In an abbreviated training camp, there is no time to dawdle and wait and see. The Ducks have been making minor tweaks here and there, but the first cuts came on Wednesday.
After sending goaltender Viktor Fasth to Norfolk for conditioning and game action, the Ducks have brought up Fredrik Andersen. Andersen may very well be the guy on the bench to back up Jonas Hiller when the season begins on Saturday in Vancouver.
It was initially thought that Jeff Deslauriers would be the initial back up, but he has also received a plane ticket to Norfolk. While Fasth is likely to return soon, Deslauriers may be in the AHL a wee bit longer.
Standout prospect, John Gibson, was assigned to Kitchener. Gibson is too young for the AHL this year, and by sending him back to his junior team, the Ducks will not be able to make use of Gibson until next season at the earliest. Gibson continues to improve and develop and will be a nice addition in net for Anaheim in the future.
Enforcer Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond (perhaps we should just abbreviate his many names to P-L L-L) was invited to training camp on a professional tryout. The Ducks apparently liked what they saw and signed him to a two-way contract.
Also signed to two-way contracts were defenseman Ryan Parent and wingers Troy Bodie and Jay Rosehill.
After the Ducks one and only scrimmage in training camp on Wednesday, further cuts were made to the team in the attempt to pare things down to 23 players by Friday.
The Ducks decided to send forwards Emerson Etem and Patrick Maroon to Norfolk. Joining them was defenseman Nate Guenin.
Left on the bubble for defense are veteran Jordan Hendry and now Sami Vatanen. Vatanen has finally recovered sufficiently from a foot injury to come to what is left of training camp.
Forwards will be tougher to pare down. Kyle Palmieri seems to be doing well on the top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Devante Smith-Pelly made the team last year as a 19 year old. He will likely stay again. That leaves Peter Holland and Rickard Rakell fighting for a spot. Rakell is only 19 and will have to be returned to his junior team if he does not make the final cut. He is not old enough to play in Norfolk, so it is all or nothing with him.
Only one more cut is needed, but the question that remains is will there be a seventh defenseman or will there be an extra winger? We won't have long to wait to find out that answer.
It appears Kyle Palmieri and Devante Smith-Pelly could fill the open wing spots but Rickard Rakell, their first-round selection in 2011, has impressed and remains in camp.