13th annual Fedorin Cup is today.

Bobby Ryan, Teemu Selanne and Todd Marchant headline the list of participants in today’s 13th annual Fedorin Cup charity hockey game.

Proceeds from ticket sales for the game, which begins at 4 p.m. at Anaheim ICE, will benefit the Athletic Sports Fund of America. According to the ASFA website, the organization will donate a portion of all proceeds to Hockey Fights Cancer and offer grants to athletes in need. The Fedorin Cup was established for the late Eric Fedorin, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in 1998.

Tickets for the game are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 11 to 17. Children 10 and under are free.

Agent: Kariya will sit out 2010-11 season.

Paul Kariya will miss the entire 2010-11 season due to post-concussion symptoms, his agent Don Baizley said in a statement Friday.

There was some mutual interest between the Ducks and their former captain, who spent the last three seasons with the St. Louis Blues and last played for Anaheim in the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals. Kariya missed six games after sustaining a concussion in a game last December. It is not known if the 35-year-old free agent – who had multiple concussions earlier in his career – has had another since.

This latest news calls into question whether Kariya, a 16-year NHL veteran, will ever play again. For now, it puts to rest any rumors that the Ducks would bring him back next season, a prospect that was met with mixed reactions from fans.

Kariya was limited to 11 games in 2008-09 because of hip surgery. He returned in 2009-10 to score 18 goals and 43 points in 75 games.

DiPenta returns to the Ducks, sort of.

Joe DiPenta, part of the Ducks’ 2007 Stanley Cup championship team, has signed an American Hockey League contract with the Syracuse Crunch, the Ducks’ top minor-league affiliate. The 31-year-old defenseman will also take part in training camp in Anaheim on a pro tryout contract.

DiPenta spent the 2008-09 season in the Swedish Elite League before returning to the AHL in 2009-10 with the Portland Pirates. Ducks general manager Bob Murray liked the veteran’s leadership skills for the Crunch and DiPenta, who still lives in Newport Beach and is active in the community, wanted to extend his career another season.

Known for his safe defensive play, DiPenta held a sixth/seventh defenseman role for the Ducks from 2005-08. In both 2006 and 2007 he appeared in 16 playoff games, going scoreless, after posting two goals and eight points in the regular season each year. His playing time dwindled in 2007-08 and he finished with a goal and five points.

In 174 career NHL games, DiPenta has six goals, 23 points and 110 penalty minutes.

Ducks getting plenty of national TV exposure … in Canada.

If you’re planning to surf for a Ducks game on a national television broadcast in 2010-11, consider moving to Canada.

In addition to three appearances on TSN (10/13 at Vancouver, 12/7 at Edmonton, 3/30 at Calgary), Anaheim will make five appearances on NHL Network Canadatied for the most of any NHL team. NHL Network Canada’s slate of games is focused entirely on games between American teams, an obvious counter-strategy to TSN’s Canada-centric programming slate. The Ducks also will go live across Canada for their Jan. 22 game at Montreal (CBC/RDS) and their Feb. 19 game at St. Louis (RDS).

Fans south of the border are reduced to one national telecast, the December 20 game in Boston on Versus. The Ducks’ local television coverage is expected to again shift between Fox Sports West, Fox Sports Prime Ticket and Santa Ana-based KDOC.

Aaron Ward announces he’s retiring.

Aaron Ward scored the first goal ever in Arrowhead Pond (now Honda Center). It seems only appropriate that he played his final game there as a member of the Ducks.

The 37-year-old defenseman announced his retirement Tuesday. The Ducks chose not to re-sign him, and a successful run in the TSN booth during last season’s playoffs probably opened more doors in broadcasting than were open in the NHL.

Continue reading “Aaron Ward announces he’s retiring.” »

Ducks announce third jersey debut: Nov. 26.

The Ducks will unveil their new third jerseys when they take the ice against the Chicago Blackhawks on November 26, the quasi-traditional day-after-Thanksgiving afternoon game.

The plan is for the players to wear to the traditional home uniform during pregame warmups, then wear the third jersey when they exit down the tunnel prior to the first period. No press conference, no fashion summit — an understated debut, if there ever were one.

The third jersey will be worn an additional 14 times throughout the season, for a total of 15 games in all. The official release on the Ducks’ Web site indicates that “The third jersey will put an alternative spin on the traditional colors and logo, also paying homage to the club’s history.” Otherwise there is no mention of what it will look like, though there is mention of the team’s history of third jerseys — including this one.

Selanne returning to Ducks.

Another dispatch from the road, where word travels fast that 40-year-old right wing Teemu Selanne is returning to the Ducks for another season. Selanne, who is still in his native Finland, agreed to a 1-year, $3.25 million contract.

Selanne spoke to the media via conference call earlier today (transcript can be found here), as did general manager Bob Murray (comments here).

Selanne gets a slight raise on last year’s contract, but it’s still below market rate for a player who scored 27 goals in a mere 54 games last season. He doesn’t immediately make the Ducks a playoff contender — how well a rebuilt, Scott Niedermayer-less defense can perform is the critical question now — but Selanne does ensure that the league’s fifth-best power play won’t take a huge step backward next season.

Sutton steps in.

Another quick, slightly late dispatch from the vacation trail: Free agent defenseman Andy Sutton has been added on a two-year, $4.25 million contract.

Sutton immediately addresses the Ducks’ need for a veteran top-four defenseman, although he isn’t the point producer many anticipated – namely, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Tomas Kaberle. Sutton is another shot-blocker, to the tune of 204 last season — second-most in the NHL. While averaging 20:24 of ice time, the 6-foot-6, 245-pounder was also eighth among all defenseman with 197 hits. Sutton chipped in with five goals and eight assists in a regular season split between the Islanders and Senators.

Said Anaheim GM Bob Murray (via the team’s official website): “We inquired about him at the deadline last year. I just couldn’t make
things work in time to get him. … I talked to Pat Morris (his agent) very early about Andy. We waited a
little while and talked again. I had to see where the whole (James) Wisniewski
thing went and we had to let that play out a little bit. I think Andy is
very excited about playing with our group and we’re very excited to
have him. We were all patient and let things unfold.”

While regarded as one of the top defensive-minded defensemen still on the market, there are concerns about Sutton’s giveaways (he had 64 in 72 games last season) and durability. The 35-year-old missed eight games last season with a groin injury, and has broken the 70-game plateau only twice in his career.

The Ducks’ other main blue-line acquisition, Toni Lydman, is also a giveaway liability — he had 49 in 67 games last season. But he’s also a good shot-blocker who piles up hits. If nothing else the Ducks will enter the season with two proven defensemen (Sutton and Lydman) who are tough to play against in the defensive zone. Brett Festerling and Sheldon Brookbank are close to being mentioned in that group, as well.

The question now is, who will move the puck and take the shot from the blue line? If they don’t make a play for Kaberle, the Ducks may turn to rookies Luca Sbisa, Cam Fowler or even Danny Syvret to help replace the offensive contributions of retired captain Scott Niedermayer. Aside from workhorse Lubomir Visnovsky, who averaged 5:09 power-play time per game last season, no current Ducks defenseman averaged more than 0:55 per game on the power play last season (that was Lydman).

There is also the question of how quickly the defense will come together as a unit. That was among the Ducks’ main issues early last season, when they were trying to integrate three new defensemen (Nick Boynton, Sbisa and Steve Eminger). This year, only Brookbank will come into training camp having had a full NHL season under head coach Randy Carlyle’s system; Sutton, Lydman, Fowler and Syvret will have had no in-game experience at all.

This has not dampened Sutton’s optimism.

“It’s a great fit,” he said. “It’s
a team that can go all the way, which was important to me. It’s a
mature team, a veteran team and the sky is the limit with this club.”

On the Wisniewski trade.

Checking in from the vacation trail to report, as I’m sure you already know, that James Wisniewski has been traded to the New York Islanders for a third-round draft pick in 2011.

At a glance, it’s not obvious how this fits into Bob Murray’s plans to rebuild a young, thin defense. Expect some more moves in the coming days or weeks. Among their current blueline corps, only Lubomir Visnovsky, Toni Lydman and Sheldon Brookbank have spent a full season in the NHL.