Defenseman Andreas Lilja has received his visa and was added to the Ducks’ active roster Saturday. To make room for the 35-year-old veteran, who signed last weekend but had his visa renewal delayed, the Ducks assigned defenseman Luca Sbisa to AHL affiliate Syracuse.
The 20-year-old Sbisa was a healthy scratch in three of the Ducks’ five games this season and averaged only 12:22 in the two games he played. After spending all but the first eight games of last season in the Western Hockey League, a well-built Sbisa arrived at training camp hoping to play an entire season in Anaheim. That dream will have to wait another season.
The Ducks’ blue line has undergone a minor makeover since the season began. Some changes were expected because of Toni Lydman’s double-vision episode. Then Andy Sutton broke his thumb in a season-opening loss to the Red Wings and was replaced on the roster by Brett Festerling.
These were the defensemen who left Anaheim on the Ducks’ season-opening, three-game road trip, during which opponents racked up these gaudy stats:
Here’s who the Ducks have at their disposal for tomorrow’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes:
With the exception of Lilja replacing Sutton, this bears a much closer resemblance to the group that the Ducks figured to have to start the season. Lydman finished plus-1 with a goal while playing 21:30 in his debut Friday. Randy Carlyle can only hope that Lilja’s learning curve is similarly short Sunday against the Coyotes.