Recapping Pacific Division offseason moves

Recapping Pacific Division offseason moves
January 16, 2013, 12:15 pm
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Teemu Selanne led the Ducks in scoring with 66 points last season with 26 goals, and 40 assists. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

The Sharks didn’t do a whole lot in terms of altering their roster in the offseason, but a couple of their rival teams in the Pacific Division made some notable moves.

Here’s a brief look at what the Kings, Ducks, Coyotes and Stars did before (and after) the NHL’s 113-day lockout. San Jose will play the Ducks and Coyotes five times each in the shortened season, and the Kings and Stars four times apiece.

Anaheim Ducks

Perhaps the biggest offseason news for the Ducks was that future Hall of Famer and former Sharks forward Teemu Selanne would be returning for his 20th season. Selanne led the Ducks in scoring with 66 points last season (26g, 40a). Additions include defensemen Sheldon Souray and Bryan Allen, as well as light-scoring, depth forwards Brad Staubitz and Daniel Winnik, who had a cup of coffee with the Sharks after coming over from Colorado at the trade deadline.

The Ducks traded defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky to the Islanders, while wingers Jean-Francois Jacques, George Parros, Sheldon Brookbank, Jason Blake and Niklas Hagman all departed via free agency. Capable backup Dan Ellis also left, meaning Jeff Deslauriers will likely be Jonas Hiller’s backup.

The Ducks added tough guy Pierre-Luc Latourneau-Lebond this week, perhaps to fill the role vacated by Parros, who is now in Florida.

Like the Sharks, the Ducks made a notable move on their coaching staff, as Scott Niedermayer will join Bruce Boudreau behind the bench.

Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars underwent the biggest makeover of any Pacific Division team, adding some proven offensive-minded veterans but losing a few established players in the process.

Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney signed with the team as free agents, which could help the void left by Mike Ribeiro, who was traded to the Washington Capitals in exchange for young center Cody Eakin and a second round pick. Sharks-Stars games could be a little less entertaining, though, as gritty forward Steve Ott and defenseman Adam Pardy waere dealt to Buffalo for center Derek Roy.

The Stars lost a handful of players to unrestricted free agency, including Souray, center Jake Dowell, winger Radek Dvorak and winger Adam Burish, who signed a four-year deal with the Sharks. Already thin on the blue line, Dallas traded defenseman Mark Fistric to Edmonton on Monday in exchange for a third round pick in 2013.

The Stars do still have a huge hole, however, as star forward Jamie Benn remains a restricted free agent. Benn was second on the Stars in scoring last season with 63 points (23g, 37a) in 71 games. They'll need to get him signed to have any shot at the making the playoffs.

Los Angeles Kings

The defending champs are essentially returning the exact same roster that lifted the Stanley Cup last June. Their only move of note before the lockout was to hire Davis Payne as an assistant coach, replacing Jamie Kompon. Payne joins former Flyers head coach John Stevens and former Sharks head coach Darryl Sutter behind the Los Angeles bench.

Wingers Trent Hunter, Ethan Moreau and Scott Parse departed via free agency, but none of those three players suited up even once for the Kings during their dominant playoff run.

The Kings did make one minor move this week, moving little used Kevin Westgarth to Carolina in exchange for two draft picks and forward Anthony Stewart.

Phoenix Coyotes

The Western Conference finalists and defending Pacific Division champion Phoenix Coyotes had an active offseason, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. Gone are leading scorer Whitney (77 points last season), center Daymond Langkow (30 points), left wing Taylor Pyatt (19 points), and defensemen Adrian Aucoin and Michal Roszival. Lesser-used forwards Marc-Antoine Pouiliot and Patrick O’Sullivan also departed via free agency.

The Coyotes acquired defenseman Zbynek Michalek via a trade with the Penguins, while forward Steve Sullivan signed from Pittsburgh to help fill the void by some of the departures up front. The 38-year-old Sullivan recorded 48 points in 79 games with the Penguins last season. NHL forwards David Moss and Nick Johnson were also added, but the Coyotes look decidedly thinner on paper.

The Coyotes' biggest move in the offseason was holding onto 36-year-old captain Shane Doan, who was rumored for months to be on the move. Doan was inked to a four-year, $21.1 million deal in September.

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