By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks were very active on the first day of free agency. First, they announced a massive contract extension to Cam Fowler for 8 years worth about $52 million with an annual average value(AAV) of $6.5 million. There had been several reports that a contract extension would be coming after Fowler had a solid season. He played in 80 regular season games, recording 39 total points(11 goals + 28 assists). The 39 points were his second highest for a season since his rookie year when he had 40 points.
Fowler shared his thoughts on the extension:
“From top to bottom, Anaheim has always treated me right and has given me an opportunity right from the start. With the coaching staff we have in place, our ownership and the roster we have, I really feel like we’re very close, and I think we’ve proven that. To be able to sign there long term was a dream come true for me. I’m very happy we were able to do that.”
Ducks GM Bob Murray had this to say:
“Cam Fowler is the type of player we want here long-term,” Ducks general manager Bob Murray said in a statement. “He has the obvious skill set, but also tremendous character and a drive to succeed. As good as he is, he’s not yet in his prime years, so we know the best is yet to come.”
Ducks Sign Ryan Miller
The Ducks also added Ryan Miller by signing him to a two-year deal worth $4 million. Miller has struggled in the last couple seasons, but he was also playing on a subpar Vancouver Canuck team. Miller will take the backup role that the now departed Jonathan Bernier had from last season. Bernier signed a deal with the Colorado Avalanche.
Miller shared his thoughts on joining Anaheim:
“I’m very happy. I don’t know how to describe it. For us, it’s a situation where, with our family, our wife has a career and we have a child, and it’s going to help us tremendously with that. On the other side of it, the Ducks are a great team. I’m excited to join a great team.”
He also spoke about his family being together in Southern California:
“It’s pretty ideal. My wife has a career in acting, and that’s much more time-intensive than people would imagine. For her to be committed to her craft and do what she needs to do to be successful, she needs to be here a lot. My wife ended up taking the brunt of a toddler while trying to do well in her job. That’s really hard. Looking to prolong my career and helping her achieve her dreams is important. Just being able to make her smile and be happy was a huge thing for me. We’re still trying to explain to my son that it’s going to be the Ducks and not the Canucks. He really fell in love with the hockey team up there. We’re excited to show him the new mascot and new rink.”
Ducks Sign Derek Grant
Anaheim also signed Derek Grant to a one-year one-way deal worth $650,000. He played in 40 games for Buffalo last season recording three assists. He also played in 6 games for Nashville, recording an assist. Grant is a left-shooting center standing 6’3″ and weighing about 200 pounds. Grant is a consistent penalty killer and can win face-offs in key situations. He is aggressive and strong along the boards. He could fill Nate Thompson‘s spot on Anaheim’s fourth line or see time in San Diego. Thompson signed a deal with Ottawa.
Ducks Sign Michael Liambas
The Ducks did make one last signing on the first day of free agency. They added forward Michael Liambas by signing him to a one-year deal worth $650,000. He spent a majority of the season last year with the AHL Milwaukee Admirals. He played in one game for Nashville last season. Liambas is a left-wing enforcer standing about 5″10 and weighing 203 pounds. He will likely be assigned to San Diego.
According to CapFriendly.com, the Ducks still have about $5.7 million in cap space. Anaheim still has enough room to sign another forward if desired.
Follow all the Ducks moves this summer by visiting our Anaheim Ducks Summer Transactions Tracker.
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July 1st, 2017