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Report from Vancouver

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
By Dan Wood

Ducks Radio Analyst

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Only something of significant magnitude could possibly overshadow anticipation for the 2010 Winter Olympics in this, the very excited host city.

Unfortunately for the Ducks, such news came today with official word that winger Joffrey Lupul is scheduled to undergo back surgery Thursday in Marina Del Rey.

Lupul, who has been bothered since training camp, has been diagnosed with a herniated disc in his back. The surgery will be performed by renowned back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins, and if all goes well, Lupul could return to action in as little as 6-8 weeks.

“Now we have other people who are getting an opportunity,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said after the morning skate in preparation for tonight’s meeting with the Vancouver Canucks at GM Place. “These are things that stretch your lineup, but it gives us an opportunity to evaluate our depth.”

Lupul, acquired in an off-season trade that sent defenseman Chris Pronger to the Philadelphia Flyers, played through pain for the first 20 games of the season. He missed seven from Nov. 21-Dec. 3, but then returned to score four goals in three games before being sidelined again for two games last weekend.

“He played incredibly well,” Ducks winger Bobby Ryan said. “This certainly takes away from us a little bit.”

Ryan, meanwhile, was among several Ducks players fielding media inquires regarding the upcoming Olympics. Ryan and defenseman Ryan Whitney are candidates to represent the United States, while center Ryan Getzlaf, right wing Corey Perry and defenseman Scott Niedermayer are likely players for team Canada, and goaltender Jonas Hiller figures to represent Switzerland.

“Just the thought of it kind of gives you goose bumps,” Whitney said.

The main concern right now, Ryan said, is for the Ducks to climb in the NHL’s Western Conference standings. The Olympic talk is pretty much just an aside at this point.

“I certainly don’t think it’s a distraction,” Ryan said. “When we leave here, we won’t be talking about it. It just shows that the fever has kicked in here in Vancouver.”

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