Ducks coach describes Penner’s camp as ‘mediocre’


Fair or not, when people see a guy as big and talented as Dustin Penner go through long dry spells, they wonder if the effort’s there.

Whatever the reasoning may be, Anaheim Ducks head coach hasn’t been impressed with the 30-year-old’s play, calling his training camp work “mediocre” according to the OC Register’s Eric Stephens.

Penner, 30, seemed to shrug off a recent loss to some extent for it just being the preseason, so maybe he’s just showing an Allen Iverson-level disinterest in practice.

On the other hand, Penner might just be a hot-and-cold kind of guy. He found himself a healthy scratch at times during the 2013 season with the Los Angeles Kings, yet he also helped that team win a Stanley Cup in 2012 and has four 20+ goal seasons to his name.

For what it’s worth, some onlookers believed the Ducks got a bargain in Penner.

It’s a real shame, too, because it was fun to imagine the the ice cream-loving coach and pancake-munching player enjoying snacks together. Maybe a banana split? Oh well, it’s a long season still.

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.