Today was a slow news day. Well other than having a new captain and the season opener is tomorrow. Just a few articles on Pronger being made captain, some coverage of the london visit via the official Ducks blog, John Ahlers gives us the last preview of the Ducks I will post (finally) and some pictures from today's practice.
Official Ducks Blog coverage of the London Visit
The Ducks had a busy afternoon, even after practice ended. Chris Pronger was named team captain and sat for the media for a bit. We have that story right here.
Then the Ducks attended a VIP reception held for the fans who came to London via the NHL Premiere package. That was held in one of several restaurants in the expansive main entrance area at O2 Arena. It's a part of the place that really doesn't make it feel like a sports/event arena. It's a huge, wide open section with restaurants and shops. And sprinkled throughout the area are these attractive helper girls, all of whom inexplicably wear angels wings on their backs. I can't believe we don't have a photo of that, but we don't. You'll get a better look at all of this when Ducks TV does a tour of the arena, which we'll post later tonight.
Anyway, here are photos from the afternoon.
Read the rest here - Link
Here are some pictures from the last practice.
Official Ducks Gallery - Link
Coverage of the naming of Pronger as captain via the LA Times
LONDON -- Defenseman Chris Pronger, a Norris Trophy finalist and perpetrator of two nasty hits that earned him two league-imposed suspensions in the playoffs last spring, was appointed the Ducks' captain.
He will become the seventh Ducks player to wear the "C," an honor valued more highly in hockey than other sports. Coach Randy Carlyle said Friday that Pronger would retain the captaincy if Scott Niedermayer, who held the position on last season's Stanley Cup championship team, returned from his apparent retirement.
Carlyle said the Ducks, though reliant on many players for leadership, needed to designate a permanent captain to be a leader in team decisions. He said Niedermayer had been told he would not regain the captaincy if he returned.
"It's not that we forgot Scott Niedermayer is still out there. It's just the hand that we've been dealt here in allowing him the time he needs," Carlyle said.
"Our lives go on. So does his. But it's going on in a different manner."
The alternates, also appointed by the coaches, will be Chris Kunitz and Rob Niedermayer. The alternate to the alternates will be Todd Marchant.
Read the rest here - Link
CBC has their coverage
Scott Niedermayer hasn't yet decided if he's ready to move on, but the Anaheim Ducks have.
With the star defenceman sidelined for at least the start of the season as he mulls retirement, the Ducks handed his captaincy to fellow blueliner Chris Pronger on Friday."I'm following a tremendous leader in Scotty," Pronger told a news conference at O2 Arena in London, England, where Anaheim is preparing for its season opener against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday (CBC, 12 p.m. ET).
While Niedermayer may still return, the Ducks, who are also waiting to hear from star forward Teemu Selanne about his possible retirement plans, decided they'd be better off transferring the C to someone who will be on the ice from the start.
"It's of vast importance to us to move forward," said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle, who made the decision. "We're about living the now — we can't live in the past. That's how we've tried to deal with it. We've made the statement that, yeah, we'd love to have Scott Niedermayer back, we'd love to have Teemu Selanne back, but that's not reality.
"This is our group and we're preparing for our first game.
Read the rest here - Link
John Ahlers has a look at the Ducks
DUCKS DEALT DIFFICULT HANDRead the rest here - Link
By John Ahlers
Repeating as Stanley Cup Champions has proven to be a difficult task as no team in the NHL has pulled off the feat in the last decade. However, in the salary cap era that emerged from the lockout of 2004-2005, the task of putting back-to-back titles on ice has become more daunting.
Enter the Anaheim Ducks of 2007-2008. Like the Carolina Hurricanes before them, Randy Carlyle’s team has a different look from that of the group that skated around Honda Center on June 6, hoisting Lord Stanley’s gift to North American ice hockey. Unlike the Canes though, the Ducks challenge entering the season does not stop there. Among the list of obstacles in Anaheim’s way is a shorter offseason than even those who accompanied them late into last spring’s Playoff tournament, but also key chemistry hurdles, a very early scheduling test and the ever-present target that appears on the defending champions’ back.
The roster changes that Anaheim has undertaken are not the type any team would brush off, let alone the top team from the previous year. Gone from the Ducks are the top two goal producers from last season in Teemu Selanne (contemplating retirement) and Dustin Penner (free agent signing with Edmonton). Not only are their 77 goals looking to be replaced, but their collective absence affects both of the proposed top two lines coming into the season. That, coupled with Captain Scott Niedermayer’s continued retirement contemplation leaves the offense in need for more than one individual to step up. The veteran defenseman not only led all blueliners in the NHL in point production,, but leaves an on-ice leadership void as well.