The first piece of this week’s Anaheim Ducks News & Rumors focuses on several transactions and injuries. There are many moving pieces and that’s likely to continue if the injured Ducks aren’t ready to go.
Grant, Pateryn Placed on Waivers
Following Friday night’s loss in the waning seconds of the third period to the Minnesota Wild, the Ducks placed both Derek Grant and Greg Pateryn on waivers. Both players cleared, and while Pateryn was reassigned to the American Hockey League (AHL) with the San Diego Gulls, Grant remained with the Ducks after clearing. Grant was a healthy scratch for Monday night’s game against the Calgary Flames.
Both players haven’t looked particularly convincing as Grant’s numbers in five-on-five play have not been very good, and Pateryn has looked a step slow, especially playing alongside Kevin Shattenkirk, who isn’t the fleetest of foot either.
Pateryn and Grant coming out of the lineup mean an opportunity for both Josh Mahura and Max Jones. Mahura has been up and down with the Ducks since becoming a pro hockey player and this season will be crucial to whether he sticks as a full-time NHL player. Now that he needs to pass through waivers to be sent down to the AHL, it’s now or never for Mahura if he wants to carve out a role with the Ducks.
Jones’ situation isn’t quite as dire. He missed the season opener with non-COVID illness, but with the emergence of Bo Groulx, there were too many mouths to feed. The absence of Troy Terry for Friday night’s game meant that Jones was able to draw in and his fearlessness and aggressive playstyle will work well on the Ducks’ fourth line.
Benoit Recalled from San Diego
Simon Benoit returned with the big club less than a week after being one of the final training camp cuts from the Ducks’ Opening Night roster. Benoit’s ability to be sent down to the AHL without needing to pass through waivers played a large role in why the defenseman did not make the final cut. Still, it looks like he will be with the Ducks for the foreseeable future after Pateryn was waived.
On Saturday night, Benoit played in the Gulls’ 5-2 loss to the Ontario Reign, donning the ‘A’ on his sweater. The Gulls utilized seven defensemen, but he still ate plenty of minutes, especially on the penalty kill. The 23-year-old has emerged as a viable option after joining the Gulls prior to the 2018-19 season on an AHL deal. He was rewarded with an entry-level deal at the end of that season.
His progression from season to season led to a cup of coffee at the NHL level last season. It’s possible that Benoit could see extended playing time down the stretch once the Ducks decide what to do with their expiring contracts on the blue line in Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson.
McTavish, Jones, Lindholm Suffer Injuries on Monday Night
Mason McTavish played just a little over five minutes against the Calgary Flames on Monday night before suffering a lower-body injury that would keep him out for the remainder of the game. Jones and Lindholm also went to the locker room after blocking two separate shots. With another game on the slate tonight for the Ducks – against a dangerous Edmonton team, no less– there will be a myriad of changes that have to be made if the trio of injured Ducks can’t go. More news should be available before puck drop.
The logical decision would be to slot in all three healthy scratches – Grant, Benoit, and Sam Steel – into the lineup and call up a couple of players from San Diego. The likely choices would be Pateryn and Sam Carrick, who both do not need to clear waivers. Jacob Larsson could also be an option as he, too, does not need to clear waivers again.
The Ducks are back at it again tonight in Edmonton as they continue their six-game road trip. It’ll be a tough one, given how many players they could potentially miss for the back-end of a back-to-back game, but getting a win against the Flames after being down multiple times has to feel good. Be on the lookout for the second piece of Ducks News & Rumors later this week.
Derek has been a hockey fan for over 10 years and a sports fan in general for more than two decades.
Prior to graduating from UCCS in Colorado Springs, CO in May 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Sports Communication, he spent two and a half years as part of UCCS’ on-campus student newspaper staff–both as a sports reporter and editor. He is now creating Ducks-related content from his home in Southern California.
In his free time he enjoys playing FIFA, watching video essays on YouTube and curating his Spotify playlists.