Ducks gain from 'not screwing up the chemistry too much' with trades

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Josh Cooper
Ducks gain from 'not screwing up the chemistry too much' with trades
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The Anaheim Ducks tried to upgrade their wing position as they had planned and added long-term salary flexibility with a few deals right at Monday’s NHL trade deadline.

Anaheim picked up Jamie McGinn from the Buffalo Sabres and Brandon Pirri from the Florida Panthers as the team looked to bolster their Stanley Cup playoff position.

"I’m comfortable with not screwing up the chemistry too much," said GM Bob Murray on a post-deadline conference call. "I don’t think we did too much. I think both young men we’re bringing in, from our homework, and doing due diligence, are very good kids, get along with everybody, and both are excited to be coming here. This fits. We’re deeper. We’re very versatile."

The Sabres received a conditional 2016 third-round pick for McGinn, who is in the final season of a two-year $5.9 million contract. According to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun if the Ducks make the Western Conference Final this season, the pick becomes a second-rounder in 2017. 

The 27-year-old McGinn was considered one of the better value forwards available at this year’s deadline. He has 14 goals in 63 games played this season and 27 points overall. Two years ago, McGinn scored 19 goals with the Colorado Avalanche.

Murray remarked on acquiring McGinn, "... he was very high on the [list of a] certain type of player we’re trying to get. He proved that when we followed him through the west last week. He fits with how we play hockey; how we play out here right now. It was just something we’d talked about and became available. Took ‘til the last day to get it done." 

Expect to see McGinn make his Ducks debut on Wednesday in Anaheim against the Montreal Canadiens.

Anaheim gave up a sixth-round pick for Pirri, who has been out since Feb. 13 with an ankle injury that looked a lot worse than it actually was.

According to Murray, Pirri was to resume skating today, but the trade delayed it. Murray wants the forward evaluated by the team's doctors and physical therapists on Tuesday before he comments further on Pirri's availability. However, Murray did note, "... when you start skating from an ankle sprain, you’re about a week and a half to two weeks away."

The Ducks also traded forward Patrick Maroon to the Edmonton Oilers for prospect Martin Gernat and a fourth-round selection in the 2016 NHL Draft to make room for McGinn and Pirri. Anaheim will eat $500,000 of Maroon's $2 million per-year salary over the next two seasons. The Ducks will likely use the $1.5 million cash savings to help to re-sign a large group of important restricted free agents this summer including defensemen Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm. 

"I had lots of calls on certain [players] on the back end," said Murray. "I’ve got lots of thinking to do about our defensive corps in the next four months. I wasn’t doing anything today. I want a long hard look at what we’ve got going forward."

On the Milbury scale we give these moves …

The Milbury Scale 2014 - 1 Milbury
The Milbury Scale 2014 - 1 Milbury

ONE MILBURY: Really, everybody got what they wanted in these trades. Pirri’s arbitration eligibility this summer reportedly scared off some teams, so did his ankle issue most likely, so the Ducks swooped in and picked him up for a bargain-basement price, though you have to wonder why the Panthers were willing to part with Pirri for such a low draft pick. As for McGinn, the Sabres weren’t going to re-sign him and the Ducks didn’t have to give up anything off their NHL roster. Maroon hadn’t provided much to them of late. He has two years left on his contract and gives the Ducks some flexibility to re-sign some of their restricted free agents.

Additional reporting by Jen Neale.

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!