While it didn’t result in a Stanley Cup, the Anaheim Ducks were mostly successful in 2016-17, ending their run in the Western Conference Final.
Pushing that deep into the playoffs sometimes come at a price, and it seems like the Ducks will limp* into at least the first few months of 2017-18. Injuries accrued – possibly during that run – could make things difficult early on.
With Ducks training camp beginning, Ducks GM Bob Murray provided the OC Register’s Eric Stephens and Kyle Shohara of the team website with an unofficial timeline for when key players Ryan Kesler, Hampus Lindholm, and Sami Vatanen may return from their respective ailments.
Kesler by Christmas?
From Murray’s comments, a late-December return might be a little optimistic for Kesler’s recovery from hip surgery.
“As of right now, there is no timeline whatsoever,” Murray said. “He couldn’t skate [during the second half of the season]. No push-off on his right leg. He has to rebuild his glutes and quads. That’s what we’re in the process of doing right now. I’m hopeful to have him back before Christmas, but that’s all I’m going to say right now. You know how Kes is. He’s pushing it pretty good.”
MORE: Kesler stands out as one of the NHL’s hardest workers. Maybe that wear-and-tear caught up with him?
Early November for Vatanen, Lindholm?
Both young blueliners are healing up from shoulder surgeries. Vatanen was a piece Murray pulled strings to keep during the expansion draft, while Lindholm is quietly building his resume as one of the best-kept secrets among quality NHL defensemen.
This all makes you wonder about the Ducks possibly suffering from some growing pains in 2017-18, but Murray seems to take a pretty sober approach.
* – Yes, the urge was there to use “waddle.”