Ducks Radio Analyst
PITTSBURGH – The Ducks are likely to have a new face in the lineup when they meet the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins tonight.
Veteran left wing Kyle Calder, recalled Saturday night from the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL, is expected to make his Ducks debut in the club’s final visit to Mellon Arena. The Penguins are set to open a new building, across the street, next season.
Calder, 30, participated in training camp with the Ducks, going scoreless in four exhibition games, before being among the team’s final roster cuts. The Ducks signed him to a one-year contract Oct. 28, and Calder registered three goals and six points in five games with Bakersfield.
“He’s a veteran guy who’s played in the league a number of years,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said after Monday’s morning skate. “We felt he might be a guy we’d call upon at some point.”
It remains to be seen exactly where Calder will fit in the lineup. Center Saku Koivu
, Carlyle said, is likely to miss a fourth consecutive game because of a strained groin, while center Ryan Carter remains out because of a bruised foot.
In 576 games over nine NHL seasons with Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit and Los Angeles, Calder has notched 114 goals, 292 points and 301 penalty minutes. He had eight goals, 27 points and 41 penalty minutes in 74 games with the Kings last season.
“He’s safe playing along the wall,” Carlyle said. “We can probably put him in any of our top three groupings and expect him to complement any of them.”
Calder arrived in Pittsburgh on Saturday night, having connected through Minneapolis-St. Paul after having been in Alaska on a road trip with the Condors. Calder is fully aware of the Ducks’ disappointing 6-9-3 start, and is determined to do whatever he can to help the situation.
“I’m pretty excited to be back,” he said. “I see a lot of familiar faces. I’ve played against a lot of these guys for a lot of years. It’s going to be a lot of work, a lot of hard work, to dig ourselves out of a hole.”
The Ducks will return home following tonight’s game and open a seven-game home stand against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night at Honda Center.