Craig Anderson

Goalies might have a tougher time finding work during lockout

As NHL veterans start to play overseas, there’s one group that will have a particularly hard time landing jobs: goaltenders.

Although some of them will be able to spend the lockout in Europe, finding a team looking to integrate a new goaltender into their roster — especially one that might leave mid-season if a new CBA is signed — might be more difficult than finding a team open to adding a forward or defenseman to their squad.

Senators starting goaltender Craig Anderson is one of the NHL netminders that has run into this problem, according to the Ottawa Sun.

“I can’t speak for the other goalies, but I’ve been looking at this situation for the last six weeks and trying to put a Plan B in place,” said Anderson’s agent, Justin Duberman. “There’s just not a lot of jobs out there right now for goalies. When teams were signing during the free agency in Europe, they weren’t planning for a lockout.

“There were a couple of teams in Switzerland that left some import spots open that would have already been filled just in case they could sign an NHL forward or defenceman. For the goalie position, teams really don’t operate that way. That’s been a big challenge.”

Anderson had a 2.83 GAA and .914 save percentage in 63 games last season. He also helped the Ottawa Senators play evenly against the New York Rangers in the first round, although the Senators ultimately lost the series in seven games.

Ducks name Kesler alternate captain

Ryan Kesler
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For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”

On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.

With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.

“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”

As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.

It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.

Diaz could leave Rangers for Europe

Raphael Diaz, Mike Sislo
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Could Raphael Diaz be on his way back to Switzerland?

We’ll know in a month.

Diaz, who lost out on the Rangers’ final blueline spot in training camp, has reported to the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but doesn’t seem pleased with his current situation, per the Post:

The 29-year-old Diaz, who cleared waivers last Saturday after the Blueshirts opted to keep rookie Dylan McIlrath as the club’s seventh on the blue line, is interested in the European option if he is not in the NHL.

The Blueshirts have told Diaz they will revisit the situation at the end of October, but have not promised to release him or assign him to a European team at that point.

If Diaz, a Swiss native who represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, does play in Europe during the season, he would have to go through waivers in order to return to the NHL.

Diaz’s agent, Ritch Winter, told the Post that Diaz signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Rangers “to play with the Rangers.”

And it’s understandable if Diaz — a journeyman offensive defenseman — isn’t happy with this situation.

While some believe McIlrath earned his roster spot on merit, some think it’s because of his contract status. McIlrath, who’s only 23 and a former first-round pick, would’ve needed to clear waivers to go back to Hartford, and it’s believed he would’ve been claimed by another club.