Left wing Kyle Calder and defensemen Jassen Cullimore were released from their Pro Tryout Contracts by the Ducks on Saturday, giving the team’s younger talent room to breathe and further clarifying the picture on defense.
Also Saturday, goaltender Justin Pogge and forward Ryan Donally were both sent to San Antonio of the AHL.
Justin Pogge’s slim-to-nonexistent chances of making the Ducks’ opening-day roster vaporized in a 6-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Friday. The two teams will square off in the Ducks’ regular-season opener in seven days.
Pogge was not helped by a defense that allowed 36 shots by the Sharks to the Ducks’ 15, all of which were stopped by Evgeni Nabokov. Ryan Whitney, Nick Boynton, Luca Sbisa, Sheldon Brookbank and Brendan Mikkelson comprised the blue line missing two of its regular-season minutes-eaters: Scott Niedermayer and James Wisniewski.
Low scoring (zero goals in 2008-09) defenseman Douglas Murray had a hat trick at HP Pavilion.
Nothing to do with the Ducks, but an interesting story nonetheless. Ex-Ducks general manager Brian Burke, when he was still GM of the Vancouver Canucks in 2005, offered a two-way contact to Steve Moore. Moore is the player who has sued Todd Bertuzzi over a 2004 hit that has left him unable to play since — which makes the offer of a contract one year later intriguing.
Rob Niedermayer is headed to the team that made his brother, Scott, famous: The New Jersey Devils.
The free-agent forward, whom the Ducks chose not to re-sign in the offseason and was reportedly considering offers from the KHL, heads to New Jersey on a one-year contract.
Mark Mitera was assigned to San Antonio of the AHL today, further clearing the Ducks’ defensive logjam. That leaves nine defensemen still in training camp: Scott Niedermayer, Ryan Whitney, James Wisniewski, Nick Boynton, Steve Eminger, Luca Sbisa, Jassen Cullimore, Sheldon Brookbank and Brendan Mikkelson.
The 21-year-old Mitera was the Ducks’ first-round pick (19th overall) in the 2006 entry draft. He finished last season with the Ducks’ former AHL affiliate in Iowa, notching two assists in five games. Mitera’s final season at the University of Michigan was cut short by an ACL tear in October 2008, and remaining in the Ducks’ camp so late into the preseason was the surest sign of his recovery.
Mitera appeared in one preseason game, Sept. 17 against the Vancouver Canucks, and finished minus-2 in just over 14 minutes of ice time.
Ducks owner Henry Samueli’s latest appeal to avoid prison time was turned down Thursday in federal court.
The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday said it could not reinstate a proposed plea bargain that called for Samueli to serve five years of probation, pay a $250,000 fine and pay $12 million to the U.S. Treasury Department, according to a Reuters report.
Samueli has been prohibited by the NHL from being involved in the Ducks’ day-to-day business since he was indicted in a stock backdating scheme.
U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney in Santa Ana has not set a sentencing date.
Teemu Selanne scored on a sharp-angled shot past Andrew Raycroft 3:49 into the extra period, bailing the Ducks out in a game they lead 2-0. Corey Perry and Ryan Whitney also scored goals, and Jonas Hiller stopped 23 of 25 shots.
Brendan Mikkelson made a strong case to make the opening day roster, picking up an assist on Perry’s goal and getting robbed of a potential goal by Raycroft in the first period. Saku Koivu (who passed to Selanne for the OT goal) had two assists, and Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf (in his preseason debut) and Scott Niedermayer had one helper apiece.
Phoenix forward Francis Lessard has been suspended five games for his hit on the Ducks’ Ryan Donally last Friday. The suspension spans the Coyotes’ final two regular-season games, as well as the first three games of the regular season.
The Ducks announced today that the club will host its “Meet the Team” event on Wednesday at [seven degrees] art studio in Laguna Beach. Beginning at 7 p.m., fans will have the opportunity to participate in a special wine tasting event, which will benefit both the Anaheim Ducks Foundation and Register Charities.
The entire Ducks roster, coaches and management will attend. Click here for the full release.
The Ducks are reporting on their team Web site that Ryan Getzlaf may make his preseason debut tonight. The report lists Getzlaf in his usual spot between Bobby Ryan and Corey Perry; Andrew Ebbett shifting to the wing on a second line with Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne; and Joffrey Lupul (stiff back) and Erik Christensen (shoulder) out of the lineup.