ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — General manager Bob Murray is confident the Anaheim Ducks can win a Stanley Cup championship as currently constructed.
He was still "confused" after his deadline attempts to make them even better didn't pan out.
Anaheim swung no major deals Wednesday despite getting deep into talks on a handful of available players, Murray said before his NHL-leading Ducks faced the Montreal Canadiens.
Murray didn't name any of those players, but the Ducks were widely known to be interested in Vancouver center Ryan Kesler, who ultimately stayed with the Canucks.
"I thought we were going down the right track for most of the day," Murray said. "We were trying to accomplish something. It obviously didn't get done. It's funny."
Although Anaheim is loaded with talented forwards, Kesler would have provided a formidable one-two punch down the middle behind first-line star Ryan Getzlaf. The Ducks have few areas of weakness, but faceoff effectiveness is among them, and Kesler is among the NHL's best on draws.
Murray was surprised, but not mad.
"I can't state enough that they've already proven they don't need any help," Murray said of his Ducks, who were 43-14-5 heading into Wednesday's game. "They've proven they can play, so it's a lot of good young players in there that are going to have a chance to continue going, and we didn't bring anybody in there that's going to upset the apple cart."
The Ducks made three moves a day earlier, acquiring defenseman Stephane Robidas from Dallas and shipping out forward Dustin Penner and goalie Viktor Fasth. Robidas should be a regular on the blue line when he returns from a broken leg in two weeks, and the departures provided clarity at two crowded roster spots.