Ducks recall Mikkelson, demote MacDonald.

The Ducks have recalled defenseman Brendan Mikkelson from the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League and reassigned goaltender Joey MacDonald to the Marlies.

Jonas Hiller, who has missed five games with back spasms, is making the trip to Dallas for tomorrow’s game against the Stars and could turn Curtis McElhinney into a backup again. Center Ryan Getzlaf (sprained ankle) did not make the Ducks’ road trip.

The 22-year-old Mikkelson has two assists in 25 games spanning three stints with the Ducks this season. He was originally recalled from Toronto on Oct. 11 and again on Feb. 25 and Mar. 23. MacDonald, 30, did not appear in a game for the Ducks during his only time with the team. He was originally acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs for a seventh-round pick in the June draft.

Colorado 4, Ducks 3.

The Ducks outshot the Avalanche 14-2 in the first period, built a 2-0 lead, then allowed four consecutive goals and began their post-Olympic stretch with a loss.

Jason Blake, Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermayer scored for the Ducks, while Colorado’s Chris Stewart, Peter Mueller, Matt Duchene and T.J. Galiardi put pucks past Jonas Hiller. The Avalanche converted three of six power plays against a Ducks squad reduced to five defensemen because of the pregame trade of Ryan Whitney to Edmonton.

Niedermayer, whose third-period goal deflected into the net off the skate of Scott Hannan, said the pregame trades of Whitney, Petteri Nokelainen and Vesa Toskala were still on players’ minds.

“But we still had a job to do,” he said. “We still know the way we need to play to have success and we didn’t do it, for whatever reason.”
Continue reading “Colorado 4, Ducks 3.” »

Trade deadline recap.

Just filed the story regarding today’s trades. In all, 55 players changed teams in 31 deals, both NHL records.

The Ducks’ five trades seemed meager in comparison to the Phoenix Coyotes’ seven, the most of any team. Here are the highlights from Bob Murray’s pregame summit high atop Honda Center:
Continue reading “Trade deadline recap.” »

Whitney traded to Edmonton for Visnovsky.

In their biggest move on a busy day, the Ducks have traded defenseman Ryan Whitney and a sixth-round draft pick in 2010 to the Edmonton Oilers for Lubomir Visnovsky.

The 33-year-old Visnovsky scored 10 goals and 32 points in 57 games for the Oilers. He led the team with 17 power-play points (four goals, 13 assists).

Both players appeared in the Olympics last week, Visnovsky for fourth-place Slovakia and Whitney for the silver-winning United States.

“Lubomir Visnovsky is a skilled defenseman with a proven track record,” general manager Bob Murray said in a statement. “We feel this is a major addition for us, not only for our stretch drive but going forward.”

Whitney, 27, had four goals and 28 points in 62 games this season, and his 13 power-play points were sixth on the team. On Tuesday, Whitney posed at center ice along with Anaheim’s seven medal-winning Olympians, but those would be his last images with the Ducks.

Continue reading “Whitney traded to Edmonton for Visnovsky.” »

Home, sweet home for Ducks’ Olympians.

The Ducks’ migration south from Vancouver is not complete yet. And why would it be, with the myriad of medals to sort through – seven of them, the most of any team in the NHL – not to mention the gamut of emotions that come with them?

Maybe it’s not that surprising that goaltender Jonas Hiller, whose Swiss team was eliminated by the United States in the quarterfinals, chose not to watch the gold medal game between the U.S. and Canada on Sunday.

“I had family in town. I’ve seen enough hockey games until the end of the year. I didn’t really feel like I had to see hockey again,” Hiller said.

“I have to take my days where I can.”
Continue reading “Home, sweet home for Ducks’ Olympians.” »

USA 6, Finland 1.

Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne won’t be playing for gold.

Bobby Ryan and Ryan Whitney will be after a big win Friday over the Finns

Team USA sent a message by scoring all six of their goals in the game’s first 12:46, chasing goalie Miikka Kiprusoff after the first four, and matching their most lopsided win of the tournament. Whitney and Ryan were held scoreless; Ryan sustained a head injury midway through the third period but remained on the bench and did not appear (on TV) to be bleeding.

Patrick Kane scored twice and Ryan Malone, Paul Stastny, Erik Johnson and Zach Parise scored goals for the U.S.

Selanne’s decorated Olympic career will come to an end Saturday night against the loser of tonight’s game between Canada and Slovakia. He and Koivu were held scoreless, their team’s only goal coming off the stick of Antti Miettinen, after Tim Thomas had relieved U.S. starter Ryan Miller in goal.

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.”
Continue reading “A new opportunity for Ducks’ youth.” »

USA 2, Switzerland 0.

Jonas Hiller’s Olympic run has come to an end, while Team USA rolls on.

Hiller made it perilously close, however, stopping 42 of 43 shots and not allowing a goal until Zach Parise deflected a Brian Rafalski shot at 2:08 of the third period. Parise added an empty-netter with 12 seconds left and Hiller on the bench.

The U.S. had two goals disallowed including this one, which Hiller tipped off his stick, off his shoulder and into the net – one-tenth of a second after time ran out on the second period.

Anaheim teammates Bobby Ryan and Ryan Whitney were held without a point; Ryan has a goal and an assist through four games of the tournament, while Whitney is scoreless.

Hiller might crop up at Ducks practice one of these days (they’ll be at Anaheim Ice tomorrow at 11 a.m.), while the U.S. moves on to a semifinal matchup with either Finland or the Czech Republic on Friday.

U.S. beats Norway, 6-1; quiet day for locals.

Brian Rafalski scored twice, and Chris Drury, Patrick Kane, Phil Kessel and Ryan Malone scored once in a 6-1 win for Team USA over Norway at the Olympic men’s ice hockey tournament.

The Ducks’ Ryan Whitney and Bobby Ryan were kept off the scoreboard. Only an assist by the Kings’ Jack Johnson (when Malone buried the rebound of his slap shot) gave Southern California a share of the victory.

Jonas Hiller and Team Switzerland take to the ice against Scott Niedermayer, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Team Canada at 4:30 p.m. (CNBC)