Ryan Kesler’s recovery from the hip surgery he underwent in June, initially projected to take three months, no longer has a timetable,
“I’m hopeful to have him back before Christmas, but that’s all I’m going to say for right now,” Murray said of the gritty center whose get-under-your-skin meanness has made him Public Enemy No. 1 in most
Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm, who both underwent shoulder surgery on May 30, also won't be ready for the start of the season. Murray said Nov. 1 is the general target for their return but he will be cautious with the two young defensemen.
"They're looking fine, they're shooting the puck fine, but that's our future," he said.
Despite losing one of their top two centers and a good chunk of last season's defense corps, the Ducks weren't panicking as they opened training camp Friday at Anaheim Ice. They're counting on their developmental system and their determination to carry them until the injured players return, and beyond.
“We always talk about opportunity and there’s no greater opportunity created than when you have injuries to your lineup,” coach
"It's tough to replace him and I'm not going to try and play his game," Rakell said of Kesler. "I'm just going to try to play like myself and do as good as I can."
That could be very good.
On defense, the Ducks will have
"I think if you can just get out and have a good start and get those guys back whenever they're ready, it would be an ideal situation," Beauchemin said. "I think we have a lot of depth on this team. We got a lot guys that can jump in and fill out those roles with the support of the younger guys."
The Ducks edged out Edmonton last season to win their fifth straight
They missed the scoring of
"That's got to be eliminated from his game. He knows that," Murray said. "That's why he pushed this. He pushed going there. He knows that can't continue if he wants to be a No. 1 goaltender."
It also helps that Murray signed veteran
Gibson said he developed a training regimen he can continue through the season and said he didn't see the Ducks' signing of Miller as a threat or prod.
"Any time you sign a good player, it's good for the team. I think he'll help the team," Gibson said. "You need depth, no matter what position you're at."
The Ducks' depth will be tested from the start, but Murray said his preseason speech will be the same as last year's.
"Just make the playoffs. This first-place stuff, it's happened. It's good. Good for them," he said. "But just make the playoffs because anything can happen, especially if you have a sort of veteran group with us, and we have some good kids. If you can be healthy at the right time of the year in the playoffs and you make it, anything can happen."