A bit slower of a news day today. I have some player interviews, analysis and some new player photos.
An interview with Chris Pronger via the Globe and Mail
ANAHEIM, Calif — A little known fact about Chris Pronger:
On that sunny California night when the Anaheim Ducks won the Stanley Cup last June, Pronger separated his right shoulder after getting checked from behind into the boards. No one said anything about it at the time for two good reasons: the Ducks obliterated the Ottawa Senators in that decisive fifth game anyway; and when you spend your life pursuing a dream and then finally realize it, the celebration helps to distract from the pain.
But Pronger would have been touch and go to play a sixth game ("I guess if you shoot it up enough, sure you could go," he says, smiling) and was thankful that he didn't have to make the choice.
"It was nice to see the score get run up like that so I didn't have to worry about it," said the amiable big man, "because it was pretty sore the next couple of days.
"Now, it feels good. It feels really good."
Pronger is one of only two NHLers to qualify for the Stanley Cup final in each of the last two years (Martin Gerber is the other) and thus knows better than his Ducks' teammates about the challenges of a short summer. Two years ago, Pronger's Edmonton Oilers made it to the seventh game of the Stanley Cup final, only to lose to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Thanks to the Olympic break, the playoffs during the Oilers' run of 05-06 spilled into the third week of June. Soon after that, Pronger asked for - and received - a trade out of Edmonton, a controversial and head-line grabbing decision that created, among other things, a great deal of personal stress for him and his family.
"So that was a little different situation," he said. "But what I learned was that you need to give yourself a break. I didn't give myself enough of a break the year before, so I felt awful at camp last year. During the summer, my elbow was swollen. My back was sore. My knee was sore. I took a week off and then I started training again. That wasn't enough time.
"This year, I made sure I took a month off and took it easy. I'm not 25 anymore."
Read the rest here - Link
Another Bertuzzi interview via the Globe and Mail
ANAHEIM — Todd Bertuzzi is looking not for redemption, exactly, but for a fresh start in southern California. He's in a market suddenly crazy for hockey again, playing for a manager, Brian Burke, who stood by him during the darkest days of the Steve Moore incident, with its resultant suspension and pending lawsuit.
He's wearing the single digit No. 4 on his Anaheim Ducks jersey instead of the more familiar 44 because that number belongs to Rob Niedermayer, and fellow winger Chris Kunitz had dibs on 14.
Bertuzzi looks slimmer than he has in years, down to 230 pounds from the 245 that he played at for most of his career, seeking to get his career back on the rails again, after three mostly nightmarish seasons, played out in medical rooms and court rooms and just about everywhere but on the ice.
Bertuzzi made it into only seven regular-season games for his next-to-last employer, the Florida Panthers, before back surgery cost him virtually all of the 2006-07 regular season. The Detroit Red Wings picked up his playing rights at the trading deadline and two games into the series against the Calgary Flames, he made his playoff debut.
In all, he got into 16 games, scored seven points and had a few decent moments playing on the line with Robert Lang and a revolving cast of right-siders.
Mindful of the fact that Teemu Selanne, his leading goal scorer, might retire after winning the Stanley Cup last spring, Burke gave his former Vancouver Canucks employee a two-year, $8-million (U.S.) contract and a chance to play as a top-six forward on the defending champions.
Nominally, Bertuzzi took Selanne's place on the team's payroll, but realistically, the style he plays makes him a more logical replacement for big, burly Dustin Penner, who scored 29 goals for the Ducks last season and then left to join Edmonton as a free agent.
Read the rest here - Link
Earl from BOC has some great analysis (again) of the Ducks. In this case it is about "what needs to be replaced"
Well, now that camp is halfway done and it’s become apparent that Niedermayer or Selanne have no imminent plans to rejoin the team, I think I can finally sit down and start writing up a season preview. Previewing this Anaheim team is still a bag of questions, however, as I don’t really know how forward lines or defensive pairs will be laid out, but in any case a good first step is to determine precisely what’s missing from last year. Essentially, this can be boiled down to three significant players and their contributions: Teemu Selanne, Dustin Penner, and Scott Niedermayer. These three combined for 103 goals over 103 games (regular season plus playoffs), but let’s delve in a bit to see where those goals really came from.
To study this, I am going to compare Selanne & Penner’s output to the results of the rest of the Anaheim forwards. Then I will compare Niedermayer’s output to the results of the rest of the defensemen. Finally, I will look at all three players’ results compared to the rest of the team.
Note that this strictly is dealing with on-ice productivity, ignoring such factors as experience, leadership, salary, or popularity. I will also be talking a bit about quality of minutes based on Behind the Net’s quality of teammate and quality of opposition metrics, which basically provide a context for the ice time based on the other players on the ice.
Read the rest here - Link