The Ducks gave Mark Mitera five years. Even that wasn’t enough time to save his status as a first-round bust.
Mitera’s time in the organization ended Friday, when he was shipped to the Montreal Canadiens for defenseman Mathieu Carle.
Carle has played in three NHL games in four pro seasons, all in the Canadiens organization. Coincidentally, the 23-year-old was taken in the same 2006 draft class (second round, 53rd overall) as Mitera (first round, 19th overall).
Carle spent all of last season with the Hamilton Bulldogs, the Canadiens’ AHL affiliate, leading all Bulldogs blueliners with 11 goals. By comparison, Nathan Paetsch led an underperforming group of Syracuse Crunch defensemen with eight goals in just 34 games after arriving in a midseason trade.
Mitera, 23, was part of that young Syracuse blue line, playing 71 games and leading the group with 22 points. In his first full season at the AHL level, he also scored six goals and collected 50 penalty minutes.
Yet even after working his way up from the ECHL, Mitera never lived up to expectations. For that Brian Burke deserves just as much credit for reaching to draft the former University of Michigan defenseman ahead of Claude Giroux, Milan Lucic, Chris Stewart, Brad Marchand and Cal Clutterback, to name just a few.
Carle will be hard-pressed to crack an increasingly deep Ducks blue line, but he should be a bigger force in Syracuse than Mitera, who gets a fresh start.
Join me and a few other hockey bums below for a live chat during Game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Bruins and Canucks get started from Vancouver at 5 p.m.
Also, if you’re in the area of Sonny McLean’s in Santa Monica, we can have a live Game 7 chat there too — the face-to-face kind (remember those?).
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Teemu Selanne’s 609th career goal wasn’t enough for the Ducks, who gave up two quick goals in the second period, and an empty-netter late, in the opening game of their four-game road trip.
With Columbus leading 2-0, Lubomir Visnovsky hit Jason Blake with a long pass, then Blake dropped the puck for Selanne skating up the left wing. His 12-foot shot was the only puck that got past Steve Mason (31 saves).
Jonas Hiller stopped 19 of 21 shots, allowing goals to Derek Mackenzie and Rick Nash. Nash’s empty netter with Hiller on the bench at 19:32 of the final period provided the final score.
Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler missed the game with a broken nose and Danny Syvret made his Ducks debut, playing 15:27 alongside partner Sheldon Brookbank.
More to come.
Andy Sutton broke his thumb in a second-period fight Friday against the Detroit Red Wings’ Ruslan Salei. Sutton did not return for the third period. No timetable for his return was immediately available, pending further evaluation.
Reduced to six healthy defensemen for tonight’s game against Nashville, the Ducks recalled Brett Festerling from American Hockey League affiliate Syracuse. Festerling, who played 42 games for the Ducks last season, was among the second-to-last round of training camp cuts.
Luca Sbisa, a healthy scratch last night, also figures to have a crack at the lineup.
The lone Duck placed on waivers Tuesday, defenseman Nathan Oystrick, went unclaimed by the other 29 NHL teams. A team spokesperson relayed today that the Ducks will buy out his contract and are on the hook for approximately $366,000, to be paid out over the next two seasons.
Defenseman Stefan Warg, a fifth-round draft pick by the Ducks in 2008, has signed with the rebro Vipers of HockeyAllsvenskan, the second-highest league in Sweden. Warg is a native of Stockholm.
Warg split the 2009-10 season between the Seattle Thunderbirds and the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League, scoring 20 points, all assists, in 64 games. The 20-year-old was not tendered an entry-level contract by the Ducks, and only could have returned to the WHL as an overage player.
“We talked to his agent two weeks ago, and he asked us to give our blessing on
where we wanted (Warg) to play,” Ducks assistant general manager David McNab said. “We thought going back (to Sweden) would be good for
him. We know he’ll play more. We own his rights until June 1, then we’ll make a decision.”
April arrived early in Philadelphia, where the Ducks won in a playoff-like atmosphere over Chris Pronger and the Flyers, 3-2 in a shootout.
Down 2-1, Teemu Selanne netted the game-tying goal with 16 seconds left in regulation, flicking the puck past Ray Emery to send the game to overtime. In the shootout, Selanne scored the only goal as the Ducks won their second straight. Through three games of a four-game road trip, the Ducks (2-1-1) have collected seven of a possible eight points.
Selanne scored the Ducks’ first goal with 6:44 left in the third period to break up Emery’s shutout. Pronger scored once for the Flyers (3-2) in his first game since leaving Anaheim.
There’s a lengthy Q&A with Todd Marchant up on AnaheimDucks.com. Your highlights are at the bottom, where he looks ahead to the coming season and compares it favorably to the ’06-07 team that changed personnel in the middle of the previous year, had a good but short playoff run and then … well, you remember the rest …
In a conference call this afternoon, Ducks general manager Bob Murray offered a pessimistic outlook for bringing back checking forwards Todd Marchant and Rob Niedermayer, and defenseman Francois Beauchemin.