COACH Randy Carlyle (7th season)
LAST SEASON 47-30-5 (4th in West); lost in first round to Predators
KEY ADDITIONS C Andrew Cogliano, D Kurtis Foster
KEY LOSSES G Ray Emery, C Todd Marchant
Teemu Selanne made the Ducks wait, but one day before camp opened, the 41-year-old winger announced he'd return for another season, his 19th in the league. Anaheim's ageless wonder scored 31 goals in 73 games last year, third best on the team behind Hart Trophy winner Corey Perry, who netted a cool 50. Selanne's presence on the power play—where he scored more than half of his goals—ensures that the Ducks' special teams will again be among the NHL's best.
The return of Selanne, who skates on the second line with Saku Koivu and Jason Blake, also means coach Randy Carlyle can keep his number 1 line together. Over the last three seasons, Perry, Bobby Ryan and center Ryan Getzlaf have scored a whopping 38% of Anaheim's goals, and they led last season's late playoff charge by scoring 28 goals as the Ducks won 15 of their final 20 games. "They're big men," Carlyle says. "They can control the puck, and they have a sixth sense for each other."
Anaheim's defensive corps enters 2011--12 essentially unchanged, which presents a problem since the unit struggled with consistency—nine of the club's 12 blueliners finished the season with a negative plus-minus rating. But if All-Star goalie Jonas Hiller can stay healthy, the Ducks' bustling offense should ensure a postseason return.