Earlier, we passed along word that Emerson Etem and Josh Manson had been recalled from AHL Norfolk to replace the injured Matt Beleskey and Sami Vatanen — and now, it looks like Etem and Manson will be in Anaheim for a while:
INJURY UPDATES: @Matt_Beleskey (upper-body) is out 2-4 weeks. Sami Vatanen (lower-body) is out 4-6 weeks.
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) February 17, 2015
While both players will be missed — Beleskey is second on the team with 21 goals — the Vatanen injury is a killer given its length, and how important he’s been to Anaheim’s success this season. No other Ducks defenseman had appeared in all 57 games; the 23-year-old Finn leads also leads all Anaheim rearguards in points (34) while averaging close to 22 minutes per night.
It’ll be interesting to see what this latest development does to GM Bob Murray’s trade deadline approach. Rumors have suggested the Ducks wanted to add depth both up front and on defense, but now they may need a piece to try and replace Vatanen for the remainder of the regular season.
Should he miss the full six weeks, his return would coincide with the beginning of April — at which time the Ducks would have just four games left in their campaign.