This serves as my first entry since the trade deadline and we now have a few new faces in the locker room. The trade deadline, in the post-lockout era anyway, has become quite a hectic time of year for us players (and general managers, too, I would imagine). Because of the salary cap, there is more parity in the league and therefore plenty of teams looking to add that one last piece of the puzzle to help during the playoff push. It serves as kind of a nerve-racking day because almost anybody could be traded before that 3 p.m. Eastern deadline.
Even though to fans it may seem as simple as a change in uniform, things become quite chaotic if you find yourself on the transaction sheet. Usually, when you get traded at the deadline, your services are needed right away. So you are flown into your new city, having left behind a mountain of loose ends. It can be a very life-changing day.
In our case, we added a couple of really solid defensemen in Lubomir Visnovsky and Aaron Ward, and also welcomed goaltender and target extraordinaire Curtis McElhinney. Aaron has quite the NHL pedigree with three Stanley Cup rings to his name, lots of experience and has already proven to be a positive force in the locker room. Lubomir, or "Lubo" as we call him, brings one of the heaviest shots from the blue line that the NHL has to offer. I know the fans will enjoy watching this guy play. He has already scored two big goals for us.
It's kind of funny how things work out, too, because Lubo was the first roommate that I had in L.A. when I played for the Kings. As for Curtis, he seems to have good angles, tons of energy and definitely has one of the best first names on the team.
Despite the personnel changes, we have come out flat from the Olympic break, dropping four straight games. We have now put ourselves in a very desperate situation with little room for error. However, if there is any team in the West that can find a way to win, it would be us. We've got the talent and the ability to pull it off, so stick with us and come along for the ride!
Today, before hitting the ice for practice, we had a meeting during which Randy reminded us to take this huge task at hand, break it down to its simplest form and win one game at a time. We were in a similar situation last year and were able to grab a playoff spot. So let’s hope history can repeat itself!
-- George Parros
The Times is pleased to have Ducks enforcer George Parros blogging for us on the ups and downs of the NHL season.
Photo: Ducks defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky. Credit: Victor Decolongon / Getty Images