The Ducks added some depth at center by acquiring veteran David Steckel from the Toronto Maple Leafs. In exchange, the Leafs received local Orange County boy, winger Ryan Lasch, and a seventh-round draft pick in 2014.
Steckel, 31, only appeared in 13 games this season with the Maple Leafs. He has also played for coach Bruce Boudreau when Boudreau coached the AHL's Manchester Monarchs and Hershey Bears. He also coached him for several season with the Washington Capitals.
"Adding David Steckel gives us another big body and depth up the middle,” said GM Bob Murray. “He comes highly recommended from Bruce (Boudreau). Faceoffs have been something of a concern for us the last few seasons. Steckel is a tremendous faceoff man and penalty killer, something that will really help our club.”
Big is right. Steckel is 6'6" tall and 215 pounds. He should make a nice, intimidating presence in the face off circle.
Steckel was expected to join the Ducks on Friday evening in time for Saturday's game against the St. Louis Blues. In order to make room for Steckel, St. Louis native, Patrick Maroon, was sent back to Norfolk.
With Nick Bonino out of the line up with a lower body injury, most of the face off responsibility has fallen to Ryan Getzlaf and Saku Koivu. Bonino is not expected back for at least the next week.
"We needed somebody in that regard because you can’t play Getzy and Saku the whole night long, and you can see how important faceoffs are," said Boudreau. "Plus, he's a good penalty killer."
Steckel also looks to provide more veteran experience with an eye to making a run in the playoffs, something the Ducks missed last spring.