By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks held a scrimmage today at The Rinks Anaheim ICE location. John Gibson and Sami Vatanen were present after having played in the World Cup of Hockey. Most of the players present were divided into two teams(Orange or Black).
Team Orange consisted of forwards Joseph Cramarossa, Max Jones, Kyle MacKinnon,Tyler Morley, Stefan Noesen,Dany Sabourin, David Sideroff, Tyler Soy, and Corey Tropp. Defensemen included Brian Cooper, Simon Despres, Josh Mahura, Darian Skeoch, Shea Theodore, and Andy Welinski. In net were goalies Matt Hackett and Yann Danis.
Team Black’s roster included forwards Alex Dostie, Kalle Kossila, Antoine Laganiere, Zack MacEwen, Julius Nattinen, Andrew O’Brien, Nick Ritchie, Kevin Roy, Sam Steel, Nick Sorensen, and Keaton Thompson. Defensemen were Nate Guenin, Jacob Larsson, Jaycob Megna, Brandon Montour, and Jeff Schultz. Goalies Dustin Tokarski and Kevin Boyle was in net.
The game was organized into two halves, 45 minutes each in duration. In the first half, Joseph Cramarossa scored the only goal and Team Orange lead 1-0. In the second half, Nick Ritchie scored for Team Black to tie the game. Tyler Soy answered giving Team Orange a 2-1 lead. Andy Welinski followed up to make 3-1. Kevin Roy also scored for Team Orange, who went on to win 4-2.
Hampus Lindholm Contract Update
According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Hampus Lindholm is not close to being re-signed. The issue appears to be finding a common ground as to the value of his contract. Players like Seth Jones and Morgan Rielly received $5.4 and $5 million a year deals respectively. And on the high end of the spectrum, Aaron Ekblad received a contract at $7.5 million a year. McKenzie thinks each side is trying to find a number in between that they can agree on. A Ducks team source confirmed that contract talks with Lindholm and Rickard Rakell have not been going well. Rakell has been resting since having surgery to fix complications from his previous appendectomy.
Nic Kerdiles Injury Update
Kerdiles was hit hard into the boards during the rookie game contest against the Colorado Avalanche last week. He is experiencing concussion-like symptoms and is being evaluated. According to the Ducks, he will not practice until he is symptom-free.
With the absence of Kerdiles, Lindholm, and Rakell there is room for other players to step up on the Anaheim roster. The Ducks are solid on the blue line and if Lindholm isn’t signed by the start of the season, then players like Theodore and Montour could have a chance at playing with the big club. The Ducks still have Kevin Bieksa, Simon Despres, Cam Fowler, Korbinian Holzer, Josh Manson, Clayton Stoner, and Sami Vatanen.
The forward situation is more tenuous. Top six forwards include Andrew Cogliano, Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, Corey Perry, and Jakob Silfverberg. The bottom six forwards include Jared Boll, Ryan Garbutt, Mason Raymond, Nick Ritchie, Nate Thompson(injured), Antoine Vermette, and Chris Wagner. If Rakell isn’t re-signed at the beginning of the season then Raymond and Ritchie could see opportunities in a top-six forward role.
The Ducks only have 11 healthy signed NHL forwards listed above(including Ritchie and Wagner), which means other players who were with the San Diego Gulls last year could get a chance in Anaheim. Some players that could challenge for a spot include Joseph Cramarossa, Ondrej Kase, Kalle Kossila, Stefan Noesen, and Michael Sgarbossa.
There is much uncertainty with how the Anaheim lineup will shake out, but with it comes the opportunity of a lifetime for some of the younger players.
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