Ducks re-sign Maroon, Crunch’s second-leading scorer.

When the Ducks obtained Patrick Maroon from the Philadelphia Flyers last November, general manager Bob Murray called it a “second chance” for a player who was abruptly dismissed from the Flyers’ American Hockey League affiliate a month earlier.

Maroon took advantage of that chance and was rewarded with a one-year contract that pays $550,000 in the NHL and $60,000 in the AHL.

The 23-year-old winger had 21 goals and 48 points — both second on the Crunch — in 57 games last season after joining Syracuse from the Adirondack Phantoms. The Ducks originally acquired Maroon and David Laliberte from the Flyers for Danny Syvret and Rob Bordson.

A sixth-round draft pick by the Flyers in 2007, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound winger has spent all four of his professional seasons in the AHL.

Emery up; Levasseur to Syracuse.

J.P. Levasseur’s stint on the Ducks’ bench didn’t last long.

He is heading back to Syracuse, and Ray Emery is on his way back to Anaheim, following the Crunch’s 3-1 win against the Texas Stars earlier today. Emery was named the second star of the game after his 27-save performance. Emery improved to 4-1-0 with a 1.98 goals-against average and .943 save percentage in five games.

The Ducks don’t play back-to-back games until March 19-20, so it’s unclear when Emery will see NHL game action. His AHL days could be over for now, as it doesn’t seem like he has anything left to prove at that level.

Levasseur did not appear in a game, only serving as the backup to Dan Ellis on Saturday.

Emery to Syracuse; Levasseur recalled.

The Ducks have sent goaltender Ray Emery back to AHL affiliate Syracuse and recalled Jean-Phillippe Levasseur. Emery didn’t appear in a game after he was recalled from Syracuse on Feb. 23, serving as the backup to Curtis McElhinney, then Dan Ellis.

Emery went 2-1-0 with a 2.62 goals-against average and .925 save percentage in three games with the Crunch after the Ducks signed him off the free-agent scrap heap Feb. 7.

Levasseur has a 2.97 GAA, .912 save percentage, and an 8-20-3 record in Syracuse. While poor, his record is more telling of a Crunch team that now ranks dead last in the AHL. Levasseur, who has never appeared in an NHL game, also has four shutouts this season.

The move is probably designed to give Emery more work; the Ducks don’t play back-to-back games until March 19-20 and would not appear to need a backup goalie until then.

On Ray Emery’s latest start, and what it means for the Ducks.

Ray Emery improved to 2-1 in his first three AHL starts Tuesday, earning the win in the Syracuse Crunch’s 4-3 win over the visiting Charlotte Checkers.

Emery stopped 34 of 37 shots between regulation and overtime, then stopped 3 of 4 in the shootout to preserve the win. Veteran forward Josh Green told the Syracuse Post-Standard after the game that “Ray’s an NHL goalie right now.”

That’s up to the Ducks to decide, and there was no indication at Tuesday’s practice that Emery was in the pool of candidates to start Wednesday night against the Kings. Aside from the logistical constraint of having the goalie fly across the country on short notice, Emery would have to make back-to-back starts for the second time in less than a week after not playing a game in 12 months. Emery already started consecutive games Friday and Saturday — and at least those were in the same time zone.

So the question before the Ducks probably isn’t if Emery will start tomorrow, but rather, is Josh Green right?

Here are the facts on the table: Emery has a 2.62 goals-against average and .925 save percentage to go with his 2-1-0 record. The Wild visit Anaheim on Friday and the Avalanche visit Sunday. The Crunch have home games Friday and Saturday. Jonas Hiller is recuperating from another bout of dizziness, and Curtis McElhinney is recuperating from three bad starts. If neither goalie has resolved his issues come Friday — and if Josh Green is right — it makes sense that Emery would be on his way to Anaheim.

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.

Ray Emery on taking the next step.

Which Ray Emery are the Ducks getting?

That’s the million-dollar question – rather, the prorated $500,000 question so long as he’s in the NHL, or the prorated $105,000 question as long as he’s in Syracuse. And from a physical standpoint, it’s a question no one – not even Emery himself – will be able to answer until he is playing a live hockey game.

He hasn’t done that in more than a year.
Continue reading “Ray Emery on taking the next step.” »

Pielmeier assigned to Elmira.

The Ducks assigned Timo Pielmeier to ECHL affiliate Elmira on Sunday, mainly because it was more practical than assigning the goalie to AHL affiliate Syracuse.

The Crunch don’t play again until Friday. The Elmira Jackals will be playing Tuesday in Las Vegas, and Friday through Sunday in Ontario. Pielmeier served as the backup to Curtis McElhinney on Saturday in Denver while Jonas Hiller was dealing with fatigue symptoms. If Hiller is still ill by the time of the Ducks’ next game Wednesday (at Vancouver), Pielmeier will be closer to the West Coast – just in case.

If he’s still a Jackal by Friday, Pielmeier might face the Ontario Reign again for the first time since last season, when he regularly visited Ontario as a member of the Bakersfield Condors. The 21-year-old has appeared in 27 games for Syracuse this season, going 10-14-1 with
a 3.33 goals against average and .901 save percentage

The skinny on Ray Emery.

Ray Emery’s agent confirmed that the Ducks are one of “three or four” teams with interest in the goaltender, who is attempting to come back from a potentially career-threatening hip injury.

“I’ve had really good discussions with the Ducks,” J.P. Barry said Thursday. “I’ve been reaching out to teams because I feel that Ray’s ready.”

Emery has not played since his last game with the Philadelphia Flyers on Feb. 1, 2010. He was shut down for the season after being diagnosed with avascular necrosis, a condition in which bone cells die due to a lack of blood supply. The 28-year-old goalie underwent surgery to graft a bone from his lower leg into his hip and has been aggressively rehabilitating since.

Just how ready is Emery to return?

“I think if we put Ray on a team Monday, he could play Friday,” Barry said.

Continue reading “The skinny on Ray Emery.” »

Palmieri named to AHL All-Star team.

Forward prospect Kyle Palmieri was chosen Tuesday to represent the Syracuse Crunch at the American Hockey League All-Star Game on Jan. 31 in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Palmieri has nine goals and 13 points in 22 games for the Ducks’ AHL affiliate. Since he was demoted after a 10-game NHL stint in November, the 19-year-old winger has only four points (two goals, two assists) in 13 games – a span that was interrupted by Palmieri’s participation in the World Junior Championships.

As it was in the NHL, online balloting was used to determine the first All-Stars. The fans’ choices will be in the starting lineup, while the 30 AHL coaches filled out the remainder of the roster. Every team must be represented and Palmieri was the only player chosen from a Crunch team that has seen plenty of upheaval, including the recent trade of leading scorer Trevor Smith.

Palmieri will also take part in the AHL Skills Competition on Jan. 30 in Hershey.

Bonino sent to Syracuse.

Nick Bonino has been assigned to the Syracuse Crunch, two months and a day after the Ducks recalled the rookie forward from their American Hockey League affiliate.

Getting extensive playing time as a third-line center, Bonino established himself as a reliable defensive player. He was tied for eighth among active forwards with an overall minus-3 rating – not bad considering the team’s minus-10 goal differential – and a plus-1 on the road, best on the squad. But the 22-year-old also had the ignominious distinction of playing in more games (26) than any NHL player without a point.

Bonino’s fate was sealed after the Ducks traded for Montreal Canadiens forward Maxim Kitsyn on Friday, demoted Bonino to the fourth line and moved him to left wing for the first time since he was in high school.