Ducks extend Nokelainen’s contract.

The Ducks have extended center Petteri Nokelaninen’s contract one season, through 2011.

The 23-year-old split his third NHL season with Anaheim and Boston in 2008-09, combining for 9 points (4 goals, 5 assists) with a +2 rating and 16 penalty minutes in 50 games. Overall, Nokelainen won 53.4% of his faceoffs (156-for-292) while averaging 11:15 time on ice (TOI) and 15.5 shifts per game. Nokelainen was acquired from Boston in exchange for defenseman Steve Montador on Mar. 4 and went on to appear in nine of Anaheim’s 13 Stanley Cup Playoff games, missing four contests with an abdominal strain. He also missed three weeks at midseason with an eye injury sustained as a member of the Bruins.

Originally selected by the New York Islanders in the first round (16th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Nokelainen has appeared in 122 career NHL games with the Islanders, Bruins and Ducks, collecting 21 points (12 goals, 9 assists) with 39 PIM.

Getzlaf has surgery.

Ryan Getzlaf underwent successful sports hernia surgery today, the team announced. The injury was aggravated during summer workouts and did not improve over time, therefore surgery was recommended by the Ducks medical staff. The surgery was performed by Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia.

Getzlaf is expected to be ready for training camp, though recent history suggests that might be an early projection.

On August 6, 2007, Jean-Sebastien Giguere had sports hernia surgery and was forced to miss the first two weeks of that season, returning Oct. 14. Then-Ducks center Samuel Pahlsson missed five games to start the 2007 season after undergoing the same surgery on Sept. 21.

All three were treated by the same doctor.

Koivu, Boynton, Lupul jersey numbers revealed

A quick e-mail from a Ducks spokesperson today revealed the digts we’ve all been waiting for…

Saku Koivu will wear #11
Joffrey Lupul will wear #14
Nick Boynton will wear #4

Koivu gets to keep the number he wore with the Canadiens, a natural choice since 11 wasn’t already taken. Lupul, who wore #15 as a Mighty Duck and Philadelphia Flyer, apparently couldn’t convince Ryan Getzlaf to cede his current number.

Report: Ducks likely to re-up with Bakersfield.

Mike Griffith of the Bakersfield Californian is reporting that the Ducks are likely to renew their ECHL affiliation with the Bakersfield Condors:

“There are pluses and minuses with everything and there were more pluses than minuses last year,” said [Condors president Matthew] Riley, who met recently with the Ducks hierarchy in Anaheim. “People focus on the negative, but there was good in (the affiliation) last year.”

And with one year of getting-to-know-you already in the books, Riley said said trying to work out the kinks could be better than starting all over.

More frequent flyer miles for Ducks.

The Ducks will travel 1,158 more miles this year than last, according to an exhaustive spreadsheetcompiled by Dirk Hoag. On his blog, Mr. Hoag presents a table comparing the distances every NHL team will travel this season; the Ducks’ total of 49,068 miles ranks fifth in the league, behind Calgary, Dallas, Phoenix and Edmonton — which isn’t too surprising considering how far each of those teams plays from their nearest rival.

Another curiosity: despite the Olympic break in February, the league hasn’t scheduled any more back-to-back games this year than they did last year. But teams are traveling a little more — by an average of 438 miles, to be exact — so maybe they’re scrambling just to get all those games in.

Ducks sign Deschamps to entry-level contract.

The Ducks have signed Nicolas Deschamps, their second-round pick in 2008 (35th overall), to a three-year entry level contract worth a reported $2,212,500 ($737,500 a year).

The 19-year-old center appeared in 65 games with Chicoutimi of the QMJHL in 2008-09, scoring 65 points (25 goals, 41 assists) with 40 penalty minutes. He ranked third among the Sagueneens in scoring and second in assists. Deschamps also appeared in four QMJHL Playoff contests, notching three goals and four points. He made his professional debut with Iowa in the spring, notching one assist in two games for the Chops.

For what it’s worth, Hockey’s Future ranks the 6-1, 185-pound center 10th among Ducks Prospects. (Though it should be noted that Drew Miller ranks 17th on the same list, and Luca Sbisa is among “others receiving votes”). He is not to be confused with the classical French author of the same name.

Chops may have an owner, but not a league.

The Ducks’ former AHL affiliate, the Iowa Chops, have drawn interest from a pair of businessmen looking to buy the troubled franchise.

From the Des Moines Register:

Clark C. Griffith, a former executive with the Minnesota Twins and now a Minneapolis lawyer specializing in sports law, and Joe Kosich, managing member for Dornoch Capital Advisors of Pinehurst, N.C., confirmed Monday that they have been asked to gather information to determine whether its feasible to buy the hockey franchise from Dallas businessmen Bob and Kirby Schlegel.

“I have a person who has interest in the team,” said Griffith, who is also commissioner of the six-team independent Northern League of Professional Baseball. “That means he is intrigued and wants to look at all of the documents he can. That doesn’t mean someone is writing a check yet.”

Nor does it mean the Ducks are closer to regaining an AHL affiliate. The Chops have been suspended involuntarily by the AHL’s board of governors for the 2009-10 season for violating league rules. That’s unlikely to change, especially with the league expected to announce schedules for its member teams in “early August,” according to an AHL spokesperson.

Meanwhile, for the Ducks, the search for an AHL affiliate continues.

Plenty of ex-Ducks on 2009-10 schedule.

The Ducks visit Chris Pronger and the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 10.Sammy Pahlsson Night is Oct. 24 when the Columbus Blue Jackets visit Honda Center. Brian Burke/Francois Beauchemin Night is October 26 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Then there’s the other five months, not to mention the Olympic break in February. In all, it’s not a bad schedule for the Ducks: They start the season at home (10/3 against San Jose), end the season at home (4/11 against Edmonton) and the longest road trip in between is a six-game, 12-day stretch at the end of January.

Also, in response to fan feedback, the team will host six Saturday games this year. Only eight home games prior to this season have fallen on a Saturday.

For the Ducks’ complete 2009-10 schedule, click here.

Wisniewski avoids arbitration, signs 1-year contract.

The Ducks avoided arbitration with James Wisniewski today by signing the defenseman to a 1-year contract worth $2.75 million.

“James Wisniewski was a big part of our team’s turnaround last season,” general manager Bob Murray said in a statement. “Being only 25 years old, we expect him to continue improving and make a large impact on our team going forward.”

Wisniewski joined the Ducks in a midseason trade and established himself as a fixture in a talented defensive rotation. Paired with Scott Niedermayer, Wisniewski provided a suitable complement to the smooth-skating captain with his physical play and shot-blocking ability.

On a conference call with reporters Monday afternoon, Wisniewski said he was hoping to avoid arbitration all along, but also desired something longer than a one-year contract before he eventually came around.
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