The Anaheim Ducks haven’t been in the best of form as of late. Thanks to a slew of positive COVID tests, they’ve had to cobble together a lineup for the past several games, and it’s shown in their play. With a three-day break ahead of their matchup tonight against the Colorado Avalanche, the Ducks will hope to add some players back to their lineup.
Terry Headed to All Star Game, Zegras to Follow?
Troy Terry is officially heading to the 2022 NHL All-Star Game after winning the Pacific Division portion of the “Last Men In” vote. The winners in their respective divisions, along with Terry, were Steven Stamkos, Nazem Kadri, and Mika Zibanejad. Jake Guentzel will replace Zibanejad, who will not attend for personal reasons.
Terry seemed an obvious snub after the initial All-Star Game rosters were released. After all, he’s sixth in the league in goals scored and in the midst of a breakout season. Ducks fans came out in full force to get Terry into the All-Star Game, filling the ballots (10 votes every 24 hours per NHL.com account) for the Highlands Ranch, Colo. native.
Trevor Zegras could potentially be on his way to the All-Star Game as well. Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek tweeted on Saturday that Zegras could be a candidate for the Breakaway Challenge in the NHL Skills Challenge. Zegras has never been one to shy away from getting creative, whether that’s on the rush, in the offensive zone, or behind the net.
The 20-year-old has been known to get shifty with his shootout moves during practices and warmups, but being able to showcase his creativity on a national stage without the pressure of the extra point needing to be won could result in some truly spectacular shootout attempts.
Fowler, Stolarz, Manson Enter COVID Protocol
The day after a demoralizing 7-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild, the Ducks were without their No. 1 defenseman and backup goaltender. Cam Fowler and Anthony Stolarz entered COVID protocol prior to Saturday night’s matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks. This resulted in Brendan Guhle making his season debut and the Ducks turning to their fourth-string goaltender, Olle Eriksson Ek, to back up their third-string goaltender, Lukas Dostal, who started.
Josh Manson became the latest Duck to enter COVID protocol yesterday morning along with assistant coach Geoff Ward and video coach Joe Piscotty. The three-day break between games has created some time for those who entered COVID protocol earlier last week to return for Wednesday’s game. John Gibson appears to be ready to go while Josh Mahura, who has been on injured reserve with an upper-body injury, was on the ice for practice on Tuesday.
Ducks Begin Interviews with GM Candidates
The Ducks have begun interviews with internal candidates for the open general manager position, reports TSN’s Pierre LeBrun. The Ducks started their interviews last week with Jeff Solomon, Martin Madden, Jr., and Dave Nonis.
Solomon took over as interim general manager after Bob Murray’s resignation earlier this season and previously served as the vice president of hockey operations and executive vice president of legal affairs for the Los Angeles Kings before joining the Ducks front office in the same hockey operations role this past offseason.
Madden, Jr. is in his 14th season with the Ducks and second as assistant general manager. He previously served as the Ducks’ director of amateur scouting. He was promoted to assistant general manager to dissuade teams around the league who were looking to poach the Quebec City native. The odds of him becoming a general manager are still fairly high. Whether or not that opportunity will come with the Ducks remains to be seen.
Nonis is the only in-house candidate with previous general manager experience, having been named the youngest-ever general manager of the Vancouver Canucks in 2004. He spent four seasons in this position before being relieved of his duties. He also served as the Toronto Maple Leafs’ general manager from Jan. 2013 to April 2015.
LeBrun reports that external candidates will be interviewed soon, but it’s unclear what specific names are on that list.
The Ducks have a tough slate of games ahead as they’ll face the Avalanche tonight and then the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday, also at home. Then they’ll head out on an extended road trip that begins with matchups against the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs. With the NHL again adjusting their COVID protocols, the hope will be that the Ducks can get back to full strength in time for their long road trip.
Derek Lee is a contributor for The Hockey Writers covering the Anaheim Ducks. Derek has spent nearly two decades immersed in the world of sports and has been writing about sports for five years. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Sports Communication in May 2020 from UCCS in Colorado Springs, Colo., where he also spent two and a half years on staff with their on-campus student newspaper–both as a sports reporter and editor. In his free time, he enjoys playing FIFA, curating his Spotify playlists and attending concerts & sporting events