The Ducks signed goaltender John Gibson to a three-season, $6.9-million contract last month and then stashed him in San Diego with their new AHL team, the Gulls. At this stage, it’s probably far better for the 22-year-old Gibson to play in the minor leagues than sit on the bench in the NHL. He didn’t discount the idea after playing in a 5-3 exhibition victory over the Reign on Monday at the Honda Center.
“When I’m told to play, I’m going to play and, hopefully, it’s going to be a lot,” Gibson said after making 16 saves. “I’m just going to play. I could sit here and say a bunch of things, but I think at the end of the day, I’m just going to play hockey. It’ll pan out one way or the other. I’ve just got to play well and see what happens.
“It’s nice to be a backup. I’m more of a competitive guy and want to play.”
The Ducks sent goaltender John Gibson to their new AHL team in San Diego in their final round of cuts, reaching the NHL roster limit of 23 players Monday. They also sent forwards Chris Mueller and Nick Ritchie and defensemen Joe Piskula and Korbinian Holzer to the Gulls.
In addition, the Ducks placed center Nate Thompson and left wing Kenton Helgesen on injured reserve to start the season. Thompson is likely to be sidelined for another month or more after undergoing right shoulder surgery in the off-season. Shawn Horcoff is slated to replace Thompson on the fourth line.
The Ducks recalled right wing Brian McGrattan from their AHL team in San Diego on Thursday, presumably to play in an exhibition later in the evening against the Colorado Avalanche at the Honda Center. They also assigned forwards Max Friberg, Ondrej Kase and Michael Sgarbossa and goaltender Matt Hackett to San Diego.
The Ducks on Monday trimmed their training camp roster to 34 players.
Defensemen Sheldon Brookbank and Vitaly Vishnevski, two former Ducks, were released from their pro tryouts.
Forwards Matt Bailey, Joseph Cramarossa, Nicholas Krediles, Brian McGrattan, Stefan Noesen and Harry Zolnierczyk and defensemen Jaycob Megna, Brandon Montour, Andrew O’Brien, Shane O’Brien and Shea Theodore were assigned to the San Diego Gulls of the AHL.
In addition, forwards Antoine Laganiere, Kyle MacKinnon and Kenny Ryan, defenseman Eric Knodel and goalie Ryan Faragher were released from their pro tryouts and assigned to the Gulls. Forward Bryan Moore was released from his amateur tryout and assigned to the Gulls.
The Ducks also returned forward Julius Nattinen to Barrie of the junior-level OHL. The team released forward Matt Berry from his amateur tryout and released forward Charlie Sarault and defenseman Kevin Gagne from their tryouts, pending assignments.