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Anaheim Ducks play at home in first pre-season game vs. Coyotes

One more year with the Anaheim Ducks.

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!  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.  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.  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.  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.  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.  They also signed left wing Josh Green to a one-year contract.  The Ducks then went back to the Rangers and swapped left wing Matt McCue for left wing Tomas Zaborsky.  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.  Saddest of all for many fans is the absence of Scott Neidermayer, who retired after last season.  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.  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.  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.