Expectations vs. Reality

When you’re the center piece of a trade that sees a future Hall of Famer like Chris Pronger going the other way, expectations have a tendency to run high. Just ask Luca Sbisa, the 22-year-old blue liner who Anaheim General Manager Bob Murray insisted be part of the deal that sent Pronger to Philadelphia. When Anaheim acquired Sbisa at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft (along with Joffrey Lupul and two first-round draft picks, who turned into Kyle Palmieri and Emerson Etem), the young Italian-born Swiss-national immediately found himself in the unenviable position of being compared to Pronger.

Fair or not, this is how trades work, and at first glance, the Ducks and Sbisa definitely seemed to be on the short end of this one. Chris Pronger, of course, would go on to lead Philadelphia to a Stanley Cup Finals appearance against Chicago. The Ducks, meanwhile, would miss the playoffs altogether for the first time in four seasons, and Sbisa would only play eight games for Anaheim before being returned to the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the WHL.

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