In an attempt to change the Ducks’ fortunes this season, GM Bob Murray has decided to add veteran Kyle Calder to the Ducks’ lineup as he signed the free-agent to a one-year, two-way contract that will pay him $500,000 in the NHL and $105,000 in the minors. Calder was immediately assigned to Bakersfield of the ECHL, probably to get back into game shape as he hasn’t been playing professionally since the pre-season.
This is a good, low-cost move by Murray as he tries to find a remedy for a Ducks team that has turned in some lackluster performances in recent games. Calder will bring a veteran presence and some leadership while adding some grit to a team that has lost of lot of it in the off-season.
Calder was signed to a pro try-out agreement during preseason and participated in a few pre-season games, performing well bot not fantastic. Calder was one of the final players cut as the Ducks decided to go with youth, but so far that plan hasn’t worked out too well.
Carlyle typically puts new players directly into the lineup without having much practice, and I would assume that this would be the case with Calder. He has been assigned to the ECHL on a conditioning assignment and may sit out Friday’s game but will likely be in the lineup Saturday.
Look for Calder to move through every line as he is a versatile forward that’s played on the top line as much as the fourth line in his NHL career. He might also get a look on the power play and penalty kill as the veteran has held those duties before, most recently with the Los Angeles Kings.
This is a good signing but it might be a proverbial band-aid over a bullet wound. At this point, anything is worth trying.
In other news, J.S. Giguere did not participate in practice and there was no update on his groin injury. Todd Marchant also did not practice as he has had multiple injuries this season after big hits and other incidents. Ryan Carter participated in practice after sitting out the last few with a foot injury. Carter took Marchant’s place on the third line, while the other three lines remained the same.
The Ducks also announced Wednesday that they’ve added three more games to the television schedule, bringing the total number of televised games to 72 this season. Games against Phoenix on October 31, Calgary on November 23, and Dallas on December 3 will air on KDOC.