year in which he posted career highs in nearly every category — games (82), assists (18) and points (35) — Hagelin could see even more minutes than the 15:14 he averaged for the Blueshirts last year.

“We’re quite excited about that,” Murray said. “Hagelin has speed, tenacity and he’s on the puck. Really good penalty killer, and I think he can play the power play with the right guys.”

The endgame, of course, is for Hagelin’s speed to help Anaheim get over the hump. Built to win now, the club came within a game of the Stanley Cup Final this year, only to lose Game 7 of the Western Conference Final to one of those speedy teams Murray referenced — the Chicago Blackhawks.

It’s a loss that’s stuck with the Ducks GM.

“We didn’t win,” Murray said. “We didn’t win. It’s the object to win, isn’t it?”

Ducks stay busy, send Etem to Rangers for Hagelin

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SUNRISE — The trades continue to pour in on the second day of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

In a fairly sizable move, the New York Rangers dealt speedy forward Carl Hagelin to Anaheim in exchange for another speedster, Emerson Etem. The Rangers also received the 41th overall pick, which they used to select WHL Seattle left wing Ryan Gropp; Anaheim received the 59th pick and the 179th pick in this year’s draft.

It’s an interesting deal. Both players are pending RFAs, though Hagelin has the more accomplished NHL resume and larger existing contract. The Swede, who tied a career-high with 17 goals last year, just wrapped a two-year deal worth $2.25 million annually.

Etem, a former first-round pick, just wrapped his entry-level contract, one that paid $870,000 per year. He’s struggled to keep a regular spot in the Anaheim lineup, though he did show flashes this postseason by scoring three goals in 12 games, including a highlight-reel tally against Winnipeg in the opening round.

It’s been a busy day for Anaheim. Earlier today, the Ducks sent underachieving defenseman James Wisniewski to Carolina in exchange for goalie Anton Khudobin.

After acquiring Lack, ‘Canes flip Khudobin to Ducks — more moves coming?

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The Carolina Hurricanes are playing the goalie market — and now, it appears the Ducks are as well.

Shortly after acquiring Eddie Lack from Vancouver, the ‘Canes orchestrated a yet-to-be-completed deal that moved Anton Khudobin to Anaheim. That’s led many to speculate that, with Khudobin and Frederik Andersen and John Gibson on the payroll, Ducks GM Bob Murray will soon make another move to clear up his three-headed goalie situation.

Update: Per reports, d-man James Wisniewski is headed to Carolina to complete the deal.

Khudobin, 29, is heading into the last of a two-year, $4.5 million deal with a $2.25M average annual cap hit. He scored that contract after a stellar first season in Carolina, then regressed last year — he finished ’14-15 with a 8-17-6 record, 2.72 GAA and .900 save percentage.

With this move, it appears the complex goalie market has become even more dynamic. Rangers backup Cam Talbot is still available for trade, and it’s possible someone could get in the mix for Gibson, regarded as one of the brightest young goaltending prospects in the NHL.

Welcome to Day 2 of the NHL Draft

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SUNRISE — After yesterday’s fireworks, most set off by the Boston Bruins, people have reconvened in the hope for more at Day 2 of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

Vancouver and Carolina got an early start Saturday, as the Canucks sent popular goalie Eddie Lack to the ‘Canes in exchange for a pair of picks; it figures to be the first of several trades on the day as names like Phil Kessel, Kevin Bieksa, Anton Khudobin and Matt Beleskey continue to generate traction on the draft floor.

PHT will have all the latest from the BB&T Center, so be sure to check back often. Here’s some relevant linkage from last night:

PHT’s 2015 NHL Draft Tracker

The Next One? Oilers take McDavid first overall

Trade: Oilers send picks 16 and 33 to Islanders for Griffin Reinhart

Trade: Buffalo keeps dealing, acquires O’Reilly from Colorado

Trade: Devils acquire Palmieri from Ducks

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SUNRISE — Just when everybody thought the action was done, the Devils and Ducks pulled off a trade.

At the tail end of Friday’s 2015 NHL Entry Draft, New Jersey acquired Anaheim forward Kyle Palmieri for the 41st overall pick this year, and a selection at the 2016 draft.

Palmieri, 24, is a former first-round pick that’s coming off a year in which he tied a career-high for goals (14) and finished with 29 points. The former U.S. National Team Development Program product also scored four points in 16 playoff games for the Ducks, averaging over 14 minutes a night.

For New Jersey, the move makes sense as the team looks to get younger, faster and more skilled. It’s also the first trade orchestrated by new GM Ray Shero, and he got an affordable producer as Palmieri’s in the last of a three-year deal that pays just $1.46M annually.

For the Ducks, they have a slew of talented young forwards on the horizon, and this move could clear another roster spot up front. It’s also unlikely that UFA winger Matt Beleskey will be back, so Anaheim should have an open competition for minutes next season.