Aaron Voros traded to Toronto.

Aaron Voros’ brief time in Anaheim came to an end Tuesday when the veteran was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2011 entry draft.

In 12 games with the Ducks, Voros had no goals, no assists, a minus-4 rating and 43 penalty minutes. The 29-year-old left wing, who was assigned to the American Hockey League’s Syracuse Crunch after clearing waivers last week, will report to the Toronto Marlies, the Maple Leafs’ AHL affiliate.

With the Maple Leafs, Voros would be reunited with Mike Brown, the same player he was signed in the off-season to replace in the lineup. Unlike Brown, however, Voros was never a steady contributor as the fourth line left wing. He appeared in just 11 of the team’s first 31 games before he broke an orbital bone during a fight in Vancouver.

After coming off injured reserve, Voros played only one game – Feb. 2 against the San Jose Sharks – before being placed on waivers.

It’s the second trade between the two teams in the last week. The Ducks pried Francois Beauchemin from Toronto for Joffrey Lupul, Jake Gardiner and a conditional draft pick last week.

With the trade deadline 13 days away, one has to wonder: Will there be a third?

Ducks 4, Edmonton 0.

So much for the concept of a “trap game.”

The rebuilding Edmonton Oilers banished any notions of upsetting the Ducks, who were coming off quality wins in Vancouver and Calgary, by sending a meager 12 shots toward Jonas Hiller — a new record for the fewest shots by an Anaheim opponent in a shutout win.

Bobby Ryan scored twice and Brandon McMillan and Teemu Selanne tallied goals as the Ducks completed a sweep of their four-game Northwest Division road trip. Their sixth straight road win is the longest active streak in the league and one shy of a franchise record.

Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf had a pair of assists, on both of Ryan’s goals. All of Anaheim’s top three lines figured into the scoring. Ryan’s second goal of the game, at 1:31 of the third period, chased Edmonton starter Devan Dubnyk (15 shots-11 saves).

The Washington Capitals pay a rare visit to Honda Center on Wednesday. By then, the Ducks could be playing for sole possession of first place in the division. Anaheim (32-21-4) and Dallas (31-19-6) both have 68 points, most in the Pacific, but Dallas currently holds the top spot by virtue of having played one fewer game. The Stars are in the midst of a 1-6 slump and visit Edmonton on Tuesday, when they will make up the game in hand.

A few more notes, courtesy of the Ducks’ PR staff:
Continue reading “Ducks 4, Edmonton 0.” »

Ducks 5, Calgary 4, OT.

Cam Fowler’s goal with 18.6 seconds left in overtime allowed the Ducks to clinch a back-and-forth battle in a hostile environment.

Saku Koivu scored a pair of goals, Brandon McMillan scored short-handed, and Teemu Selanne’s power-play goal with 2:07 left in the third period sent the game to overtime tied at 4.

Curtis McElhinney got the start with a healthy Jonas Hiller serving as the backup. He got help from a post in the third period, a missed breakaway opportunity in overtime, and finished with 21 saves. Rene Bourque, Olli Jokinen, Jarome Iginla and Curtis Glencross scored the Flames’ goals.

Calgary lost for just the second time in its last 10 games and suffered the same fate as conference-leading Vancouver two days before. Anaheim can complete the Western Canada sweep Sunday in Edmonton – an easy one to overlook but also the most winnable game of an otherwise tough trip.

A few more notes: 
Continue reading “Ducks 5, Calgary 4, OT.” »

Hiller activated from IR; Pielmeier to Elmira.

Jonas Hiller was activated off injured reserve Friday, and the goaltender will be available for tonight’s game against the Calgary Flames. Hiller has missed the last two games after experiencing fatigue and light-headedness, while Curtis McElhinney has gone 2-0 against the Avalanche and Canucks as the starter. McElhinney could be in goal at the Saddledome tonight against his former team.

Timo Pielmeier, the backup to McElhinney the last two games, was assigned to ECHL affiliate Elmira. The Jackals are in Ontario this weekend for a rare West Coast road trip. Pielmeier did not appear in either game for the Ducks.

Ducks 4, Vancouver 3.

Ryan Getzlaf and the Ducks didn’t ease into anything in Vancouver.

The captain played 21:45 in his first game since Dec. 28, and the Ducks used a big lead to help hold off the Canucks. Getzlaf’s only point was this beautiful assist on Bobby Ryan’s first goal of the game, which gave the Ducks a 3-0 lead at 4:12 of the second period.

He also made an impact on Dan Hamhuis, planting the defenseman dangerously into the end boards on this shoulder-on-shoulder check. There’s already a debate raging over whether or not it was a clean hit.

Ryan had two goals, Jason Blake and Brandon McMillan had the others, and Curtis McElhinney made 16 of his 36 saves in the final period.

A few more notes:
Continue reading “Ducks 4, Vancouver 3.” »

Ducks activiate Getzlaf, send Voros to Syracuse.

Aaron Voros was deemed the odd man out today when the Ducks activated captain Ryan Getzlaf from injured reserve as expected. Voros, who cleared waivers this morning, was assigned to the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League.

The 29-year-old hasn’t played a game in the minors since 2007-08 when the Minnesota Wild sent him to their AHL affiliate, the Houston Aeros, for 12 games.

Voros missed nearly two months with a broken orbital bone, suffered in a Dec. 8 fight at Vancouver. He returned to play one game with the Ducks on Feb. 2 against San Jose, going scoreless.

Voros’ demotion means the Ducks will carry nine defensemen and the minimum 12 forwards into tonight’s game against the Vancouver Canucks. Defenseman Francois Beauchemin, acquired earlier today from the Toronto Maple Leafs for Joffrey Lupul, will be scratched as he is en route to Western Canada.

Five things about the Joffrey Lupul-Francois Beauchemin trade.

The Ducks will be posting a complete transcript of this morning’s conference calls with Francois Beauchemin and general manager Bob Murray soon.

In the meantime, here are five things you need to know:

1. Beauchemin isn’t playing tonight. He’s flying to Vancouver today, then will hopefully practice with the Ducks tomorrow and play Friday night in Calgary, Murray said.

2. Murray said he determined the Ducks were a playoff team when they rallied in January with captain Ryan Getzlaf on injured reserve. Then he determined the team needed the most help on defense now – but not down the road, with youngsters Cam Fowler, Luca Sbisa and prospect Nick Schultz developing well. That made Jake Gardiner expendable. “We gave them a good young prospect here,” Murray said. “We feel we’re really deep at that position of prospects, on defense.”

3. Including Beauchemin, the Ducks have nine defensemen. Asked if another move was in the works, Murray said “nothing’s imminent.” So it looks like there will be eight defensemen and 13 forwards available tonight in Vancouver. Left wing Aaron Voros, who cleared waivers this morning, might be back in the lineup.

4. Beauchemin admitted he “didn’t really like it” when the Ducks didn’t match the Maple Leafs’ offer to him in free agency in June 2009. But he liked Anaheim enough to put the Ducks on his list of 12 teams he would accept a trade to. “Bob (Murray) was the guy who mentioned to (Brian Burke) in that (Sergei) Fedorov deal, to include me in it, because he saw me playing the American League five, six years ago,” Beauchemin said, “and our relationship hasn’t really changed.”

5. Lupul said he has “a lot to prove” to a Ducks team that “just let me go after 20 games.” He’ll have to wait – the two teams won’t play each other again this season.

Ducks re-acquire Beauchemin for Lupul, Gardiner.

Defenseman Francois Beauchemin is coming back to Anaheim in a major deal announced Wednesday that will send forward Joffrey Lupul, defenseman prospect Jake Gardiner and a conditional fourth-round draft pick in 2013 to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Beauchemin, who played for the Ducks from 2006-09, has two goals, 12 points and 16 penalty minutes in 54 games with the Maple Leafs this season. An alternate captain in Toronto, the 30-year-old Beauchemin was second only to Dion Phaneuf in ice time (23:45) and was leading the team in blocked shots (131). In addition to Beauchemin’s physical play, the Ducks get a more reliable puck-mover from the back end than they currently possess outside Lubomir Visnovsky and Cam Fowler.

Lupul had scored five goals and 13 points in 26 games since returning from a blood infection in December. The 27-year-old winger was well off his career point production, relegated to a third-line role and second-unit power play duty while averaging just 13:13 per game.

Gardiner, 20, is a former first-round draft pick (17th overall, 2008) playing for the University of Wisconsin. In 30 games this season, he has seven goals, 30 points and a plus-20 rating.

The trade will allow the Ducks to save $450,000 toward the salary cap this year and next. In terms of actual salary, Beauchemin represents a net savings this year ($4.25 to $3.55 million) and next year ($4.25 to $3.8 million) and comes off the books in 2012, a year ahead of Lupul.

More details to follow …

Hiller placed on IR, but can play Friday.

The Ducks placed goalie Jonas Hiller on injured reserve Tuesday retroactive to Feb. 3, as the goalie is still day-to-day with fatigue and light-headedness.

By placing Hiller on IR, the Ducks effectively ruled him out for tomorrow’s game in Vancouver, and opened up a roster spot for Timo Pielmeier without having to burn their second and final 48-hour emergency goaltender exception. (The Ducks burned their first last weekend, adding Pielmeier as the backup in Colorado, which temporarily put them over the 23-man roster limit).

Hiller will be able to return to the lineup Friday in Calgary if he’s deemed healthy. Hiller hasn’t played since the first 12 minutes of a 4-3 loss to San Jose last Wednesday.

Pielmeier was recalled from Elmira of the ECHL and figures to back up Curtis McElhinney against the Canucks.

Ray Emery on taking the next step.

Which Ray Emery are the Ducks getting?

That’s the million-dollar question – rather, the prorated $500,000 question so long as he’s in the NHL, or the prorated $105,000 question as long as he’s in Syracuse. And from a physical standpoint, it’s a question no one – not even Emery himself – will be able to answer until he is playing a live hockey game.

He hasn’t done that in more than a year.
Continue reading “Ray Emery on taking the next step.” »