Allan Bester packed his 69 NHL victories in a bag bound for San Diego on Monday when the Mighty Ducks trimmed their roster to 28, sending two goaltenders and four other players to the minor leagues.
But Bester wasn’t moping about not making the Ducks.
“Not at all,” he said. “When I came to this organization, this is what I expected would happen. I hoped I could change the decision, but as far as I was concerned there was very little chance.”
Now he and Mikhail Shtalenkov will join the Ducks’ minor league affiliate in San Diego and wait for a call from Anaheim--a call Coach Ron Wilson virtually guarantees will come during the team’s trying first season.
“I just have to continue to play well,” Bester said. “And San Diego isn’t a bad place to play.”
Bester, 29, a former goalie with Detroit and Toronto who played in the minors last year before signing a free-agent contract with the Ducks, had a very good camp--just not good enough to make the Ducks decide to send Guy Hebert or Ron Tugnutt to the minors.
“It was a situation for those two where all four played equally well,” Wilson said. “This was a decision we had made before training camp that the only way (Hebert and Tugnutt) wouldn’t be here was if they played themselves out of the position, which they haven’t.”
Hebert, 26, and Tugnutt, 25, the goalies the Ducks took in the expansion draft, are expected to share the starting job because Wilson believes the job of expansion goalie is too trying for one player. Splitting the duty is supposed to give the goalies “time to recuperate” from the high number of shots they are likely to face.
Wilson will wait until shortly before the season-opener Oct. 8 against Detroit to say who will be the starter in the team’s first game.
Seen on the scene: A doctored movie poster for The Mighty Ducks in the coaching offices has a blow-up of Wilson’s face pasted on over the face of Emilio Estevez, who plays the coach in the movie and was in the dressing room during recent filming.
He autographed it: “Ron, What’s going on here?--Emilio Estevez.”
Defenseman Anatoli Fedotov and forwards Trevor Halverson and Jean Francois Jomphe also were sent to San Diego, and forward Joel Savage was returned to the Ft. Wayne Komets, also of the International Hockey League. . . . Defenseman Sean Hill, who is resting a sore hip, is not expected to play in Wednesday’s exhibition against the New York Islanders at Anaheim Arena. “He’s played very well, there’s no reason to push it,” Coach Ron Wilson said. “I want him ready when it counts.”