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Ducks Acquire Lupul from Philadelphia

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
Joffrey Lupul Media Conference Call

Bob Murray Media Conference Call

The Ducks acquired right wing Joffrey Lupul, defenseman Luca Sbisa (Flyers’ first-round pick in 2008), a first-round selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, a first-round selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and a conditional third-round selection in the 2010 or 2011 NHL Entry Draft from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for defenseman Chris Pronger and left wing Ryan Dingle. The Ducks now hold the 15th (own) and 21st (Philadelphia’s) selections in the first round of tonight's NHL Entry Draft in Montreal.

“On behalf of the entire Anaheim Ducks organization, we would like to thank Chris Pronger for his valuable contributions to the team over the last three seasons, including a Stanley Cup championship in 2007,” said Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray. “We felt this was a deal we had to make. We've addressed a present need with the addition of a top-six forward while adding some youth for the future as well.”

Lupul, 25 (9/23/83), appeared in 79 games for the Flyers in 2008-09, scoring 25-25=50 points with 58 penalty minutes (PIM). The 6-1, 205-pound winger put up career numbers in 2005-06, scoring a personal-high 28 goals and 53 points. In five NHL seasons, Lupul has collected 102-109=211 points with 214 PIM in 372 career NHL games. The Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta native has also played in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on three separate occasions, earning 14-9=23 points with 35 PIM in 39 career contests. Lupul helped the Flyers advance to the Conference Semifinals in 2008 when he scored the game-winning overtime goal in Game 7 of the Conference Quarterfinals vs. Washington on Apr. 22.

Selected by Anaheim in the first round (seventh overall) of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, Lupul returns to the Ducks after playing three seasons with Edmonton and Philadelphia. In 156 regular season games with Anaheim, Lupul scored 41-46=87 points with 76 PIM. In the 2006 postseason, he became the first Duck to score four goals in a playoff or regular season game in Anaheim’s 4-3 OT win over the Colorado Avalanche in Game 3 of the Conference Semifinals on May 9.

He was traded by Anaheim to Edmonton on July 3, 2006 with defenseman Ladislav Smid, a 2007 first-round draft pick and 2008 first and second-round draft picks in exchange for Pronger. Lupul was then acquired by Philadelphia with Jason Smith in exchange for Joni Pitkanen, Geoff Sanderson and Philadelphia’s third-round selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft on July 1, 2007.

Sbisa, 19 (1/30/90), made his NHL debut with Philadelphia in 2008-09, earning 0-7=7 points with 36 PIM in 39 games. A first-round selection (19th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Sbisa collected his first NHL point (assist) on Oct. 22 vs. San Jose. The 6-2, 195-pound blue-liner also played in two contests for the Philadelphia Phantoms, the Flyers’ primary affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL). Sbisa completed the 2008-09 regular season with the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League (WHL), scoring 4-11=15 points in 18 contests. In addition, he played in 11 WHL Playoff contests, while also making his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut with Philadelphia, appearing in Game 2 of the Conference Quarterfinals vs. Pittsburgh (scoreless) on April 17. In 80 career WHL games, Sbisa earned 10-38=48 points with 82 PIM. He won the Carl Trentini Memorial Award in 2008 as the Hurricanes Rookie of the Year, while leading all WHL defensemen in playoff scoring (3-12=15 points) in 19 games that included a WHL Finals appearance.

A native of Ozleri, Italy, Sbisa was raised in Switzerland and represented the country as a member of their 2008 World Junior Championship squad. He also played the 2006-07 season with Zug of the Swiss Jr. Elite League prior to his North American debut with Lethbridge in 2007-08. 

Pronger, 34 (10/10/74), appeared in 82 games for the Ducks in 2008-09, scoring 11-37=48 points with 88 PIM. In 13 Stanley Cup Playoff games, Pronger added 2-8=10 points with a +4 rating and 12 PIM. Acquired from Edmonton on July 3, 2006, Pronger helped lead the Ducks to the 2007 Stanley Cup championship along with two additional trips to the postseason in 2008 and 2009. In 200 career games with the Ducks, Pronger scored 36-114=150 points with a +26 rating and 285 PIM.

Dingle, 25 (4/4/84), appeared in 70 games for the Iowa Chops (Anaheim’s then-primary developmental affiliate in the American Hockey League) in 2008-09, scoring 11-7=18 goals with 21 PIM. Signed as a free agent on Mar. 28, 2007, Dingle has played in 93 career games for Anaheim’s AHL affiliate, earning 12-13=25 points with 35 PIM.

Lupul spoke to reporters via conference call on Friday. Following is a transcript:

On if he still owns a place in the area
I'm in the place as we speak. I'm pretty happy. It's always tough to leave somewhere and all the friends you made. But if there was one place I could go, this would definitely be it. First thing, I'm just excited to be here. This has become home for me. This is where I spend the summers and I love it done here.

On his reaction to the trade
I was surprised coming here definitely. I figured something was going to happen with one of our forwards today, whether myself, Briere, Gagne or Hartnell. I figured someone was on their way out soon here, just because they need a defenseman there. It's a good pickup for them and hopefully I can get back to where I left off here a couple of years ago. I love it down here. A lot of the players have changed, but it's still the same staff. I'm just really excited right now.

On being traded away from Anaheim nearly three years ago
It was tough. There was some mixed emotions. It's tough when you're traded the first time, especially when you're young. I talked to Luca Sbisa and he's feeling the same way right now. You almost feel like you're not really wanted by that team, which usually isn't the case. It's teams trying to improve their team, especially now with the salary cap, everything is different. I think as you get older and you mature a bit as a player, that is not really the case. You just learn to take it and make the most of it. Obviously, this for me is just an awesome situation. I hope to be here for a long time this time.

On being signed thru the 2012-13 season
It does feel good, especially as I look around at some of the guys. It's not unlike what we had in Philly. There is guys like Getlaf, Perry and Ryan. In Philly we had Richard, Carter and Hartnell. It's nice going to a team with a good, young core that you know you have a chance to win with. That is the most important thing. I love California. I spend the summers here. That is my vacation time. When it comes to playing hockey, it's not about that. It's about winning games and that is what I expect to do.

On Luca Sbisa
I don't want to put too much pressure on him, but he's a talent like I haven't seen in awhile. He stepped in as an 18-year-old defenseman and never looked out of place. At some points, he looks more than in place. He's very physical, very fast and just a natural. If he keeps developing the way he is, he'll be a No. 1 defenseman.

On getting to play with Scott Niedermayer again
I was watching the playoffs after we were eliminated and got to see these guys play. It was pretty impressive how much these young guys have improved first of all. To get an opportunity to play with a guy like Scotty again, it's unbelievable. You can learn so much from someone who has accomplished so many things over their career. To have him back is just unbelievable.

On jersey No. 15, which he previously wore in Anaheim, but now belongs to Getzlaf
We've already talked about it and I don't think I'm getting about. I don't know what I can do to get it back. I can't buy it off him anymore for sure because he definitely has more money. I'll try a couple more things yet, but it doesn't look promising.

On playing for Randy Carlyle again
Randy has proven what type of coach he is. They won the championship the year after I left. They have been a playoff contender every year. This past year, they barely got in and ended up being a real contender. I think his track record speaks for itself. If I remember correctly, there are going to be days where dealing with him will be a little harder than other days. But that is something you get used to. He likes to push his players and I think it's a good day.

On what forwards positions he's played
Since I've played in the NHL, I've been primarily a right winger. Growing up and playing in junior, I was a centerman. It's almost a little too early to talk about things like this because there still could be other things happening. I've comfortable anywhere on the ice, whether it's on the left side, playing at center, playing on the right side. I think a lot of guys are like that too. We've all grown up playing different positions. There is a little adjustment period when you get moved. I would definitely be open for trying anything.

Ducks Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Murray also spoke to reporters via conference call on Friday. Following is a transcript:

First of all, it was in the works well before Scott told me. With the offer Philly threw at me, as with any player, it was something that was the right thing to do for the organization no matter what Scott said. Obviously, I took a huge sigh when Scott said he was going to play, but I was going to do it anyway regardless. We had made the decision very late last night this was how we were going to go forward. As some point in time, this organization is going to be without Scotty and now Chris. Some day neither one of them were going to be there. It’s time we started preparing for that. It was time for us to move forward and that was what I was doing. (Flyers GM) Paul (Holmgren) is trying to win. He is doing what we did three years ago. Paul is taking a Hall of Famer.

I was getting very worried. Now, I have some bullets now to move forward. It was going to be very difficult to sign Chris going forward. To lose him for nothing, we couldn’t do that. When an offer like this comes along, you listen.

On Lupul and Sbisa
We couldn’t score enough goals before, so I needed to add a top-six forward. Lupul is still young. He can score. He’s a top-six forward. We know him and we know what we’re getting. It wasn’t as if we wanted to trade him when we went to get Chris. It wasn’t as if we were real excited about it. Sbisa, I am really excited about. He’s my type of defenseman. He can do everything. He’s a guy that just shows up and goes out and play, which is what I like. I know Philly was planning on having him on their team this year. My guys tell me that he’ll play on our team this year. He will ultimately in training camp determine whether he plays on our team this year or not.

On Scott Niedermayer
All along Scotty has told me that if he plays hockey this year, he was 99.9 percent sure he was going to play for the Anaheim Ducks. I was never really that concerned. When Scotty told me that he was going play with Anaheim or not going to play, I believed him.

On Teemu Selanne
Today is over with now and I will get on the phone with him tomorrow or the next day.
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