Mark your calendars Anaheim Ducks fans, the horribly long summer is almost over, and the Ducks start the pre-season at home on September 21st! Â At the end of the Ducks season last year, fans were taking bets on whether Teemu Selanne would return with the Ducks for one more season. Â After a year of injuries and a disappointing finish out of the playoffs, Teemu looked tired, and was clearly debating the merits of coming back for another year. Â It was a tough decision that worried fans after a season of struggle, injuries, and and disjointed play on the ice.
The Finnish Flash-Back!
But by early August, with pre-season games fast approaching, Teemu Selanne had re-signed with the Ducks, and Anaheim fans could breathe a sigh of relief. Â There were other significant lineup changes over the summer that will definitely affect the Ducks’ performance in the first game of the pre-season against the Pheonix Coyotes September 21st. Â Whether they’ll pay off for the team and Ducks fans…well hey, at least Teemu’s back, so that’s a positive to hang onto in the midst of swirling uncertainties.
Trouble in the left wing?
July was a busy month, as the Ducks re-signed defenseman Brenden Mikkelson to a one-year contract, and traded away defenseman Steve Eminger for two left wing New York Rangers players, Aaron Voros and Ryan Hillier. Â They also signed left wing Josh Green to a one-year contract. Â The Ducks then went back to the Rangers and swapped left wing Matt McCue for left wing Tomas Zaborsky. Â Adjustments weren’t just made to the left wing position; the Ducks also acquired Danny Syvret in a one-year deal.
Please cross your fingers…
Some familiar faces are gone; Steve Eminger was traded away, as was James Wisniewski, for a 3rd round pick in the 2011 Entry Draft. Â Saddest of all for many fans is the absence of Scott Neidermayer, who retired after last season. Â And right wing Joffrey Lupul will most likely miss training camp, the pre-season, and the start of the regular season, as he battles an infection which developed after an operation on a herniated disc in December of last year.
Hope for the future?
Anaheim Ducks fans will get a taste of this new brew in the fast-approaching first pre-season game, September 21st at home. Â Ryan Carter, Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf, George Parros, Corey Perry, Saku Koivu, and a few more from last year’s lineup will be back again, hoping to cultivate more chemistry on the ice. Â Hopefully they can also channel last year’s disappointment into something constructive, and fans will be watching from the very first moment on the evening of September 21st for positive signs.