MIGHTY DUCKS NOTEBOOK / ROBYN NORWOOD : Training-Camp Evaluations Get Serious as Exhibition Game Approaches
The early days of training camp have a hero-a-day quality.
A tryout like center Jean Francois Jomphe, who played junior hockey last year, grabs some attention with a scrimmage hat trick.
Right wing Joel Savage, a 1988 first-round draft choice still struggling to get out of the minors, gets two goals, including the overtime game-winner in the intrasquad championship game.
Trevor Halverson, a 1991 first-round pick who has yet to play an NHL game, helps make the competition at left wing a little deeper.
It starts to matter tonight, in the first of two scrimmages the Mighty Ducks are using to prepare for their first exhibition game Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Anaheim Arena.
“It’s important for the players--they can tell who they are--who are in battles for the fourth line or spots on the third line. They need to play well,” Coach Ron Wilson said.
Bernie Nicholls, whose critically ill infant son is hospitalized in Long Beach, has approached the New Jersey Devils about possibly being traded to the Ducks, but the teams say they are not discussing a deal for the center.
Duck General Manager Jack Ferreira said Devils General Manager Lou Lamoriello has mentioned the situation but there have been no trade talks.
“It’s not something either of us have pursued, but we’re aware of the personal situation Bernie and his family are in,” Ferreira said. “Lou and I never talked trade. He just said this is the situation at hand.”
A trade for Nicholls, a former King, Ranger and Oiler, would be unlikely for the Ducks, who as an expansion team have few players other teams want. Ferreira also has adopted a strategy that stresses young skilled players and seeks to avoid trading high draft picks.
Nicholls, 32, had a 60-point season last year for Edmonton and New Jersey. His best season with the Kings was 150 points in 1988-89.
His 9-month-old son, Jack, was born with Down’s syndrome and later became critically ill with spinal meningitis and has been hospitalized since.
Left wing Paul Lawless, in camp as a tryout, has been held out of practices while undergoing tests after a heart murmur was detected during his physical examination.