Anaheim’s patchwork defense took another hit on Thursday as the club announced Luca Sbisa would be out for the remainder of the preseason, and is questionable to start the beginning of the year.
Sbisa, 23, has been a regular fixture on the Ducks blueline over the last two seasons, appearing in 121 of 130 games while averaging nearly 20 minutes a night. The former first-round pick (19th overall, 2008) injured his ankle during Anaheim’s preseason opener against Phoenix and didn’t play in Tuesday’s 6-0 loss to the Kings or Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Colorado.
As mentioned, it’s another hit for the Anaheim defense.
The club is already without the services of veteran Sheldon Souray, who tore wrist ligaments in August and could be out ’til the new year. While the club did scramble to sign Mark Fistric, it still lacks veteran presences on the blueline with the absence of Tony Lydman.
Lydman, 35, averaged over 20 minutes a night for the Ducks last year, but also suffered a concussion in their postseason series against Detroit that has sidelined him indefinitely. Lydman, currently a UFA, has received contract offers but is unsure he wants to resume playing.
There are also questions about whether Francois Beauchemin will be ready for the start of the year. He underwent torn ACL surgery in the offseason and is progressing well, but there are no guarantees he’ll be good to go for Oct. 2.
Update (5:15 p.m. ET)