Journeyman defenseman Steve Oleksy is set to make to join the Ducks for the first time, as Anaheim announced that they have called up the veteran blue liner. The Ducks are in Florida tonight to face the Panthers, so don’t expect Oleksy to make his debut right away, but with dates with the Lightning and Hurricanes still to come this weekend, the expectation is that Oleksy will join the team on their southeastern swing and could see some game action before the return trip to Anaheim.
Oleksy, 31, signed with the Ducks as a free agent this summer after spending last year with the eventual Stanley Cup-winning Pittsburgh Penguins after playing the three seasons prior with the rival Washington Capitals. Oleksy has never been an NHL regular – his career-high 33 games came in 2013-14 – but he has proven to be serviceable when called upon.
That’s all that Anaheim can ask for, as they are already on to their tenth different defender of the season. The Ducks revealed today that Kevin Bieksa is out indefinitely with a hand injury, as he joins stalwarts Sami Vatanen and Cam Fowler on the sidelines. With Shea Theodore and Clayton Stoner now in Las Vegas, the Ducks simply don’t have the depth that they used to on the blue line, leading to this opportunity for Oleksy on top of regular roles already for 37-year-old addition Francois Beauchemin and the likes of Korbinian Holzer and Jaycob Megna.