Over the past several days, there have been many more moves and announcements within Anaheim than in the previous few weeks. Recently, Duck defender, Aaron Ward, announced he is retiring, Joffrey Lupul explains that he will likely miss the start of the season, and Bobby Ryan eased Anaheim's nerves with voicing that he hopes to remain a Duck.
Starting with the most conclusive of the publicity is the news surrounding Aaron Ward's retirement. At age 37, Ward is the second veteran blue-liner that the Ducks have watched close their careers during this off season. After 13 NHL seasons and three Stanley Cup Championship rings, Ward had his third knee surgery in the 2009-2010 season, and once it was revealed that he would miss at least part of the season due to injury, it was not a surprise that he opted to hang up the jersey for good.
Over the off-season, Anaheim fans have watched their blue line get an entire makeover, whether the changes have been good or bad has yet to be decided. Still, most Duck fans pray that GM Bob Murray anticipated Ward's retirement, and hopefully there's another solidifying move on the way with regards to the blue liners.
The second news that Anaheim had to face was the bad news surrounding Lupul's injury from last Winter. Lupul has not appeared in a game since early last December, and less than two weeks later had his first surgery on a disc in his back, and less than two weeks after the first was back on the table for a second operation, from which a blood infection formed. Recently, Lupul discontinued his rehabilitation, and test results exposed a resurgence of the blood infection again postponing his recovery. It is likely that Lupul will miss the beginning of the season along with training camps.
The final piece of news Anaheim heard recently was the best by far, and it was all about young Bobby Ryan. Negotiations with the restricted free agent have been problematic for Anaheim seeing as the young star has turned down a five-year contract offer and a four-year contract offer. It is rumored that Ryan is looking for a short contract, no more than three years, because he believes that he will be worth more money after he grows over the next three years. The one problem with the three-year contract idea is that unless contract extensions are negotiated mid-season, that leaves Ryan, Perry, and Getzlaf all as free agents in the same year.
The good news for Duck fans is that Bobby Ryan recently vocalized that he isn't interested in a trade and is really hoping to stay in Anaheim a while longer. So on that note, Anaheim can breathe a sigh of relief that hopefully number 9 won't be going anywhere for a while.
So Anaheim bids farewell to another blue liner, Aaron Ward, who opted to retirement, and won't be reunited with Lupul for a while longer, however hopefully Bobby Ryan will be signing a deal that inks him as a Duck for several more years.