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Boudreau intrigued by Ducks' center depth

by Staff

Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau was a guest on the season premiere of NHL Live to discuss what's ahead for his team entering the 2013-14 season.

The Ducks open the regular season Oct. 9 against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center.

"The biggest thing is getting everybody on the right page system wise," said Boudreau, 111-55-22 since taking over as Ducks coach in 2011-12. "In today's world I think there's very, very few people that come to camp out of shape, so they're ready to go at the drop of the puck. We've been working pretty hard on our systems all week."

The Ducks led the Western Conference last season with 116 points, but were eliminated by the Los Angeles Kings in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Boudreau's team reloaded during the summer by acquiring Ryan Kesler to provide a one-two punch at center with captain Ryan Getzlaf. Anaheim also signed free agent veterans Nate Thompson and Dany Heatley, and features a promising young goaltending tandem in Frederik Andersen and John Gibson.

"I think he's been really good in practice; I just don't want to get too excited about anything at this stage," Boudreau said of Kesler. "Two big centers is something I haven't had as a coach I don't think since my Hershey days. But it should work well. On paper everything looks good, so we're just going to have to try to transfer to the ice and see how that goes."

Boudreau also had high praise for retired forward Teemu Selanne.

"He's as important to the Anaheim Ducks, and to southern California hockey, as Wayne Gretzky," Boudreau said. "He is an icon here. He is the one recognized with the Anaheim Ducks. Everything that has to do with Anaheim, the beginning, the success, Teemu is right in the middle of it."

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