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 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.

San Jose 4, Ducks 3.

The first 11 minutes, 15 seconds of hockey at Honda Center rendered the next 48:45 moot. Almost.

At least, it made for fairly easy writing on deadline. Seeing Jonas Hiller allow three goals in that early span, before heading to the bench, was a rare sight. Just as rare were the nature of the goals – each a little less excusable than the one before. Hiller said he didn’t see Jason Demers’ shot from just inside the blue line until it was in the back of the net. A few seconds later, Hiller was on the bench, and the Western Conference standings were guaranteed to be a gnarled mess.

The Sharks (27-19-6) and Ducks (28-21-4) each have 60 points now, cosmetically tied for fifth place in the standings but San Jose has the advantage of having one game in hand. Clearly, playing the Phoenix Coyotes the night before was a tremendous advantage, as the Sharks’ quick start was too much for Hiller and the Ducks.

“I think when they scored on the first shift it should have been a wake-up call,” said Bobby Ryan, who had one of the Ducks’ three goals. “We let them build off it. I don’t think you can discredit Jonas. He stood in there and some of the goals were tough to see, especially the third one. You don’t see it much.”

Cam Fowler and Joffrey Lupul also scored goals, with Lupul netting his first since Dec. 28. Curtis McElhinney made 17 saves – 10 more than Hiller – allowing only a power-play putback by Ryane Clowe at 15:39 of the second period.

More details in tomorrow’s editions. A few more notes:
Continue reading “San Jose 4, Ducks 3.” »

Getzlaf’s back, and other notes from practice.

Ryan Getzlaf returned to practice — looking trim, but weighing the same, he insisted — for the first time since he went on injured reserve after suffering multiple nasal sinus fractures on Dec. 28. He skated on a line with usual fourth-liners Todd Marchant, George Parros, Kyle Chipchura and Aaron Voros — who was officially activated off IR today.

The occasion of seeing Getzlaf on the ice allowed a moment to put his injury into perspective. I tried, with limited success, to extract from him the potential severity of taking a puck between the eyebrows. Check out tomorrow’s editions for more on that.

Voros was the other big news. Because he gave the Ducks a total of 22 players on the active roster, there was only room for one player to come up from Syracuse. Dan Sexton got the call and Matt Beleskey, who had two goals and seven points in 11 January games, was left behind.

It’s worth noting that Voros was scratched from 20 of the Ducks’ 31 games before he went down with a fractured orbital bone, and his injury opened up ice time for youngsters like Beleskey, Sexton and Brandon McMillan — who skated as the top-line center again Monday. Voros could well find himself in the press box again Wednesday when the San Jose Sharks visit Honda Center.

The forward lines and defensive pairings remained the same. Corey Perry said his flight back from North Carolina touched down at 1 p.m. local time, giving him just enough time to make the 3 p.m. practice (but not enough time to unpack). Jonas Hiller and Cam Fowler were also on the ice, as was goaltending consultant Pete Peeters, wearing the full goalie pads.

Perry and Cam Fowler talked a bit about their All-Star Game experiences, but I’ll save that for the next blog.

One more tidbit that you never find in a newspaper (which reminds me why blogs were invented): Teemu Selanne said today’s practice, which ended around 4:30 p.m., reminded him of how it used to be when he was coming up because he was able to leave the rink with darkness creeping in outside. Winnipeg, I asked? Nope, Finland. “Back home,” he said.

Voros to miss 3-4 weeks; Koivu out with flu.

The Ducks announced that left wing Aaron Voros won’t have surgery to repair the broken orbital bone that he suffered on Wednesday in a fight with Vancouver’s Kevin Bieksa, but the team will be without Voros’ services for the next 3-4 weeks.

Meanwhile, Saku Koivu (flu) and Teemu Selanne (groin) will not skate against the Minnesota Wild.

Early in the first period, here are the Ducks’ top three lines:

Bobby Ryan – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Brandon McMillan – Todd Marchant – Dan Sexton
Jason Blake – Nick Bonino – Joffrey Lupul

Marchant and Perry are both wearing the alternate captain’s “A”s that normally belong to Koivu and Selanne.

Tough week for Voros; Sexton recalled.

Kevin Bieksa did more than merely win his second-period fight with Aaron Voros on Wednesday in Vancouver.

Voros sustained a broken orbital bone in the fight, putting the forward back on injured reserve after only one game back from a bout with the flu. Right wing Dan Sexton has been recalled from Syracuse of the American Hockey League. He could be called to fill in tonight if Teemu Selanne’s nagging groin injury causes him to miss his third game in the past week.

Here is the video of the Bieksa-Voros bout in Vancouver:

Voros up, Beleskey down.

The Ducks activated Aaron Voros from injured reserve Wednesday and sent Matt Beleskey back to AHL affiliate Syracuse. Voros, who had been battling the flu, accompanied the Ducks on their two-game road trip, which continues tonight in Vancouver.

Beleskey kept mostly fourth-line left wing duty in his second go-around in Anaheim this season. He went scoreless in three games, with two penalty minutes and a minus-2 rating.

Voros, who hasn’t played since Nov. 29, has no points in 10 games this season.

Chicago 3, Ducks 2, OT.

In the span of two days in Chicago, Jonas Hiller went from a hospital to helping the Ducks salvage a point in the standings.

Hiller, who received four sutures to close a cut above his eye sustained in practice Saturday, made 40 saves in the overtime loss to the Blackhawks. He had little chance on Viktor Stalberg’s re-direction of a Duncan Keith shot with 28 seconds left in overtime.

Corey Perry scored both goals for the Ducks (10-7-2), who saw their six-game winning streak end. Both teams had plenty of missed chances in an up-and-down game, and Blackhawks backup Corey Crawford had some big saves among his 24.

“They took it to us in the second and third (periods,” Perry said. “Hillsie stood tall in there for those shots he had to face. Overall we didn’t feel like we played the way we feel we wanted to, but we got a point.”

Patrick Kane took advantage of a lively puck off the end boards to put Chicago up 1-0 at 3:37 of the opening period. Perry answered with an unassisted goal less than a minute later. Jason Blake created the chance on the forecheck by pressuring Keith from behind; the reigning Norris Trophy winner coughed the puck up to Perry, who barely had to skate before firing in a wrister at 4:34.

A power-play goal by Marian Hossa at 11:24 of the middle period restored Chicago’s lead, and ended a streak of 17 straight penalties killed by the Ducks.

Randy Carlyle shook up the lines for the third period, but that barely factored into Perry’s equalizer at 3:36 of the third period. Perry created the chance by himself, gaining the blue line up the left wing, turning sharply to cut across the offensive zone, then faking his way around Niklas Hjalmarsson in the right circle and firing a wrister into the far side of the net past Crawford.

For Perry, the goals were his team-leading seventh and eighth of the season.

A few more notes:

Continue reading “Chicago 3, Ducks 2, OT.” »

Matt Beleskey has a concussion, other notes.

Matt Beleskey has been diagnosed with a concussion and didn’t take part in practice today at Honda Center. He’ll be placed on injured reserve later today, a team spokesperson said, meaning he will miss Friday’s game against New Jersey and Saturday’s game against San Jose.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that Beleskey isn’t experiencing the worst of the typical post-concussion symptoms – dizziness, blurred vision, headaches, sensitivity to light – and there’s good reason to believe he will miss only the minimum seven days from the time of the injury, which projects to Tuesday.

“I’m feeling all right today,” Beleskey said. “I’m pretty sore in my neck and back, other than that I’m OK.”

Continue reading “Matt Beleskey has a concussion, other notes.” »

Ducks 5, Sharks 4.

The 15,872 who showed up at HP Pavilion got their money’s worth for a mere exhibition, in which the Ducks and Sharks racked up nine goals and six separate fights.

Both coaches, who figured the game would merely be a good chance to tinker with their personnel in preparation for the regular season, probably got their money’s worth, too.

Playing on a line with Aaron Voros, Corey Perry had three goals and Ryan Getzlaf had four assists. San Jacinto’s Jake Newton scored his first of the preseason and Dan Sexton potted the game-winner with five minutes remaining.

Curtis McElhinney started in goal and stopped 18 of 20 shots in 29:25. Timo Pielmeier came on in relief to stop 22 of 24.

Veteran forwards Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu and Todd Marchant postponed their preseason debuts another day, likely until tomorrow night in Vancouver. Bobby Ryan also sat the game out. But Getzlaf and Perry more than held their own. Getzlaf had the primary assist on all of Perry’s goals, as well as Newton’s goal – which deflected into the net off San Jose’s Derek Joslin. All four of Getzlaf’s assists came on the power play.

Sexton took a nice pass from Jason Blake to beat Sharks goalie Harri Sateri with the game-winner.

Stephane Veilleux’s second game of the preseason was limited to 2:20. He and Scott Nichol fought at 11:55 of the first period – the fourth fight in less than two minutes – and were promptly ejected.