The stage is being set for Saku Koivu’s return.
Koivu, out since Oct. 28 with a concussion, is reportedly close to coming back to action — to facilitate the move, Anaheim sent forward Rickard Rakell back to AHL Norfolk on Monday.
Rakell, 20, appeared in six games for the Ducks during his recall assignment, playing a career-high 15:21 in a 6-2 win over Buffalo on Nov. 8. The former first-round pick (30th overall, 2011) also scored his first NHL point in the Sabres game.
As for Koivu, he’s a gametime decision tonight against Pittsburgh as both he and fellow injured forward Matt Beleskey only recently returned to practice. The veteran Finn has missed 10 straight games recovering from the concussion — suffered on a hit from Columbus’ Brandon Dubinsky — and would be a nice boost to a Ducks team looking to snap a three-game losing streak.