Wisniewski, Salcido, Festerling receive qualifying offers.

The Ducks have extended qualifying offers to five restricted free agents: defensemen James Wisniewski, Brett Festerling and Brian Salcido, and forwards Petteri Wirtanen and Petri Kontiola. All would have become unrestricted free agents Wednesday.

Forwards Erik Christensen, Chad Painchaud and Michal Birner were not tendered qualifying offers and are set to become unrestricted free agents. Christensen had two goals and 11 points in 25 games after being acquired at the trade deadline from the Atlanta Thrashers, but was a healthy scratch in five of the Ducks’ 13 playoff games.

Painchaud was acquired from Atlanta in the Mathieu Schneider trade and split last season between the ECHL and AHL. Birner, acquired from St. Louis in 2007 along with Doug Weight, split last season between the AHL and Finnish Elite League.

Kontiola recently signed with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Russian Kontinental Hockey League, and his agent has informed the Ducks that Kontiola expects to play there next season. By tendering the forward a qualifying offer, Anaheim has simply secured Kontiola’s NHL rights.

Also, forward Troy Bodie has signed a two-year contract that will pay him $500,000 if he reaches the NHL and $75,000 in the minors. Bodie scored 15 goals in 71 games for Iowa last season before earning a four-game NHL call-up at midseason.

Whitney, Ryan on U.S. Olympic Orientation camp roster.

Bobby Ryan and Ryan Whitney have been included on the United States Olympic team orientation camp roster, released today.

GM Brian Burke and team spread out the roster among veterans and youth. The oldest is 39-year-old Olympic team vet Mike Modano, and 20-year-old Patrick Kane is the youngest. 

Whitney, 26, and Ryan, 22, have never played in the Olympics before and, in some cases, their youth trumped experience. Defensemen Mathieu Schneider, Derian Hatcher, Jordan Leopold and John-Michael Liles, as well as forwards Jason Blake, Erik Cole, Brian Gionta and Keith Tkachuk, were on the 2006 team that went to Turin, but were left off this year by Burke.

A native of Cherry Hill, N.J., Ryan has played in 87 NHL games and was a Calder Trophy runner-up last season. He led all rookies with 31 goals and 57 points in 64 regular-season games, plus five goals and seven points in 13 playoff games for the Ducks.

Whitney, who hails from Boston, had 10 assists and was plus-1 in 20 games for the Ducks after being acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins for forward Chris Kunitz. He also posted a goal and six points in 13 playoff games.
The complete roster, courtesy of the U.S. Olympic Committee, can be found here.

Report: Sbisa injury isn’t serious.

Luca Sbisa disclosed Sunday that he has a groininjury, but that should not void the blockbuster trade that broughtstandout defenseman Chris Pronger to the Flyers, general manager PaulHolmgren said Sunday.

“It’s nothing serious, so it shouldn’t be anything to hold it up,”Holmgren said.

Ducks general manager Bob Murray could not be reached for comment.The 19-year-old Sbisa showed poise and promise as a rookie lastseason. On Friday, the Flyers sent the young defenseman, forwardJoffrey Lupul, two No. 1 draft picks, and a conditional third-roundselection to Anaheim for Pronger and minor-league forward Ryan Dingle.

Speaking Sunday from his temporary home in Stratford, N.J., Sbisasaid he had been bothered by a sore groin and said Anaheim wanted oneof its doctors to examine him shortly. He is waiting for the Ducks tocall with the examination date. The doctor is in Toronto, Sbisa said.

Sbisa said the groin pain started during training camp last year,“but I didn’t say a lot because I was trying to make the squad. Itwas good for a while, and then (the pain) was off and on” during theseason. “I don’t think it’s a big deal.”

He said Flyers trainer Jim McCrossin told him that even if he needssurgery, it should not prevent him from being ready for the start ofthe 2009-10 season.

Ducks’ top scout breaks down the picks.

Martin Madden, the Ducks’ director of amateur scouting, said his first draft with Anaheim went “very well.”

“In a draft situation, there’s so many permutations that people will tell you it doesn’t go exactly how it wanted to … but they’re trying to fool you. Some guys we would have liked, but you look back and you look at the players that we did get, and they all add up to the modus operandi we had for this job: To find kids with talent who compete with passion. I think we were able to do that from the first pick to the last.”

Madden, general manager Bob Murray and company certianly bucked one trend of the Brian Burke era: Of the Ducks’ seven selections, two were Canadian, two were American, and three were born in Europe (specifically Russia, Finland and Slovakia).

That’s more international flavor than Burke (to borrow a pun from his own phraseology) might sample at a United Nations banquet. In the previous three drafts combined, the Ducks took four European players and 19 from North America.

“It’s certainly not by design that we ended up with fewer Canadians than in past years,” Madden said. “We worked on our list five different times. We analyzed it five different times. We had characteristics we were looking for in players. Even Brian Burke would agree it doesn’t matter what nationality they are as long as players play with heart, desire and character off the ice; that they have a self-starter attitude. We took a few big swings to try to hit some home runs in the middle of the draft. We’ll see how those turn out, but we’re really happy with the quality of the individuals. The bottom line is, that’s good enough for us: Canadian, Finnish, American or Slovakian.”

Here’s what Madden had to say about the second-round picks:
Continue reading “Ducks’ top scout breaks down the picks.” »

Ducks are done drafting for the day.

The Ducks selected Peter Holland, an 18-year-old forward out of Guelph of the Ontario Hockey League, with the 15th overall selection. Holland is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound center coming off a 28-goal 67-point season in 68 games for Guelph.

Anaheim traded the 21st pick they acquired from Philadelphia in the Chris Pronger deal to Columbus for the 26th overall pick and the 37th overall pick.There, the Ducks took Kyle Palmieri off the U.S. Under-18 national team, a 5-10, 190-pound forward. The Montvale, N.J. native will attend Notre Dame next year.

Niedermayer to return to Ducks. Pronger to Philadelphia.

Scott Niedermayer will end his latest flirtation with retirement and return to the Ducks next season. The 35-year-old defenseman, who becomes a free agent on July 1, will sign a new contract in the near future, a team spokesman said.

In back-to-back blockbusters — a fateful two hours for the franchise leading up to the 4 p.m. draft –Chris Pronger was subsequently traded to the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers send former Duck Joffrey Lupul, defenseman Luca Sbisa and two first-round draft picks to Anaheim.

The player who can make the most immediate impact is Lupul, a 25-year-old winger, who was the seventh overall selection by the Mighty Ducks in 2002. He was traded for Pronger once before, along with Ladislav md and draft picks, when the Ducks acquired Pronger from Edmonton in 2006. Lupul had 25 goals and 50 points in 79 games last season, along with 58 penalty minutes.

Sbisa, 19, was the 19th overall pick in 2008. He appeared in 39 games last season for the Flyers, notching seven assists and 36 penalty minutes, before returning to juniors in January.

Right wing prospect Ryan Dingle also goes to Philadelphia, and the Ducks will receive a conditional third-round pick next year, though the conditions haven’t been announced yet.

More details in tomorrow’s editions.

Report: Fedorov to KHL.

Former Duck Sergei Fedorov is now a former Washington Capital, having signed with Magnitogorsk Metallurg of the KHL, according to Sportbox.ru and reported in English on russiatoday.com. The 39-year-old forward, whose 85 games in a Mighty Ducks uniform spanned both sides of the lockout, scored 11 goals in 52 games last year for Washington.

In the KHL, he’ll earn a reported $3.8 million and team up with Petri Kontiola, who was briefly a Ducks farmhand.