As training camp begins, not only are the Ducks unbothered by the salary cap, or by unsigned or unretired players, they’re about as close to full health as a hockey team gets.
Only two players were held out of the Ducks’ intrasquad scrimmage at the end of Day 1 — Ryan Getzlaf, who is recovering from sports hernia surgery in July, and Erik Christensen, who had shoulder surgery in June. Both participated in the drills at the beginning of the day, and expect to be cleared for contact soon.
“I thought Christensen would be ready for full contact,” head coach Randy Carlyle said, “but we thought it would be better for the next 3 or 4 days to make sure they’re fully healed and they’re into the timeframe that the doctors, the medical staff had put forth.”
Getzlaf’s surgery has been well-documented, as he’s the only player expected to make the Canadian Olympic roster who didn’t practice with his teammates last month in Calgary.
Christensen’s injury is not as famous. The forward said he first injured the shoulder while playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins in February 2008, on a hit by Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara that caused him to miss five games.
“I tried to rehab it all summer, but I reinjured it two, three times before I came here,” Christensen said. “My shoulder was basically hanging off.”
Last season, when Christensen scored 7 goals and 28 points in a season split between the Ducks and Atlanta Thrashers, he said the injury impacted him less physically and “probably more psychologically. Going into a corner, you don’t know how it’s going to react.”