The Anaheim Ducks were totally quiet on July 1st, the only team in the league not to formally sign any players. They’ve made up for it this afternoon, confirming one expected signing, announcing another, and adding a legendary coach to their organization. The Ducks announced that they have signed forwards Andrew Poturalski and Blake Pietila to matching one-year, two-way $700K contracts, while also naming Darryl Sutter as an adivsor to the coaching staff.
Poturalski, 25, was named the MVP of the Calder Cup Playoffs this year after recording a league-high 23 points in 18 playoff games en route to a championship for the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers. Poturalski was also one of the top regular season scorers, netting 70 points in 72 games. Yet, the University of New Hampshire product did not see any NHL time with the Carolina Hurricanes this season and was expected to depart in search of better opportunity. Anaheim is a team collecting affordable depth options up front and Poturalski could emerge as a regular player for the team.
Pietila, 26, comes from the opposite situation in New Jersey. The Devils were forced to use Pietila, as well as a number of his AHL teammates, frequently last season, but the former Michigan Tech standout did little with the opportunity. In fact, Pietila has just four points in 38 career NHL games. However, he did set a career high in AHL production this past season, recording 46 points in 50 games with the Binghamton Devils. The Ducks hope he can continue to be a near point-per-game player in the minors with the potential to put up offense in the NHL.
Sutter, 60, needs little introduction. A veteran of close to 1,300 games behind the bench, Sutter is a former rival of Anaheim’s as the two-time Stanley Cup-winning coach of the Los Angeles Kings, not to mention past stops in Calgary, San Jose, and Chicago as well. Working as an adivsor to Dallas Eakins and his staff, Sutter is one of the wisest minds in hockey and will be a major asset for the Ducks.