The Ducks coaching staff cut seven more players before the start of the game Saturday night, which caused changes to the planned roster against the Kings. The players that have been cut are listed below, along with where they were assigned.
Assigned to Manitoba (AHL):
Brian Salcido – Defenseman
Assigned to Juniors (Kelowna):
Brandon McMillan – Center
There are several things to take away from these cuts. First, the fact the Ducks don’t have an official AHL affiliate is causing all kinds of problems for the team. The main minor league team the Ducks will assign players to is San Antonio, which is also Phoenix’s main affiliate. This will wreak havoc for the development of Ducks players as they will be playing in a different system and with different players.
A bigger problem is the fact that Salcido is being sent down, but has to clear waivers first. He’s been in the minors for a few years and was expected to contend for a roster spot, but did not play well in his preseason games. If he is claimed, which is very likely, the Ducks will know on Monday. He may still have a chance to play for the Ducks if he clears waivers and there are injuries, but will have to wait until next year to land a regular role. Salcido is under contract for one year at $500,000 if he plays in the NHL this season.
Brandon McMillan had a strong camp but would not have been able to develop as the coaching staff wanted. McMillan is the type of player that needs to be on one of the top lines in order to be effective, and that wasn’t going to happen with the Ducks this season. The same can be said for Macenauer.
The players that have been sent down were given a good taste of what NHL hockey feels like, so they will know what to work on this year. Some players were able to make good impressions on the coaches and they’ll be remembered next year, but others, like Salcido, will be remembered because they did not make the progress the coaches had hoped. Let’s all hope they’ll come back bigger and stronger next season.