Selanne Perry

Ducks entering a make or break season


When the Anaheim Ducks struggled early in the 2011-12 campaign, trade rumors started to fly. For a time, it seemed plausible that the Ducks might conduct a fire sale.

Even after the season ended, Bobby Ryan’s name has still frequently come up, and earlier this summer, Ryan publicly expressed his frustration.

Perhaps Ryan will get traded before the start of the 2012-13 campaign, but that alone wouldn’t be the end of the potential turmoil in Anaheim.

Teemu Selanne can’t play forever, the Ducks have a severe lack of offensive depth, and both Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents next summer. The Ducks want to re-sign them, but who wouldn’t?

If Perry and Getzlaf want to, they can simply play out the final season of their respective contracts and then get top dollar with almost any club in the league. There will probably even be a few squads that will be more than eager to offer them matching contracts in the same vein as what the Minnesota Wild did with Ryan Suter and Zach Parise.

Why would they leave Anaheim? Well, they might not. They might be comfortable and just want nice, long contracts complete with no-trade clauses. Maybe they’ll even be motivated by the possibility of the next CBA altering the way long-term contracts work.

However, it’s typically easier for a winning franchise to convince their talented players to stay. Over the last three seasons, Anaheim has failed to make the playoffs twice and has lost in the first round.

They need a strong season to prove to players inside and outside the organization that the Ducks are still moving in the right track. Otherwise, this team might look very different in 2013-14

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?