In case you missed my looking back/looking forward “obituary” of the Ducks’ 2010-11 season today, click here.
Left off from the end of the story (likely for space) was this quote from Todd Marchant explaining why he isn’t guaranteed to come back: “I don’t know what the future holds for me. I’ll sit back, take some time, really evaluate where I’m at. Make a decision whether I want to continue playing or choose the other course. I think that’s not an easy decision to make. It’s not an easy decision to make certainly.”
… and this kicker wrapping it all together:
Marchant was integral to the Ducks’ penalty kill. To a lesser extent, so were Sutton, Brookbank, Lilja and impending free agents Jarkko Ruutu and Kyle Chipchura. Their jobs are not high-profile, but they were directly responsible for the team defense that needs to improve if the Ducks want to achieve their goal.
“We’re not an organization that just believes in making the playoffs and that’s OK,” Murray said. “That’s not good enough at this moment.”
Back to Marchant for a moment.
Among NHL forwards, only the Philadelphia Flyers’ Blair Betts (3:37) averaged more short-handed time on ice per game than Marchant (3:36). But Marchant also career lows with one goal and eight points, and his minus-18 rating was one off his career low. He also won 48 percent of his faceoffs; that’s down from 49.9 the year before and 50.2 percent in 2008-09.
The numbers suggest Marchant is winding down, which is to be expected for a 37-year-old whose open-ice speed — once his best asset –is no longer enough to burn most players.
“As you get older, it’s that much more difficult to stay in shape and play the game at the level it’s needed to be played at,” he said. “The guys coming into the league are bigger, stronger, faster, whereas maybe when you were younger you could get away with and do things a lot faster than everybody else, even though they were bigger.
“Now these guys are bigger and can skate as well as you can. That’s very difficult. So that’s something that definitely is part of it. the other part is, can you make a contribution? You want to be a player on a team that has a role and can fill a spot. I felt like on this team, this year, the obviously penalty killing was a big part of my role on this team. moving forward, that would have to be something I would have to continue to do.”
Asked if he was as effective as he wanted to be this season, Marchant said “I think at times this season I was. I think at times I wasn’t.”
Since he becomes a free agent on July 1, the onus is on the Ducks to make Marchant an offer. He made $1.25 million last season, the final year of a two-year contract he signed in 2009. Anaheim would be Marchant’s first choice, but “whether they want me back or not, that’s a question you’d have to ask them.”
Retirement might well be his second choice.
“I’ve enjoyed every day that I’ve been in this league,” he said. “I feel that I beat the odds, so to speak. I wasn’t supposed to be here in the first place. So we’ll take some time here, and re-evaluate with my family and make a decision.”