After being heavily mentioned in trade rumors over the offseason, Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler is off to a strong start this year with 17 points (7-10-17) through 28 games. As Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register notes, head coach Randy Carlyle has certainly taken notice, stating that Fowler is as important to Anaheim as Brent Burns (San Jose) and Erik Karlsson (Ottawa) are to their respective clubs, certainly high praise given the stature of those other blueliners.
Not only is Fowler leading the way offensively from the back end, he’s averaging a career high 23:58 per game of ice time, including regular minutes on the top power play and penalty kill.
While it has been speculated that Fowler and his $4MM cap hit would have to be moved for salary cap reasons, the long-term concussion for fellow blueliner Simon Despres has given the Ducks enough wiggle room for the time being. Even when he returns (which isn’t likely to happen for quite a while yet), he’s too valuable to Anaheim for them to realistically consider dealing him any time soon.
Other news from the Pacific Division:
- With goaltender Ryan Miller leaving Thursday’s game with what is believed to be a lower body injury, the team announced via Twitter that they have recalled top prospect Thatcher Demko from Utica of the AHL. Demko is off to a decent start in his first professional season after spending three years at Boston College. He has a 7-5-1 record in 14 appearances with a 2.59 GAA and a .909 SV%.
- The Coyotes announced that they have recalled center Laurent Dauphin and defenseman Anthony DeAngelo from their AHL affiliate in Tucson. Dauphin has played in 18 games with Arizona so far this season, notching a goal and an assist while DeAngelo made a strong impression in his first call-up last month, picking up seven points (2-5-7) in just 11 games. Dauphin’s recall comes on the heels of Max Domi being placed on injured reserve.