Jean-Sebastien Giguere underwent successful surgery this morning to correct a sports hernia injury. The surgery was performed by Dr. Bill Meyer at Durham Regional Hospital in Durham, North Carolina.
Giguere is expected to return to the ice during training camp, possibly as early as the club’s first on-ice practice on Sept. 10.
Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Brian Burke spoke to the media via conference call about Giguere, Ilya Bryzgalov and other topics:
It’s a sports hernia and it’s very similar to what Todd Marchant had earlier this year. Whether the placement is precise as far as where the injury is, we can’t say. But the injury, the treatment and the prognosis are all very similar. We sent him to the same doctor as Todd [Dr. Bill Meyer at Durham Regional Hospital].
We’ve had guys come back and play after the surgery as little as three weeks later. This will be much longer than that, obviously. Todd was four weeks. They’re telling us the start of the regular season is not in doubt and the start of training camp is quite possible. We’ll see how Jiggy responds.
The most important question if you’re a sportswriter or fan of our team is, Why on earth are you doing this surgery in August if this is something that developed in the regular season? The answer is, it’s not. Jiggy has had a history of some discomfort with his groin, same as Todd Marchant. But the first time he informed us this might be a problem is last week. He’s been working out through the summer, doing different things, but he started his harder, more elevated, on-ice workouts last week and immediately felt some discomfort. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most painful, he described it as being a 2 or 3. So, this is something that he quite possibly could have played through. But we figured that with an injury that is that central to a goaltender’s position, there is no point in taking a chance with it. So, we said let’s go ahead and take care of it now. Our turnaround time from when the player first complained of the pain to surgery was seven or eight days.
The list of goaltenders who have battled groin soreness or lower abdominal injuries is a long one. The strain the position puts on that set of muscles is phenomenal. He had a hip issue the summer I got here and he had a surgical procedure on one hip and it helped. We expect that this will help. We don’t view it as a major problem at all.
On how this impacts whether or not the Ducks will look to trade Ilya Bryzgalov,
It doesn’t. If the right deal comes along, I’m going to do it. But what I consider to be the right deal, the bar might be a little bit higher. We’re going to know a lot more about how this is coming before camp opens, even if Jiggy is not ready for camp. We’ll look at what kind of progress he’s made over the next two or three weeks. My thinking is, other than raising the bar slightly, if we get the right offer on Bryz, we’ll take it.
There was quite a bit of activity at the Draft. A bunch of goaltenders moved and since then, a couple more have moved. Most of the guys that moved had two or three years left on their contracts or agreed in advance to some type of extension. Bryz is unrestricted in a year. So, it’s trickier. But in my perspective, if we have to start with three goalies, we’ll do it. Jonas Hiller is on a two-way contract and I’ve explained to his agent he might have to start in the minors. If we don’t have the right market, we might have to wait for someone to struggle out of the gate or get injured. It’s a morbid way to wait for a trade, but that may be what we have to do.
Bryz has been a first-class, stand-up guy throughout this entire thing. He has never asked for a trade. I have said he deserves the right to start somewhere. I don’t intend to carry a backup goaltender making what he makes now that our starter makes what he makes. A backup at Bryz’s salary when your starter is making $6 million makes a lot less sense than it did a year ago, especially when we have some cap issues. I can confidently predict he is going to be playing somewhere else if and when we make the right deal. But to be fair to Bryz, he hasn’t said a word. Not a peep. He’s a class act. But he has demonstrated he’s ready to start somewhere. We take pride in the fact that when a guy is not getting the opportunity he should get here, we find him a new home and get him on the ice. I think Bryz deserves that and we’re going to try and accommodate him.
On the status of Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne,
I have no further information from either one of them. I have no word. I told them from the start they could take their time. The fact that another day passes without getting a call from either one of them is good news in a lot of ways.
On his busy offseason,
I took my annual fishing trip with a bunch of NHL GMs to northern British Columbia. That was a nice couple of days off. I got some time with my family in Penticton. I’ve had some time off. But I will take these problems any summer. Anytime you tell me we’re going to have a short summer and go right from the season into the Draft and right into free agency and right into something else, I will gladly accept that burden any summer. I hope I get to have this problem again.