The Anaheim Ducks continue to be impacted by the Omicron variant, like many teams around the NHL. Elsewhere, one of their former players looks to leave his handprint on his local community and develop junior hockey in Southern California.
Gibson Shows Off Angels Night Mask
If there’s one thing the Ducks’ goaltenders (past and present) consistently hit on, it’s their fantastic mask designs.
John Gibson’s latest mask design for Angels Night highlighted Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, the superstar pair of the Ducks’ nearby baseball neighbors, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
The mask honors the Angels’ 60th anniversary and also pays homage to the Angels’ retired numbers, with the numbers of players like Nolan Ryan and Rod Carew displayed around the mask. A large “36” in the color and style of the Angels font at the bottom of the mask brings it all together.
The mask will be available for auction at a later date. You can see the mask for yourself by clicking here.
Former Duck Etem Looking to Grow Junior Hockey in SoCal
It’s been a couple of years since Emerson Etem retired and several years since he donned the webbed “D” across the front of the Ducks jersey, but the former NHLer and Long Beach, Calif. native is making sure his impact is still being made in the Southern California hockey community.
The 29-year-old and his wife, Danette, purchased the Anaheim Avalanche, a team in the United States Premier Hockey League, earlier this year and relocated them to his hometown.
The Avalanche were rebranded to the Long Beach Shredders and Etem will serve as part-time owner, head coach, and general manager of the Shredders. In doing this, Etem is making a commitment to grow junior hockey in the Southern California area.
“This team will open up a ton of doors for local hockey players and others across the world who are looking for the highest quality Tier-3 junior experience,” said Etem upon purchasing the team.
Though Etem’s playing career didn’t pan out as expected, that hasn’t stopped him from continuing to make an impact on the game he knows so well.
Ducks Continue to be Impacted by COVID
After a resilient 4-1 win with a depleted team against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday, the Ducks were all set to take on the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. That is until four more of their players entered COVID protocol and the game was postponed until Sunday.
While Trevor Zegras did exit COVID protocol on Thursday and has practiced with the team since, Gibson, Hampus Lindholm, Vinni Lettieri, and Sam Carrick entered. Carrick is the only one who is showing symptoms, reports The Athletic’s, Eric Stephens.
Because the Ducks’ game on Thursday against the Red Wings was postponed until Sunday, the Ducks will now play a weekend back-to-back instead of their original Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday slate. With Gibson in COVID protocol, goaltender Olle Eriksson Ek was recalled from San Diego to provide cover. Anthony Stolarz will presumably start tonight and tomorrow night’s games.
Assuming that tonight’s game against the New York Rangers is a go, the Ducks will be playing for the first time in four days. They have practiced multiple times during their three days off but head coach Dallas Eakins will have to do some line shuffling once again due to the number of players out for COVID protocols. With the San Diego Gulls playing last night and tonight, reinforcements from the minor league may be limited.
Derek has been a hockey fan for 10 years and a sports fan in general for more than two decades.
He graduated from UCCS in Colorado Springs, CO in May 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Sports Communication and spent the last several years as part of UCCS’ on-campus student newspaper staff–both as a reporter and editor. He is now creating Ducks-related content from his home in Southern California.