While the Anaheim Ducks are languishing at 26th overall in the NHL and 14th in the Western Conference, at least there is one bright spot for the team. Young defenseman, Cam Fowler, is going to stick around a little longer.
Fowler was drafted 12th overall in June by the Ducks and they should personally thank the other 11 teams who passed him by. Fowler had one goal and two assists before getting creamed by Shane Doan on October 17, breaking his nose and causing a stiff neck. Doan was suspended for the hit and Fowler has been out since.
Now sufficiently recovered and cleared, Fowler should be back in the Ducks line-up on Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
"To go down with an injury like that, it kind of all washes away,” the 18-year old said. “You have to build from scratch again. These practices have been good and I feel good out there.”
Fowler now has a reason to feel even better. Having played six games before being injured, there was still the nine game limit usually given to draft picks before being sent back to juniors. GM Bob Murray confirmed he did not have to worry about that looming number, announcing today that he would be staying with the club, at least for now.
"It wasn’t really that difficult a decision,” coach Randy Carlyle said. “The way Cam Fowler has played for our hockey club, it quite amazes me still to think we got him at 12th.”
Adding to the surreal factor is that now Fowler will be moving in with his childhood idol, Scott Niedermayer, who will be the best mentor Fowler could have.
The Ducks need all the help they can get from Fowler, who has been poised with the puck and not looked out of place on the ice thus far.
Continued injuries certainly have not helped Anaheim, the latest being Kyle Chipchura out for a minimum of a week with a concussion after encountering Doug Murray on Saturday in San Jose. Chipchura goes on IR as Beleskey gets ready to come off IR after his concussion.
Andy Sutton? Still out another three to four weeks recovering from a badly broken thumb. Dan Sexton? Still out at least another week after his nose blocked a puck. Thank goodness for good surgeons who put all the pieces back together again (where were they when Humpty Dumpty needed assistance?)
Joffrey Lupul? First glimmer of good news came after Monday's practice when Carlyle intimated that Lupul might be ready to start skating with the team in a while.
In the meantime, the Ducks continue to limp along, yearning for points.