It hasn't been that long of a training camp, but things sure have moved fast for the Anaheim Ducks. On Monday they sent Josh Green and Maxime Macenauer to their AHL team in Syracuse, leaving the team with 23 healthy players on the roster.
Those players spent Monday and Tuesday tuning up for their opening game in Detroit on Friday night. The Ducks will take on the Red Wings on Friday, Nashville on Saturday and play a Columbus Day matinee in St. Louis on Monday before returning home for their home opener against the Vancouver Canucks next Wednesday.
Among those on the opening night roster is defenseman Cam Fowler, who was drafted this past June at #12. The Ducks were surprised that Fowler was still available when it was their turn to pick. So much so that they did not even have a jersey prepared with Fowler's name on it. While other teams passed over the talented 18-year-old, the Ducks were happy to take him.
Fowler had a terrific training camp, proving consistently that he belonged in the line-up. Coach Randy Carlyle has seemed to have nothing but praise for the Windsor, Ontario native, who grew up in Michigan.
Now Fowler gets to continue the surreal dream that began in June by opening the 2010-2011 season on the Ducks roster and in the Ducks line-up against the Detroit Red Wings. Needless to say, plenty of family and friends will be on hand to support him in the otherwise sea of red.
Three players did not travel with the team. Joffrey Lupul and Jason Jaffray have both been put in injured reserve to start the season. Lupul is still recovering from back surgery last December and Jaffray is waiting to have surgery on a torn ACL. Toni Lydman, who has been out of commission since experiencing a bad bout of double vision last month, will begin the season listed as an injured non-roster player. Lydman is still undergoing testing to determine the cause of his issues.
The NHL is currently running "Questions Will Be Answered" spots. The Ducks have plenty of their own questions to be answered. How will the defense fare? Can the Ducks get enough offense to make up for defensive lapses? Will the team stay out of the penalty box? Is Jonas Hiller able to play like a maniac in net all year long? Are the Ducks capable of being a .500 team in the first month of the season, giving them the good start they desperately need? When will Teemu Selanne finally retire? Is Ryan Getzlaf up to the demands of being team captain? Will Carlyle have a job past December?
There is no magic eight ball, no psychic visions into the future. Only time will be able to provide the answers to the questions still looming overhead.
Answers begin on Friday, October 8.