Mighty Ducks Send Houlder to the Blues for Marshall
The Mighty Ducks continued to revamp their defense Monday, trading offensive-minded defenseman Bill Houlder to St. Louis for minor-leaguer Jason Marshall.
Marshall, 23, has played only two NHL games but comes to the Ducks with a reputation as a hard-working, physical defenseman in the classic stay-at-home style. He joins veterans Robert Dirk and Tom Kurvers and rookies Nikolai Tsulygin and Oleg Tverdovsky as newcomers in the Duck defense.
“By getting Dirk, Kurvers, Tverdovsky and Marshall, we’ve made some significant strides,” General Manager Jack Ferreira said.
Marshall, 6 feet 2, 195 pounds, played 20 games for the Blues’ top minor-league affiliate at Peoria and 41 games for the Canadian national team. He did not make the Canadian Olympic team.
He was the Blues’ first-round pick and ninth overall in the 1989 draft, but his only NHL experience came in 1991-92 when he scored one goal in two games with St. Louis.
With 19 defensemen on the roster going into training camp, which begins Sunday, Marshall figures to be sent to San Diego of the International Hockey League.
“We’ll give him a good shot (at training camp),” Ferreira said. “He’s a guy who has a lot of potential. He plays pretty hard. He’s physical and very competitive.”
After the Ducks’ 33-46-5 inaugural season Ferreira said he wanted a faster, more skillful defense. Now, it appears he is closer to that goal.
Houlder, 27, had 39 points in 80 games for the Ducks last season, but often angered Coach Ron Wilson by getting caught up ice at the wrong times.
Houlder and Sean Hill struggled to fit into the Ducks’ grinding defensive style. Houlder’s plus-minus rating was minus 18, worst on the team, and Hill’s was minus 12.
The Ducks began retooling their defense by trading Hill to Ottawa June 28. They also acquired Kurvers from the New York Islanders for team captain Troy Loney. Next, they obtained Dirk from Chicago for a fourth-round pick in the 1995 draft.
Tsulygin, a second-round pick in the 1993 draft, and Tverdovsky, a first-round pick in the June draft, also have signed.
* There was no news on the Paul Kariya front Monday. The Ducks are said to be offering the Canadian Olympian a three-year deal worth about $6 million. Ferreira said he didn’t expect to hear from Kariya or his agent, Don Baizley, until later in the week.