The writing was on the wall Saturday night, when Luca Sbisa was a healthy scratch in a 6-4 loss to Columbus: The19-year-old defenseman won’t be back with the Ducks in the regular season.
“We’ve probably discussed it for the better part of two weeks here,” Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said Sunday. “We felt we couldn’t continually keep him (playing) 10-12 minutes a night. It wouldn’t be beneficial the way our team was playing. We felt he wouldn’t garner those minutes here in the next while, so we made a decision based on what’s best for the player in the long term.”
Aside from his speed and puck-moving ability, Sbisa made the NHL roster out of training camp because of the tutelage he could expect to receive alongside veteran defenseman Scott Niedermayer. The two were assigned side-by-side dressing stalls, and paired together during the preseason.
“I feel bad,” Niedermayer said. “I think as a team we kind of let him down. It’s not easy for a young guy to handle what’s going on right now on the ice. We’re out of synch and things aren’t going the right way. It’s a lot harder on a young guy like that to fit in. We didn’t give him a chance as a team by playing a simple, solid game.”