The Ducks are back to business after their Scandinavian road trip. No more saunas and reindeer filets. Time to get over the jet lag and prepare for the home opener against the San Jose Sharks on Friday evening.
Anaheim wasted no time in Sweden after spending six days in Finland. They left for home after defeating the New York Rangers, the second of two NHL Premiere games in Europe.
The Ducks were allowed to take three goaltenders with them to Europe, a special exemption from the NHL for all teams traveling there. It was no surprise that Jeff Deslauriers was the odd man out. He was put on waivers and sent to the AHL in Syracuse.
Anaheim also put Brian McGrattan on waivers, but he was picked up by the Nashville Predators.
In other moves, Jake Newton was traded to Chicago in exchange for Kyle Cumiskey. Cumiskey joined Deslauriers in heading to Syracuse.
The Ducks will continue to practice and prepare for the home opener on Friday, a day that is filled with a little more pomp and circumstance than normal. Instead of having the players arrive on a red carpet, this year it will be the Miller Lite blue carpet event. The event starts at 3:00pm in the afternoon with pre-game interviews on the carpet by Kent French. Music will be provided by the local Orange County band, “d.”
On Friday, there will be three new concessions at the Honda Center – Outlaws Smokehouse, Burger Bistro and Sliced Gourmet Deli. Every year they add new places with varying menus to make sure there is something for everyone.
There will be a magnet schedule giveaway and fans can also purchase the first of four Surprise Pucks. Pucks will cost $30 and 23 lucky pucks will come with NHL premiere jerseys worn in Finland and Sweden. Pucks will also be sold on November 11, February 1, and April 1.
The home opener will also mark the first of 17 games in which the Ducks will wear a “24” patch on their jerseys to honor former Duck, Ruslan Salei. Salei passed away, along with the rest of his Lokomotiv teammates, in a fiery plane crash in Russia on September 7.
The Ducks certainly wants to play like they did against the Rangers and not like they did against the Buffalo Sabres. A win, at home, against the Sharks would be a very nice way to start things off in Anaheim.