Ducks re-assign Sbisa.

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.

Sbisa, a native of Switzerland, is expected to be assigned either to his junior team in Lethbridge, Alberta, or a European team. Sbisa appeared in eight games, going scoreless, and would have had to remain in Anaheim for the remainder of the season had he played in two more. Because he is under 20 years old, Sbisa can’t be assigned to an AHL or ECHL team.

“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.

But they were assigned different skating partners during the regular season, when Sbisa averaged 12 minutes, 37 seconds of ice time — sixth-most on the team.

“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.”

This entry was posted in Anaheim Ducks/NHL by J.P. Hoornstra. Bookmark the permalink.

About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.

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