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Injury-plagued Ducks don’t rule out seeking help via trades

By in Press Enterprise on November 10, 2017

By Eric Stephens

ANAHEIM — The Ducks had in their lineup Thursday night against Vancouver these four centers – Derek Grant, Chris Wagner, Antoine Vermette and Kalle Kossila.

It is unexpected playing time for all of them, something they relish. Having those four in the middle is also nothing near what the Ducks imagined when they broke into the season.

Vermette is by far the most experienced as he’s coming up on 1,000 NHL games played, while the other three have 219 between them. But consider that Vermette was to center the third line, Grant was to challenge for a fourth-line job, Wagner to play on the wing and Kossila to be with their minor-league club.

Such is the state of the center position in Anaheim as Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler are out long term while Ducks coach Randy Carlyle is keeping Rickard Rakell at left wing after failed experiments in the middle. It begs the question as to whether the Ducks need to seek help through a trade.

Ducks general manager Bob Murray didn’t rule that out. Colorado’s Matt Duchene was a target, but Avalanche GM Joe Sakic sent him to Ottawa and ultimately got a package of prospects and high-round draft picks from the Senators and Nashville, which got Kyle Turris in the three-way deal.

“One big one has happened,” Murray said. “Everybody knew the one part – well, you know two of the parts were going to happen sometime. It’s just – it wasn’t in the cards for us. Joe did a pretty good job of getting a lot of young pieces. Did a pretty good job.

“At any time, and this is a broken record, if there’s a chance to improve the organization and hockey team, you definitely go ahead and do it. It’s early yet. A big trade happened but that was supposed […]    

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