The Anaheim Ducks will retire two numbers this season, honoring Paul Kariya’s #9 and Scott Niedermayer’s #27 at two different ceremonies. Both players have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame following outstanding playing careers, and were huge parts of a franchise that has had quite a bit of success over its first 25 years in existence.
Kariya, the team’s very first draft pick, recorded 669 points in 606 games for the then-Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and was named captain just a few years into his career. His dynamic offensive skill and speed brought the team international attention, and when paired with Teemu Selanne formed one of the most exciting young duos to watch in the NHL. He won just about everything he could in his career except for a Stanley Cup, including Olympic, World Junior and World Championship gold medals, an NCAA title and a pair of Lady Byng trophies.
Niedermayer had a different path to success in Anaheim, coming as an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2005. The superstar defenseman brought championship experience to the Ducks, and quickly led them to a Stanley Cup of their own in 2007. That was the team’s first and only NHL championship, and Niedermayer’s Conn Smythe-winning performance was good enough to cement him in their history forever. Another three seasons at an elite level only confirmed his designation as one of the greatest players to ever suit up in Anaheim.
- A few arbitration dates have already been set, as Michael Russo of The Athletic reports that Mathew Dumba and Jason Zucker of the Minnesota Wild have hearings on July 23 and 28th respectively. Members of the Washington Capitals will also be in Toronto on one of those days, as Liam O’Brien has a hearing set for the 23rd. It’s important to note that teams can sign these players to contracts at any time before an arbitrator actually makes a decision, and only a few (if any) of those who filed for player-elected salary arbitration will even make it that far. For Zucker, an arbitrator could only grant a one-year contract since the Minnesota forward is already 26 and is scheduled to reach unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2019.
- Rumors have been swirling for some time about the status of Columbus Blue Jackets’ forward Artemi Panarin, given that he isn’t willing to open negotiations with the team regarding his upcoming free agency. Panarin is scheduled to hit the open market next summer, and agent Dan Milstein spoke with The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline (subscription required) to make it clear that his client holds no grudge or animosity towards his current team. Quite the contrary, Milstein explains that the Blue Jackets have been an outstanding organization for Panarin, but that the 26-year old forward simply hasn’t make a decision on his future. Panarin is one of the league’s very best offensive talents, but the Blue Jackets would have to consider trading him if there is a clear indication that he won’t entertain a long-term extension at some point.