It hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for the Anaheim Ducks since their season opener. An exhilarating comeback victory at home in overtime has now been overshadowed by four consecutive losses on the road. Things do seem to be looking up though as the Ducks played much better last night against the Boston Bruins.
Gulls Sign Grimaldi to One-Year Deal
Rocco Grimaldi had a strong preseason showing with the Ducks while on a professional tryout (PTO), perhaps strong enough to earn an NHL contract. But no offer came.
There were rumors that Grimaldi had been offered a minor league deal as the Ducks wanted to keep him in the organization but nothing was confirmed.
Grimaldi will look to prove that he deserves to be on an NHL roster after finally signing an American Hockey League (AHL) deal with the San Diego Gulls, the Ducks AHL affiliate, last Saturday. If anything, he’ll help add offense to a team that struggled to find any real source of constant goalscoring aside from Alex Limoges, who is no longer in the organization.
Vaakanainen Not Close to Returning
Urho Vaakanainen suffered an injury when he slammed into the boards during a preseason game against the San Jose Sharks. While he responded well to treatment and didn’t even spend the night in the hospital, he’s not close to a return just yet, according to head coach Dallas Eakins.
“These things take time,” said Eakins. “He’s doing (okay), but he’s not up to skating.” (from, ‘Ducks review basics before facing high-scoring Rangers, The Orange County Register, 10/16/22). Vaakanainen has not yet been cleared to skate at this time.
White, Leason Make Ducks Debuts
After the Ducks were trounced 7-1 last Saturday by the New York Islanders, Eakins felt changes had to be made. Defenseman Colton White and forward Brett Leason were inserted for Monday’s matchup against the New York Rangers with Nathan Beaulieu and Jakob Silfverberg coming out of the lineup, respectively.
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Both White and Leason are new to the organization, with the former having signed this summer in free agency while the latter was claimed off waivers just before the regular season began. Neither player played a very big role in the Ducks’ 6-4 loss to the Rangers, with the pair both finishing as a minus-1 and combining for zero points.
Regenda Gets First NHL Points
It’s been a long road to the NHL for Pavol Regenda, the 22-year-old winger from Slovakia whom the Ducks signed to an entry-level deal this past summer. After a strong preseason performance, he made the Opening Night roster and was in the lineup for the first game of the season.
Regenda registered the first two points of his NHL career on Monday against the Rangers, assisting on Frank Vatrano and Derek Grant’s goals. He forms one-third of the Ducks’ fourth line along with Grant and Max Jones and could potentially move up in the lineup if he continues to produce as he did during the preseason.
Ducks Reveal Reverse Retro Jersey
The quack is back, baby. On Thursday the Ducks revealed their Reverse Retro jerseys for the 2022-23 season and a familiar face donned the front of the special sweater.
The Ducks’ version will feature the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim logo, a homage to the team’s roots. A primary white jersey with accents of orange, black and gold, they will wear this new jersey eight times over the course of this season. Two of those will be next month at Honda Center, Nov. 6 against the Florida Panthers and Nov. 15 against the Detroit Red Wings. The Retro Reverse jerseys will be available to purchase online and in-person at the team store starting on Nov. 15.
The Ducks are off until Sunday when they take on the Red Wings and reigning Calder Trophy winner Moritz Seider. It’s the final stop of their five-game road trip and this is their last chance to salvage something from what’s been a miserable set of games thus far.