With playoff hopes fading for the Anaheim Ducks, fans are wondering what went wrong and what the future holds for the club beyond Year One.
GM Michael Stafford sat down for an interview with the Orange County Register’s beat reporter Steve Fryer recently.
Stafford revealed that his team didn’t exactly leave the gate as expected and never really hit its stride.
“We never jelled into a cohesive team. We have problems up and down the lineup. Offensively, defensively and at goalie, we have problems.”
When asked to be more specific. Stafford reluctantly concluded that “we lack leadership on and off the ice. That is all I’m going to say about that until the season is over.”
Stafford seemed optimistic when in his next sentence he explained that “we are not out of the playoffs yet so we as a team will continue to try as hard as we can.”
As for the future of the Ducks, Stafford would only say that salary has been cut to make a run at a scoring forward, a defensive minded D-man and a top ten goalie. But he did praise two prospects that he thinks will make a solid impact in the organization next season - Luke Tuch and Drew Commesso.
“The younger Tuch bother has been one of the rising stars with the U.S. National Team Development Program since 2018 and Commesso is already a technically sound netminder who reads the game well and has the athletic ability to come out of his positioning to make a save when needed.
"Our fans will be seeing a lot of these two youngsters real soon.”