By Kyle Shohara
The Ducks held their first on-ice session of training camp this morning in front of a packed house at THE RINKS – Anaheim ICE.
Players on the ice during the morning session included Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and offseason free agent signing Dany Heatley. Also on the ice was defenseman Clayton Stoner, who was paired with Sami Vatanen for most of the 75-minute session. In net were goaltenders Frederik Andersen and Jason LaBarbera.
Leading the group was head coach Bruce Boudreau, along with assistant coaches Trent Yawney, Brad Lauer and Scott Niedermayer.
Over the past couple seasons, the Duck have had a rotating group of players slotted as the top line’s left wing. Heatley is the newest experiment, and the 33-year-old says he’s eager for the opportunity. “It was good to be out there and get going,” he said. “It’s fun to play with [Getzlaf and Perry]. I played with Getz in the past, and they’re two great players. I’m hoping to be on that line and contribute.”
The two-time 50-goal scorer enters the season with high expectations. “I’m not going to talk numbers or anything, but I had a real good summer. I feel like I’m in really good shape. I’m ready to get going.”
For Stoner, the on-ice session served as a chance to get acquainted with his new teammates. “It was good to get that competitiveness back on the ice,” he said. “Being out there with all my new teammates was fun. We’re just going to build every day.”
Though defense pairings can change throughout the duration of camp, Stoner says his stay-at-home style works well with Vatanen’s offensive flair. “I think I can work well with Sami, or whoever I’m paired with,” he said. “Hopefully our two different styles can work together and be a good pairing.”
Defenseman Shea Theodore and forward Kyle Palmieri were not on the ice today, due to injury.
Theodore suffered an ulnar collateral ligament sprain in his right elbow during Sunday's Futures Game vs. San Jose. The team is being cautious, so his approximate timetable to return is 4-6 weeks. Palmieri suffered a right high ankle sprain while skating at home during the offseason. Once again, the team is being cautious, but Palmieri says he hopes to return for final preseason game on Oct. 4 vs. San Jose.
“With Palmieri, it happened long enough ago in training that we still feel like he’s going to get into the last preseason game and start the season,” said Boudreau. “Theodore, it’s his second year and we would have liked to have seen more of him, but every team has their breaks. We just have to live through it. Hopefully he gets better and has a great year. I’m sure we’ll see him here in the future.”
The Ducks will hold their second on-ice session this afternoon from 1:15 – 2:45 p.m. at Anaheim ICE.
Remaining training camp schedule (subject to change)
Saturday, Sept. 20: Group B practice 9:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.; Group A practice 1:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 21: Group A practice 9:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.; Group B practice 1:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
THE RINKS - Anaheim ICE is located at 300 West Lincoln Avenue in Anaheim (one mile east of the 5 freeway off the Lincoln Ave. exit). Parking is available in two separate structures adjacent to the facility.