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Ducks Exit Interviews
By Michael Walters
After the disappointing series against the San Jose Sharks, the Anaheim Ducks held player interviews today. Here are the player and team updates.
In order to return to the ice this season, Kesler shed 20 pounds of weight. He plans to maintain the lower weight when he plays next season. He was very complimentary of the Ducks training staff in helping him prepare for each game.
He had this to say about the playoff elimination: “I think discipline comes up. For whatever reason, we were taking penalties and they capitalized. Our power play wasn’t good enough early on.There’s a lot of things that happened from game to game, but at the end of the day, we weren’t good enough.”
One bright spot for Anaheim this season has been the acquisition of Henrique. He had 20 goals and 16 assists in 57 games with the Ducks this season. He has one more year on his contract and sounds open to signing an extension. He had this to say about next season: “This is some of the most fun I’ve had in my career. I’m excited to get myself ready for what’s to come. We have unfinished business; we’ll be hungry to come back stronger.”
While Eaves was trying to rehab he suffered a torn labrum and ended up having surgery. It sounds like he could be back in October. Eaves was only able to play in two contests this season and was severely missed by the team.
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The Ducks also greatly missed having Fowler on the blueline during the series against the San Jose Sharks. He suffered a Grade 3 separation in his AC joint in the overtime victory against the Avalanche on April 1st. He was hopeful of being able to play in the second round if Anaheim had advanced.
He said his injury was a ruptured tendon in his finger from Radko Gudas fight. Bieksa was “disappointed” by not being able to play much in the postseason. It sounds like he will not be returning to the team next season as his contract expired this season with Anaheim.
Coaching & Team Moving Foward
According to General Manager Bob Murray, Randy Carlyle will be back next season as the coach. Murray definitely wants the team’s game to be more based on speed. He said that goaltending bailed them out often throughout the season. The good news is there appears to be no major surgeries scheduled over the summer like last year. The Ducks should be a much healthier group to start the 2018-19 season.
Hampus Lindholm, Rickard Rakell, and Korbinian Holzer are planning to play for their countries in the 2018 IIHF World Championships. Brandon Montour and Ondrej Kase are not planning to participate due to their contract status as restricted free agents come July.
Sources: Anaheim Ducks and associated beat writers.
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April 21st, 2018