The Ducks completed a deal just before Monday’s trade deadline, though it’s not nearly the kind of splash many of their Western Conference foes made at the same time.
The club swapped fourth-line left wingers with the New York Islanders, acquiring Jason Chimera in exchange for Chris Wagner.
Anaheim’s roster grew older with the move. At 38, Chimera is 12 years older than Wagner, who’s played a variety of roles for the Ducks.
The Ducks also signed Chris Kelly, the 37-year-old captain of Team Canada, who claimed Olympic bronze this month.
Despite their advanced ages, Ducks general manager Bob Murray believes the team is now “faster ... upgrades on our speed.”
“There’s just some things, when you’re going into this, that you’re not going to move,” said Murray, who insisted the team’s struggles over the weekend didn’t alter his strategy. “And that means draft picks or young prospects or players off your team. I got asked for a whole bunch of them in the last few days.”
With Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler injured for much of the first quarter of the season, Wagner was pressed into first-line center duty at times. He’s also been an effective penalty killer for the Ducks and a physical presence on the fourth unit (six goals, nine assists).
He was durable too, one of only two Ducks to play in all 64 contests this season (Josh Manson is the other). But now he’s off to New York, and Chimera is headed to Southern California, where he’ll look to rejuvenate his career.
Chimera has been a healthy scratch the last five contests, with just 11 points in 58 games, but he brings size and playoff experience to the Ducks.
In his 15 NHL seasons with four clubs, Chimera has 413 career points and an additional 29 in 69 postseason games.
“I was looking for a fresh start,” Chimera said. “I’m the type of guy who works hard on the forecheck, create my offense that way.”
Following a 20-goal season, the Islanders signed Chimera to a two-year, $4.5-million contract, and he responded with a second consecutive 20-goal campaign last season.
His play has fallen off considerably this season, though, and he’s set to be a free agent this summer, as is Wagner.