The Syracuse Crunch can loosely be broken down into two
groups of players: Those who are still developing, and those you might see in
Anaheim this season.
Nick Bonino and Kyle Palmieri cut to the front of the
promotion line with strong performances last week. By Wednesday they were in
Ducks uniforms, playing against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
That might have been ahead of the curve for both, who are
just beginning their first full season in professional hockey. Even though
Ducks fans have been hearing about Bonino and Palmieri for more than a year, if
anything they have been fast-tracked to the NHL.
“In baseball, most of the top prospects get put into
Single-A and work their way up,” said David McNab, the Ducks’ senior vice
president of hockey operations. “It doesn’t appear that they draft a player and
immediately stick them in Triple A. that’s what the American League is:
Triple-A baseball. It’s a tough league. There’s a lot of veteran hockey players
in the American Hockey League who are great players. It takes time.”
A total of 12 players were cut from the Ducks’ training camp roster today: Nick Bonino, Rob Bordson, Mat Clark, Nicolas Deschamps, Joe DiPenta, Brandon McMillan, Mark Mitera and Kyle Palmieri were assigned to American Hockey League affiliate Syracuse. Emerson Etem (Medicine Hat/WHL), Peter Holland (Guelph/OHL), Devante Smith-Pelly (Mississauga/OHL) and Scott Valentine (Oshawa/OHL) were assigned to their respective junior teams.
None of the assignments were unexpected. DiPenta, who had already signed an AHL contract, was in camp on a pro tryout but not expected to make the NHL team.
Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said he was impressed with the Long Beach native Etem, a first-round draft pick in June and Smith-Pelly, a second-round pick.
The biggest news from the Ducks trainer’s room pertains to a player who has been M.I.A. since camp started: Joffrey Lupul.
The forward wrote on his Twitter account earlier today that he has been cleared to skate. The exact quote: “After 10 mons I
just got Medical clearance to start skating again. Gonna need a cpl
months to get back in shape but I am ready for it!!”
*Update: False alarm. A team spokesperson confirmed that Lupul has not been cleared to skate yet. He’s only been cleared to resume working out – good news considering the extent of Lupul’s exercise regimen lately has been walking.
Lupul has been progressing from a recurrence of the blood infection he contracted last December, which ultimately ended his 2009-10 season.
Meanwhile, back at the rink …
Joe DiPenta took part in drills and the scrimmage at Anaheim ICE, having lost a couple teeth Sunday. Toni Lydman was back in the gym, but not back on the ice, as he progresses from a bout of double vision.
Day of 2 training camp was not kind to Jason Jaffray and Joe DiPenta.
DiPenta started the morning on the ice but finished with a visit to the dentist. A deflected puck struck the defenseman in the mouth and knocked out at least one tooth. He did not take part in the team’s scrimmage.
The news was worse for Jaffray, whom the Ducks acquired in a June trade from Calgary for Logan MacMillan. The forward was diagnosed with a sprained medial collateral ligament and a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, which he suffered in an intrasquad scrimmage Saturday. Continue reading →
Joe DiPenta, part of the Ducks’ 2007 Stanley Cup championship team, has signed an American Hockey League contract with the Syracuse Crunch, the Ducks’ top minor-league affiliate. The 31-year-old defenseman will also take part in training camp in Anaheim on a pro tryout contract.
DiPenta spent the 2008-09 season in the Swedish Elite League before returning to the AHL in 2009-10 with the Portland Pirates. Ducks general manager Bob Murray liked the veteran’s leadership skills for the Crunch and DiPenta, who still lives in Newport Beach and is active in the community, wanted to extend his career another season.
Known for his safe defensive play, DiPenta held a sixth/seventh defenseman role for the Ducks from 2005-08. In both 2006 and 2007 he appeared in 16 playoff games, going scoreless, after posting two goals and eight points in the regular season each year. His playing time dwindled in 2007-08 and he finished with a goal and five points.
In 174 career NHL games, DiPenta has six goals, 23 points and 110 penalty minutes.