Mikkelson to Calgary; Syvret up.

Defenseman Brendan Mikkelson has been claimed off waivers by the Calgary Flames, and defenseman Danny Syvret has been recalled from AHL affiliate Syracuse to take his place on the Ducks roster.

Mikkelson appeared in five games this season, posting one assist
and seven penalty minutes after winning one of the final defenseman
spots in training camp. A second-round draft pick by the Ducks in 2005, the 23-year-old Mikkelson was a healthy scratch Sunday against the Phoenix Coyotes. He
had been averaging 19:24 time on ice — fourth among Anaheim defensemen and sixth on the team

In 67 NHL games, all with the Ducks, Mikkelson had no goals, five assists and 38 penalty minutes. Only two members of the Ducks’ six-man 2005 draft class remain with the team: Bobby Ryan and Syracuse goalie Jean-Phillippe Levasseur.

Mikkelson lasted longer in training camp than Syvret, who was himself placed on waivers Sept. 30 before being assigned to Syracuse. Syvret appeared in three preseason games with the Ducks, recording a goal, an assist and a minus-1 rating. The 25-year-old had two assists in four games with the Crunch, and has 49 games, two goals and three assists to his credit in the NHL.

Roundup: Fowler breaks nose; Doan suspended; Getzlaf honored; (update: Mikkelson waived).

By noon Monday, there was enough Ducks-related weekend fallout – some good, some bad – to fill one page of an afternoon sports section. If those existed anymore.

1. Defenseman Cam Fowler was diagnosed with a broken nose as a result of this play in the second period of Sunday’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes. He is listed as “probable” for Wednesday’s game in Columbus against the Blue Jackets.

2. Shane Doan – who also steered Fowler toward the end boards – has been suspended three games for his third-period hit on Dan Sexton. No penalty was called on the play at the time.

3. Update: Brendan Mikkelson has been placed on waivers. The 23-year-old appeared in five games this season, posting one assist and seven penalty minutes, after winning one of the final defenseman spots in training camp. A second-round draft pick by the Ducks in 2005, Mikkelson was a healthy scratch Sunday against the Phoenix Coyotes. He had been averaging 19:24 – fourth among Anaheim defensemen and sixth overall.

4. Ryan Getzlaf was named the NHL’s third star of the week, behind only Florida Panthers goalie Tomas Vokoun and Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa. Getzlaf led all scorers last week with eight points (two goals, six
assists) in four games as the Ducks posted a 2-1-1 record.

Here’s how Getzlaf’s four games break down:

1. 0-0-0 in St. Louis on Monday

2. A goal, three assists and a +2 rating in a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks in the home opener at Honda Center on Wednesday.

3. One goal and one assist in a 5-4 shootout loss to Atlanta Thrashers on Friday.

4. Two assists and a +3 rating in a 3-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Sunday.

Lilja gets his visa, Sbisa sent to Syracuse.

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.

Continue reading “Lilja gets his visa, Sbisa sent to Syracuse.” »

St. Louis 5, Ducks 1.

There’s an almost endless repository of statistics that illustrate how bad the Ducks have played in their first three regular-season games. They have been outscored 13-2 and outshot 145-72. Their 43.0 faceoff percentage ranks 29th in the NHL, their 48.3 penalty minutes per game 30th.

Most importantly, a team that pledged to avoid another typical early-season swoon is off to an 0-3 start. If there is a hockey-statistical equivalent of the word acrid, just take your pick.

The good news – and there was some good news after Monday’s 5-1 loss in St. Louis – is that the Ducks got to come home in advance of Wednesday’s home opener against the Vancouver Canucks. By then they will probably have added a veteran to help on defense, Andreas Lilja, and have the potential for an opening-night atmosphere that tends to make visiting teams uncomfortable – the same atmosphere the Ducks faced Friday and Saturday in Detroit and Nashville, respectively.
Continue reading “St. Louis 5, Ducks 1.” »

Ryan to left wing; Fowler, Mikkelson sitting pretty.

Quite a sight at practice today: Bobby Ryan was skating at left wing on a line with Saku Koivu at center and Teemu Selanne at right wing. The experiment with Ryan at center isn’t over, head coach Randy Carlyle said, but the coach said “it’s a possibility” that the Ducks will use that same line tomorrow night against Vancouver.

“We had discussions the other night about doing an anlysis of the games he played at center,” Carlyle said. “We thought the best game he played was against Phoenix, at center. We just said it’s not that we’re throwing it out the window, we’d just put him back at left wing for now and see how that develops.”

Carlyle also revealed a surprising confidence in rookie Maxime Macenauer, who took a few shifts at left wing Tuesday against the Kings, but was centering a line with Jason Blake and Troy Bodie in practice today. The other lines:

Matt Beleskey-Ryan Getzlaf-Corey Perry
Aaron Voros-Kyle Chipchura-George Parros
Ryan Carter-Todd Marchant-Dan Sexton-Josh Green

Meanwhile on defense, Brendan Mikkelson and Cam Fowler were feeling good about life after the Ducks placed Brett Festerling and Danny Syvret on waivers earlier today.

Their thoughts, as well as more from Carlyle, in tomorrow’s editions.

Festerling, Syvret waived. Update.

Defensemen Brett Festerling and Danny Syvret have been placed on waivers, paring the Ducks’ blue line down to eight as the regular season approaches.

The biggest name of the eight belongs to 2010 first-round draft pick Cam Fowler. The 18-year-old has appeared in four preseason games, logging two assists and a minus-3 rating, while also seeing time on the Ducks’ power play. For Fowler to make the opening-day roster would represent a major accomplishment with a franchise that has historically given its draftees more time to develop. The list of Anaheim draft picks who went straight to the NHL in
their draft year is a short one: Steve Rucchin and Oleg Tverdovsky in
1994-95, Chad Kilger in 1995-96, and (then-26-year-old) Niclas Havelid
in 1999-2000.
Continue reading “Festerling, Syvret waived. Update.” »

Confirmed: Defenseman Syvret signs with Ducks.

Danny Syvret, a defenseman who captained Corey Perry’s London Knights squad to the 2005 Memorial Cup championship, has signed with the Ducks. Sportsnet.ca. First reported the signing Tuesday; the team confirmed the announcement Wednesday. Syvret will make $600,000 in the NHL and $105,000 in the minors.

A 5-foot-11, 203-pound blueliner with a knack for offense, Syvret’s pro career has not picked up where his junior career left off. In his final season with the Knights (2004-05), he had 23 goals and 69 points in 62 games. Syvret has been a productive point producer in the American Hockey League since he was drafted in the third round (81st overall) by the Edmonton Oilers in 2005, and his point-per-game totals have increased each season at the AHL level. In 76 games for the Philadelphia Phantoms’, then the Flyers’ AHL affiliate, Syvret had 12 goals and 57 points in 2008-09. In 15 games with AHL Adirondack last year, he had five goals and 13 points.

But Syvret has had trouble sticking at the NHL level, with just two goals and five points in 49 games spread over parts of four seasons. If he joins the Ducks, Syvret would figure to be in competition with Brendan Mikkelson, Brett Festerling, Luca Sbisa — and possibly Cam Fowler — for one of the final NHL roster spots. The Ducks only have three defensemen (Lubomir Visnovsky, Toni Lydman, Sheldon Brookbank) signed to one-way NHL contracts, with another (James Wisniewski) scheduled for an arbitration hearing August 3.

Anaheim is still seeking a top-four defenseman with some experience. Syvret is not that defenseman, though the Syracuse Crunch, the Ducks’ new AHL affiliate, would certainly benefit from his addition. Judging by his participation in the recent Special Olympics ceremonies in London, he seems to be a good guy, too.

Mikkelson accepts qualifying offer, gives Ducks five defensemen.

Depending on how you look at it, the Ducks either retained a reliable depth defenseman, or beefed up their blue line by 20 percent, on Thursday.

Either way, the fact is that Brendan Mikkelson accepted the Ducks’ qualifying offer and signed a one-year contract that will pay $687,000 in the NHL or $62,500 in the minors. The smooth-skating 23-year-old had two assists and 14 penalty minutes in 28 games last season for the Ducks.

Mikkelson was drafted 31st overall by the Ducks in 2005 and has spent most of his three professional seasons at the American Hockey League level [career stats here]. He would likely begin next season with Anaheim’s AHL affiliate, the Syrcause Crunch – but only if the Ducks can find two more qualified NHL defenseman between now and the beginning of the season.

Mikkelson joins Lubomir Visnovsky, Toni Lydman, Sheldon Brookbank and Brett Festerling as the only NHL defensemen currently under contract. The Ducks have also qualified restricted free-agent defenseman James Wisniewski and have prospect Luca Sbisa ready to turn pro, either in the NHL or AHL.

Ryan, Wisniewski, Mikkelson receive qualifying offers.

Soon-to-be restricted free agents Bobby Ryan, James Wisniewski and Brendan Mikkelson have received qualifying offers from the Ducks, while minor-league forwards Shawn Weller and Bobby Bolt have not. Neither has goaltender Jean-Phillippe Levasseur, with whom the Ducks are negotiating a long-term contract.

The deadline to for teams to extend qualifying offers is 2 p.m. (Pacific) today.

Ryan is almost certain to command an offer sheet July 1 if he has not already re-signed with the Ducks. General manager Bob Murray has attempted to re-sign Ryan with a five-year contract offer in the $20-25 million range, but the sides have yet to reach an agreement despite the fact that talks began early last season. The 23-year-old forward scored a career-high 35 goals in 2009-10, his second full NHL season.

In a season shortened to 69 games by injuries and suspensions, Wisniewski finished with three goals and 30 points. The hard-hitting defenseman nearly went to arbitration with the Ducks last year before signing a 1-year contract worth $2.75 million.

Mikkelson, who turned 23 last week, has split the last two seasons between the NHL and AHL, collecting four assists in 62 games with the Ducks.

If a qualified player receives an offer sheet from another team, the current team then has the right to match the offer sheet or will receive a combination of draft picks in return (see below, courtesy of TSN):

Below $863,156 No Compensation
$863,156-$1,307,812 Third-round pick
$1,307,812-$2,615,625 Second-round pick
$2,615,625-$3,923,437 First- and third-round picks
$3,923,437-$5,231,249 First-, second and third-round picks
$5,231,249-$6,539,062 Two first-rounders, a second-round
pick and a third-round pick.
$6,539,062 or more Four first-round picks

Dallas 3, Ducks 2.

Jonas Hiller made 49 saves over 65 minutes, and Bobby Ryan scored a pair of goals, but Mike Modano stole the show in the Stars’ shootout win.

Modano, who has spent his entire 20-year career with the Dallas organization, electrified the crowd by scoring the game-tying goal with 1:47 left in regulation of what could be his final game at American Airlines Center. He scored again in the second shootout round against Hiller, then Jere Lehtinen sealed it with a goal in the third round.

Ryan’s team-leading 33rd and 34th goals of the season allowed the Ducks to salvage a point on a night when they were outshot 51-19. His second goal, a sharp-angled power-play tally, gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead at 15:16 of the third period.

With several veterans remaining home, Randy Carlyle went with his youngest lineup of the season. Nick Bonino, Nathan Oystrick, Brendan Mikkelson, Brett Festerling and Dan Sexton got long looks while Ryan Getzlaf (ankle) and Lubomir Visnovsky (hand), as well as healthy scratches Scott Niedermayer, Saku Koivu, Teemu Selanne and Todd Marchant were held behind.