A new opportunity for Ducks’ youth.

For the Ducks, the benefits of having a wealth of players participating in the Olympics extend beyond organizational pride.

Anaheim’s eight Olympians are considered non-roster players by the NHL until after their national team is eliminated in Vancouver. That means that goaltender Jonas Hiller, whose Swiss squad lost to the United States on Wednesday, became the first to officially re-join the Ducks – the league added him to the active roster at 2 p.m. today.

Ryan Getzlaf, Scott Niedermayer, Corey Perry, Saku Koivu, Teemu Selanne, Bobby Ryan and Ryan Whitney, meanwhile, are giving Randy Carlyle and Bob Murray some vacant roster spots to play with until they’re gone from the Games.

On Thursday it was announced that Dan Sexton, Timo Pielmeier, Brendan Mikkelson and Brett Festerling had been recalled from the minors, and both Sexton and Pielmeier were among the 16 players in practice Thursday. Mikkelson and Festerling were still en route from Toronto, where they had been playing with the American Hockey League’s Marlies.

“This is when the NHL-level team, the parent hockey club, has to be
selfish,” said Carlyle, who expected no additional recalls. “I’ve been on the other side of it and it’s not a lot of fun
when those things happen. But the reality of it is, we made a decision
that’s in the best interest of the Anaheim Ducks. They can come
complement us in this time.”
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Nice debut for Sexton.

Dan Sexton, playing his first game in the American Hockey League since being sent back to Manitoba by the Ducks, scored twice in the Moose’s 5-4 loss to the San Antonio Rampage.

In six games for the Moose this season, Sexton has three goals and five points.

Ducks defenseman prospect Brian Salcido had a pair of assists in the game, including one on a first-period power play goal by Sexton. Salcido has seven goals and 14 points in 44 games for the Moose.

Dan Sexton gets the call.

At 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds, 22-year-old Dan Sexton would fit well in an ECHL or AHL clubhouse, which is where he’s spent his first professional season until now. Because of Teemu Selanne’s broken hand, he is getting a chance to step into the Ducks’ lineup, possibly tonight against the Minnesota Wild.

The speedy right wing began the season with the ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors, scoring 26 points in 18 games, before moving up to the AHL’s Manitoba Moose on Nov. 25. In five games for Manitoba, Sexton recorded a goal and two assists. He was signed as a free agent out of Bowling Green over the summer.

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Christensen: ‘Changes are probably inevitable.’

Erik Christensen, in an interview with the Winnipeg Sun, talks about his conditioning assignment with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, as well as the state of the Ducks.

Christensen went unclaimed after he was placed on waivers Nov. 2, then rode the pine until centers Saku Koivu and Ryan Carter went down with injuries, forcing the Ducks to use Christensen for three games on last week’s road trip.

“It’s tough, at one point the team is willing to lose you and the next, they need you and they’re willing to put you in the lineup,” Christensen told the paper. “I thought I played well in the three games I was in (after clearing waivers) but Anaheim is at the bottom of the Western Conference standings. Changes are probably inevitable down there.”

Head coach Randy Carlyle disagreed specifically with Christensen’s self-evaluation after practice Friday, saying “we thought we had Christensen for a couple games to give him an opportunity, but we didn’t think that worked very well.” Christensen was available to the Ducks in the road finale Monday in Pittsburgh, but Carlyle opted to shuffle the forward lines and play defenseman Sheldon Brookbank on the fourth line instead.

Christensen loaned to AHL

Center Erik Christensen has been loaned to the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League for conditioning purposes. Christensen will remain on the Ducks’ NHL roster, but can play in games and practice with Manitoba for a period of up to 14 days.

The 25-year-old had been held without a point in nine games for the Ducks this season, and was a healthy scratch the past two. Christensen was placed on waivers Nov. 2 but went unclaimed; without an AHL affiliate, it took some time for the Ducks to find Christensen a new home.