(Note: This story was supposed to run in Saturday’s editions, but due to baseball playoffs and prep football could not make its way in.)
Bobby Ryan may very well have the breakout NHL season the Ducks are hoping for, but that’s on hold for now.
In a move viewed as a money-saving possibility for weeks, the Ducks sent Ryan to their AHL training camp in Iowa City prior to Friday’s 4-1 preseason win over the Phoenix Coyotes at Honda Center. The move relieves the burden of Ryan’s $1.7 million salary-cap hit, including $925,000 in bonuses, and leaves the Ducks’ training camp roster at 25 players, two over the opening-day maximum.
“In the new world of the NHL, cap issues are cap issues and this falls into this category,” Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said. “It’s not a question of if he’s going to play in the NHL, it’s when.”
Ryan had two goals and an assist in the preseason, all in the Ducks’ opener against the San Jose Sharks on Sept. 24. After the Ducks placed him on waivers Thursday, forward Joakim
Lindstrom was claimed by the Chicago Blackhawks. Goalie David LeNeveu, forward Josh Green and defenseman Brennan Evans went unclaimed and are expected to report to Iowa.
Troy Bodie, Brennan Evans, Josh Green, David LeNeveu, Joakim Lindstrom, Drew Miller and T.J. Trevelyan were sent to the AHL camp after Wednesday’s game.
Chris Pronger has an un-Pronger-like goal, scoring on a breakaway rush and putting a wrist shot off the upper post and into the net behind Erik Ersberg. Whatever gets the job done, right? The teams split the back-to-back set, both overtime games. If anything, this is good news for the young Kings, but we’ll see how it plays out over an 82-game season.
The Ducks’ George Parros gets into a fight with the Kings’ Kevin Westgarth at 11:28 of the third period. With
so much hair to pull between the two, it’s a miracle they don’t resort to a
tug-of-war. It’s still 2-2.
The preseason non-rivalry between the Kings and Ducks at Honda Center, across the street from the postseason Angels-Red Sox rivalry at Angel Stadium, is getting about as hot as the cup of coffee I poured a half-hour ago in the press box. That is to say, I could use another cup.
The Kings scored 2:20 apart on back-to-back power plays, and the Ducks’ lack of effectiveness killing penalties in the preseason is starting to remind some in these parts of the dark days of last year. Michael Handzus officially did the honors on the first goal, though Drew Doughty’s stick was in the same jumble in front of Jean-Sebastien Giguere and any time an 18-year-old can score on Jiggy, he’ll take it. Brian Boyle redirected a Tom Pressing slapshot – the way they practiced it 1,000 times, I’m sure – for the second goal.
Chris Kunitz had the equalizer on a Ducks power play at 13:40, getting a textbook 5-on-4 goal when Kent Huskins fed Brendan Morrison behind the net, and Morrison fed Kunitz streaking through traffic in front of Erik Ersberg. A good sign for the Ducks: it took Morrison all of 33 minutes, 40 seconds to get on the stat sheet with his new teammates.
However, I give the highlight of the period to Kent Huskins. With 4:13 to play, he got lazy in his own zone and watched Kyle Calder pick him clean at the blue line. That set up a 2-on-1 breakaway with Boyle that could easily have produced the Kings’ third goal. Instead, Huskins sprinted back into position, then dove head-first (in the preseason, mind you) then extended his stick out to break up Boyle’s pass back to Calder. Goal averted. Huskins continues to impress.
Your early synopsis … an even game, save a Chris Pronger slapshot that eluded Erik Ersberg.