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Ducks expect to be active this offseason

GM Murray wants to add more draft picks, working to re-sign goalie Andersen

NHL.com @NHL

The Anaheim Ducks expect to be active this offseason ahead of the 2016 NHL Draft and during free agency.

The Ducks have five picks in the draft, which is at First Niagara Center in Buffalo on June 24-25, and general manager Bob Murray would like to add some.

"We want to get a few more picks," Murray said in a Facebook live chat Saturday. "This team is at a certain point and time right now and the opportunities are here to have some success, but you have to start stockpiling again, building up your assets. We need some more draft picks. We could use a few young centermen in the system; you can never have enough defensemen. Over the next couple of years draft another good, young goaltender.

"I've got to convince our boys to make some moves and get some draft picks, so when that time comes to turn over this team, let's not go down … you can go down and have five years when you're drafting in the top five or six, but I don't want to do it and I don't think this market wants us to do it."

Next on Murray's priority list is trying to re-sign goaltender Frederik Andersen, who can become a restricted free agent July 1. The Ducks signed pending free agent defenseman Sami Vatanen to a four-year contract Saturday.

"That negotiation is ongoing, not as well, obviously, as Sami's at the moment, but it's ongoing," Murray said.

Andersen, 26, went 22-9-7 with a 2.30 goals-against average and .919 save percentage in 43 games, and was 3-2 with a 1.41 GAA and .947 save percentage in the playoffs. He split time with John Gibson during the regular season.

Defenseman Hampus Lindholm and center Rickard Rakell also can become a restricted free agent July 1. Lindholm, 22, had 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists) in 80 games in the regular season and three assists in the playoffs. Rakell, 23, set career highs with 20 goals and 43 points in 72 regular-season games and had two points in seven postseason games.

"They're at the point where we give them qualifying offers and that is not a time-sensitive issue," Murray said. "That could take well into August and September before that gets done. We'll take our time. Obviously, they're very important to the organization and we hope to get them signed and keep them long-term."

Anaheim, which hired Randy Carlyle as coach Tuesday to replace Bruce Boudreau who was fired April 29, is also looking into free agency and trades in order to improve its roster, Murray said.

Murray would like to add a left-handed shot left wing.

"It's something we've been missing," Murray said. "Even bringing in David Perron to play left wing, he was still a right-hand shot. We could use a really good left-hand shot. That's very high on our priority list."

Perron, who was acquired in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Jan. 16, had eight goals and 12 assists in 28 games with Anaheim this season. He had one goal and two assists in seven games in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Ducks were eliminated by the Nashville Predators in the Western Conference First Round in seven games.

Another task is dealing with the loss of center Nate Thompson, who sustained a ruptured Achilles' tendon during an offseason workout session. Thompson, who had three goals and three assists in 49 regular-season games and two goals in seven postseason games, isn't expected to play until the 2017 NHL Trade Deadline (late February or early March).

"That hurts because he's such a critical part of that fourth-line energy group -- you saw what that did for Pittsburgh (in the playoffs) -- Nate Thompson's that type of player," Murray said. "… This is a tough injury; this is a tough one for a guy to come back from. We may have to do something there. That was a hard pill to swallow two weeks ago."

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