It’s a tricky balance for
Murray pulled the trigger on one deal Tuesday, sending rugged, low-scoring forward
Smith-Pelly had a team-best five playoff goals last season. Sekac — a Czech who drew
This season, Sekac is averaging 13 minutes, 48 seconds of ice time as a left wing, and has seven goals and 16 points. Smith-Pelly, with five goals and 17 points, has scored one goal since Dec. 1.
"We needed to get a little faster, get a little more skill in our lineup … there's some good upside," Murray said. "We were a little top-heavy with the physical players. Just two teams making a change of young players. Both were stuck, 'Devo' behind the right wingers here."
With the trade deadline looming and the Ducks within striking distance of the
"There's a lot of talking going on, but it's all about rentals, for Pete's sake," Murray said about players who could be acquired but would be free to go elsewhere next season.
The Ducks are believed to be in the market for a second-pair defenseman after experiencing a recent 3-7 rut in which they gave up four goals or more in seven of 10 games.
Murray, however, is uncomfortable to part with young talent —for instance, former first-round pick, defenseman Shea Theodore — in exchange for a "rental."
"It's gone from a third-round pick for a rental, someone you might have for three months; now it's a second- or first-rounder and a prospect," Murray said. "I'm not doing that here. … It's not my cup of tea, this rental world."
So how does he weigh pulling the trigger on a player who might contribute mightily toward his Cup ambition?
"If I felt there was somebody … especially if I thought I had a good chance to sign the guy, and there's maybe a few out there right now," Murray said. "You do have gut feelings, a sense you can sign and keep the guy, so you're not trading for a rental."
He said he expects trade talks to extend until the final minute (noon PST Monday) as general managers consider whether they're in or out of the playoff chase.
While Murray has expressed satisfaction with some players added since losing to the eventual champion Kings in last season’s Western Conference semifinals — centers
"Some of the things to fill holes with injuries … to be honest, we haven't been very good," Murray said. "They haven't worked."
A lower-body injury to Thompson prompted Monday’s recall of rookie center William Karlsson from Norfolk. He skated on the fourth line Tuesday with
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Etc.: Ottawa blitzed Anaheim, 6-2, on Dec. 19 to cap the Ducks’ extended trip in Canada. Forward