The Anaheim Ducks look to be getting back a familiar face next season as general manager Bob Murray told a group of season ticket holders today that he expects veteran Patrick Eaves to return and play a full season, according to the Orange County Register’s Elliott Teaford.
After coming over in 2016-17 during a trade deadline deal, Eaves proceeded to ink a new three-year, $9.45MM extension that summer only to miss all but two games last season after being diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome. However, he is expected to return to the Ducks next season to add to their veteran core, although the team might now lose Ryan Kesler, who has been limited with a hip injury from last season and could miss part or even all of next season.
“I’m more confident that Patrick Eaves is going to play for the full season than I am of Ryan Kesler at the moment, although ‘Kes’ says he’s going to be fine,” Murray said during an event with Ducks season-ticket holders at Bolsa Chica State Beach.
Eaves, 34, came off a 32-goal season in 2016-17 between the Dallas Stars and the Ducks and could provide significant help to an offense that has aged quickly over the last season or two.
- Ty Anderson of 98.5 The Hub writes that one forgotten player among the Boston Bruins is Anders Bjork, who underwent shoulder surgery in the middle of his rookie season. The 21-year-old prospect out of Notre Dame put up just four goals and 12 points in 30 games, but Anderson notes that Bjork was considered to be the team’s top prospect just a year ago behind Charlie McAvoy. Bjork will attempt to win a spot on the team’s top-six this year. “I definitely think the games I got were helpful,” Bjork said. “I learned a ton, just tried to soak it all up when I was playing those games, and even just practicing and being around, tried to soak up as much as I could. I think I’m going to use that as an advantage for going into camp next year and trying to learn from the guys I watched, especially the young guys — what worked and what didn’t.”
- Dane Mizutani of twincities.com writes that the Minnesota Wild’s 2016 first-round pick Luke Kunin, who suffered a torn ACL injury on Mar. 4 and had surgery in April, says that he intends to lace up his skates this week, but isn’t sure he will be ready by the time training camp comes around. “I’m not going to put a timeline on it or anything like that,” Kunin said. “Obviously, I would love to be ready by training camp. That’s my goal. I want to play. That said, at the end of the day, it’s up to the doctors and what they say as far as how it’s going. It’s one of those things that I know I can’t rush. Just trying to stick with it and trust the process.” Kunin split time this season with Minnesota and the Iowa Wild. He posted two goals and four points in 19 games at the NHL level, but was likely to get brought back for the team’s stretch run at the end of the season before being injured.