Absence of Giguere leads to roster shuffle

Foster is a Times staff writer.

The Ducks find themselves doing a salary-cap tap dance again.

Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere returned to Montreal because of a personal situation unrelated to hockey and will not rejoin the team until Sunday when the Ducks play at Carolina. That left the Ducks needing a backup goaltender for Friday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks at the Honda Center.

Team officials had to move money, and bodies, around. Defenseman Brett Festerling will be sent back to Iowa today to make space under the cap to recall goaltender David Leneveu.

The NHL would have allowed a player exemption for the Ducks, who are at the 23-man limit. But the team is currently only about $400,000 under the NHL’s $56.7-million salary cap. The NHL minimum salary is $475,000.


Festerling was expected to be recalled when Giguere rejoined the team.

“Basically, we didn’t have the money to keep the roster the way it is and also bring up a goalie,” said David McNab, the Ducks’ senior vice president of hockey operations.

The Ducks also banked a little money by sending Festerling and forward Bobby Ryan to their ECHL affiliate in Bakersfield on Tuesday. The team will save about $12,000, which in NHL money will work out to about $60,000 at the trade deadline.

Festerling started the last four games since being recalled from Iowa after Francois Beauchemin suffered a season-ending knee injury.

Kent Huskins, a healthy scratch the last two games, will return to the lineup against the Blackhawks.

Giving thanks

Several Ducks players will serve Thanksgiving dinners today at the Honda Center to those in need. The event, sponsored by La Casa Garcia Restaurant and We Give Thanks Inc., is expected to feed more than 15,000 people.