Ducks send Heatley to AHL on conditioning assignment


A day after news surfaced that Ducks’ forward Dany Heatley underwent groin surgery, the club assigned him to the American Hockey League’s Norfolk Admirals on a long term injury conditioning loan.

Heatley, who signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Ducks in the off-season, is pointless in four games with Anaheim this season.

Additionally, defenseman Josh Manson was assigned to Norfolk and goaltender Igor Bobkov was sent to the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL.

Manson has an assist in 18 games with the Ducks this season.

Bobkov, who was most recently recalled by the Ducks on Dec. 1, has yet to make his NHL debut.

Ducks announce Heatley had groin surgery — three weeks ago


Dany Heatley’s only played four games this year and hasn’t dressed since early November — on Wednesday, the Ducks let slip why.

From the L.A. Times:

Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau told The Times on Wednesday that Heatley underwent a surgical procedure, in mid- to late November, after trying to return to play in late October and proceeding to go pointless in four games.

Heatley was placed on injured reserve after being a healthy scratch in the Ducks’ Nov. 12 home victory over the Kings. His original recovery plan was to rest and rehabilitate, but that changed.

A Ducks spokesman confirmed Heatley’s surgery took place “about three weeks ago,” a procedure that was previously not announced.

Anaheim begins a five-game road trip beginning on Friday in Edmonton, and Heatley is scheduled to travel with the team. Should the former 50-goal scorer draw back in, it’ll be interesting to see where he lands — upon signing a one-year, $1 million deal with the Ducks, there was speculation he’d be a top-line option next to Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf.

Perry, of course, is sidelined for the next 3-4 weeks with a knee injury suffered on a hip check from Minnesota blueliner Keith Ballard.

In praise of Matt Beleskey


The list of the NHL’s top-10 goalscorers is filled with familiar names — Tyler Seguin, Steve Stamkos, Corey Perry, Alex Ovechkin — but there’s a new one in the mix, highlighted here:


That’s 26-year-old Anaheim winger Matt Beleskey, a career checking forward that’s never scored more than 11 goals in an single NHL season. Yet there he is, looking down the goalscoring chart at Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel after the quarter mark, on pace for a 38-goal campaign.

Last night, his 12th goal of the year was the game-winner in a 3-2 win over Boston and his second GWG of the season. Which begs the question: How is this happening?

Simply put, Beleskey was gifted an opportunity this year and ran with it. Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau came into ’14-15 looking for winger to play on the top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry and, after the Dany Heatley experiment failed before it ever really started, Beleskey got his shot.

“It’s awesome,” Beleskey said, per the O.C. Register. “[Boudreau’s] been giving me confidence and has had confidence in me all year. It’s been nice.”

The relationship with Boudreau has been key to Beleskey’s breakout campaign. Boudreau recognized Beleskey’s versatility two seasons ago and expanded his responsibilities in an opening-round playoff loss to Detroit, and Beleskey responded by scoring two goals and three points in seven games.

The former fourth-round pick again showed his ability to raise his game in the postseason last year, scoring two goals and four points in five games (despite missing extensive time with a lower-body ailment.)

“Hockey’s a big confidence game,” Beleskey said upon signing a two-year extension last summer, per the Register. “For a little bit, I kind of lost that scoring touch. It all comes with opportunity. Bruce has put me in different situations and got me some more opportunities.

“Taking advantage of it is a big part.”

The Ducks are glad he’s found that confidence and is taking advantage of his chance. Anaheim’s had issues this season with secondary scoring; the Getzlaf-Perry-Beleskey line has combined to score 33 of 57 goals tallied by forwards this season. The likes of Emerson Etem (two goals), Jakob Silfverberg (one) and Rickard Rakell (zero) have given the Ducks virtually nothing in terms of goalscoring this season, which makes Beleskey’s contributions all the more vital.

That’s why Boudreau has a message for Beleskey: Keep shooting.

“You shoot the puck enough with a good shot, and good things are going to happen,” Boudreau said. “[Beleskey’s] feeling like he can score.”

Ducks aren’t sure how severe Beauchemin’s upper-body injury is

From the mumps to plain old injuries, it’s been a bumpy time for the Anaheim Ducks. Francois Beauchemin dealt with that illness earlier this season and suffered an upper-body injury last night, so he’s had a taste of both.

It’s unclear how serious that issue is, but the team expects to provide an update soon.

The 34-year-old missed several games with the mumps, so again, it hasn’t been an easy start. The Ducks have found ways to win, as last night’s 3-2 victory against the Calgary Flames brought their winning streak to three games. Still, they’re limping a bit right now, with Beauchemin added to a sick/injured list that includes Clayton Stone, Dany Heatley, John Gibson, Mark Fistric and Ben Lovejoy.

Beauchemin’s been logging about 23 minutes per game, so a prolonged setback could hurt the Ducks quite a bit.

Ducks demote Etem, Karlsson to AHL

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The Anaheim Ducks moved to young forwards to the AHL on Monday, with at least one name that might raise a few eyebrows.

Perhaps the most glaring name is Emerson Etem, the 29th pick of the 2010 NHL Draft. William Karlsson was the other forward who finds himself in the AHL thanks to this personnel tweak.

Nothing’s official, but maybe this move is being made in part because Dany Heatley or someone else is ready to go?

Either way, neither forward was really lighting up scoreboards. Etem, 22, only has four points in 21 games while Karlsson, 21, collected three in 16 contests. It’s not as if Etem has lacked for chances in particular; he got some looks with Ryan Getzlaf (particularly when Corey Perry was out), logging about 52 minutes of even-strength time with the star center.

Both have a chance to eventually be impact players for the Ducks, but they might need to prove themselves at the AHL level to get their next shot.