While Coach Ron Wilson is piecing together lines and defensive pairs during training camp, he’ll also be looking for the first Mighty Duck to wear the captain’s “C.”
“You’ve got guys like Randy Ladouceur, Todd Ewen, Stu Grimson, guys who have been around the game and who are good in the dressing room,” Wilson said. “We’ll let different guys take a turn through the five exhibition games and see who shows leadership on the ice and in the dressing room. Then the week before the first game we’ll decide exactly who it will be.”
The players got their first taste of contact in Saturday’s scrimmage, and they’ll continue with daily scrimmages building to game-condition scrimmages Wednesday and Thursday. A big crowd is anticipated, but the free tickets aren’t available to the public. They are being distributed only to Disney employees and other groups.
“Those two games mean something. If a player wants a job, he’ll have to show something there,” said Pierre Gauthier, assistant general manager. “Before that, they just need to work hard and get in shape.”
Wilson’s first impressions of the two groups that scrimmaged Saturday focused on the line of Tim Sweeney, Pat Carnback and Peter Douris and the veteran goaltenders--particularly Ron Tugnutt, whose side won the scrimmage in a shootout after a 4-4 tie.
“Tugnutt had a great day. He was spectacular,” Wilson said.
Today’s practice is a public session, the last that is currently scheduled, spokesman Bill Robertson said. The practice runs from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with a scrimmage from approximately 9-10:30 a.m..
Saturday’s crowd, which peaked at about 1,200 during the scrimmage, was larger than that at the opening day of camp.
Brian Hayward, a former goaltender with Winnipeg, Montreal, Minnesota and San Jose, has been hired as color commentator for Mighty Duck television broadcasts and also will work as an off-ice goaltending coach, said team president Tony Tavares. The team’s lengthy negotiations with ESPN analyst Bill Clement fell through after ESPN “objected strenuously” to Clement taking on additional work, Tavares said. Hayward, 33, worked a limited number of radio and television broadcasts for the Sharks over the past two years after injuries forced him off the ice. He will team with TV play-by-play announcer Chris Madsen on KCAL and Prime Ticket telecasts.
Former Detroit Red Wing Thommie Bergman is working as the team’s European scout, and Alain Chainey is the Quebec-based scout. . . . Angel public address announcer Dennis Packer also will work Duck games. . . . Center Scott McKay (right shoulder) and left wing Brett Barnett (left knee) are listed as day-to-day.