Dear Ducks, what the #%@& ? 

October, 27, 2009

Let me start this mailbag edition with a question of my own for the Anaheim Ducks: What the #%@& ?

After a 3-2-1 start, the Ducks have dropped four straight games, being outscored 21-9. Randy Carlyle's team was wildly undisciplined during an embarrassing 6-3 home-ice loss to the struggling Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night. Anaheim took multiple penalties that gave Toronto a whopping 11 power-play opportunities. The Leafs took full advantage, scoring five PPGs.

Right now, the Ducks' D looks dreadful, their goaltenders have struggled and they aren't getting enough production from their top offensive players. If they don't get things turned around, they're going to have a tough time staying in the playoff chase in a very competitive Western Conference.

Now it's your turn.

E.J., I enjoyed your chat with Marty Brodeur. When do you think he's going to hang it up? — Josh Levine, New York, N.Y.

Josh, the Devils' icon has two more years left on his contract (this season and next). He says he plans to fulfill that commitment. At that point, when he'll be 39, Brodeur figures it will be a year-to-year decision. I don't get the sense that he's in any rush to retire. He still loves playing. I think his decision will be based on his health, his game and his team. If (and I said if) the Devils were to fall off in the next couple of years, he might be more inclined to retire. I don't think he'd be interested in extending his career to play on a weak team.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.