Question 1) How long does the championship window stay open for Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Ryan Kesler?
2-3 years. Possibly more if the D continues to improve and some of the kids on wing (Rakell, Silf, Ritchie, etc.) continue to improve as well. With the dismal year #10 is having, I have to think he'll rebound also. I think the rate Getz and Kes decline will also be a huge factor going forward. - quackup
The Cup window for the Ducks is virtually open ended. Murray is one of the best in the league when it comes to drafting. their defensive and center depth is arguably the best in the league. Not only in the NHL, but prospect depth as well. Seriously, people should realize what a fantastic pick Sam Steel was. With a young Gibson, this team could be in the mix for 8-10 years. Not to say they are Cup favorites, but they are set up nicely. - sniper11
Ed: As the core of the team, their window is this year and next. In the fall of 2018 Kesler will be 34; Getzlaf and Perry 33. Its not feasible that all three will be playing at prime level then. The new core will be John Gibson, Hampus Lindholm, Rickard Rakell and maybe Nick Ritchie. At that time, Murray has to ask himself if its worth it for the Ducks to keep their declining star players on, in complementary roles? It will become increasingly cost prohibitive for Getzlaf, Perry and Kesler, as a group, to all be part of the team.
Question 2: Over half a season is in the books, so far how do you rate Randy Carlyle's return to the head coaching job?
He's been fine. Nothing terrible and nothing spectacular. I think he's done a very good job of getting the young players involved and getting them experience, especially some of the forwards (Cramarossa, Kase, Shaw). - Always Mighty
I think Carlyle has done great. He is not about the regular season. He is still holding a lot of cards, which’ll be played in the coming months to really start to light the fire. I don’t doubt he could crack some skulls, hoot and holler in order to bang out a 5 game win streak. Where would that get them? 1st in the Pacific? - IgotTheMemo
B-, because it's been slightly above average. He's managed to keep the team near the top of a fairly weak Pacific Division without a lot of offensive firepower. But his management of the defensive ice time is questionable at best. - mckay93
Ed: I have been pleasantly surprised with Carlyle's patience with the younger players. After his stint in Toronto, I was very leery about how he would handle them. Additionally, I've been impressed with the way he has kept his lines together all season. I don't thing he is necessarily to blame for the decline in scoring, but it may help to open things up a bit. I also like the way Carlyle has managed the goaltendenders. Due to Jonathan Bernier's inconsistent play, Gibson has had to carry the load, but not so much as to burn his number one out before the playoffs.
Question 3) If the Ducks make a big trade near the deadline, it will involve a key defenseman. Who would you rather trade Sami Vatanen or Cam Fowler?
Cam Fowler. The Ducks already have their star two-way defenseman in Hampus Lindholm. They need to have an offense first defenseman as well. That is Vatanen. Fowler is a solid all around defenseman, but he's not as good all around as Lindholm and he's not as much of a scoring that as Vatanen. If the Ducks are to trade a defenseman, it should be Fowler. - thecanuck341
I realize he has more trade value but if Fowler goes, Murray is writing off this season. Cam has EASILY been the Ducks best defenseman this year. Sami should be traded east where he will thrive in a conference that emphasizes skating over physicality. Whether he alone is enough to land a scoring wing is unknown. - duxcup07
Ed: Before the season started, I would have said Fowler should go, but the situation has changed. Fowler has taken his game up a notch this year, while Vatanen has regressed. Murray has both players on reasonable contracts considering the current market for top four defenders. Fowler's deal expires at the end of next season, while the one Vatanen signed this past summer runs through 2019-20. The deciding factor will be whether Murray thinks he can get an affordable extension from Fowler and his agent. If yes, Vatanen goes. If not, the GM will lean on the side of cost certainty and trade Fowler.