While it's unclear exactly what the Mighty Ducks will do as Thursday's trade deadline approaches, General Manager Brian Burke on Monday said he has been working to add another proven scorer and has been given the green light to increase the payroll if needed. The Ducks have about $4.5 million available under the salary cap.
While he wouldn't comment on any individual players because of tampering issues, Burke indicated he is trying to acquire a second-line center or an experienced winger. Either would address the team's glaring need for another scoring threat to take some pressure off leading scorer Teemu Selanne and center Andy McDonald. The Ducks rank 23rd in the league with 174 goals.
"It would be a top-six forward," Burke said. "Those deals aren't easy to make. There aren't many of those guys out there."
A possible target would be Phoenix left wing Geoff Sanderson, whose speed and goal-scoring ability fits the Ducks' template and might not cost them one of their top young players. A 14-year-veteran, Sanderson has 17 goals with the Coyotes after being acquired from Columbus on Oct. 8.
Sanderson started his career in Hartford when Burke was the general manager. When he was with Vancouver in 2003-04, Burke dealt for the 34-year-old forward at the trade deadline.
The Ducks are said to be looking at Chicago center Tyler Arnason, according to a source. Arnason is second on the Blackhawks in scoring with 40 points.
"Our players have put us in a position where a playoff spot is within reach," Burke said. "We're not guaranteeing we'll grab one, but they put us in the hunt."