Ducks hope left wing Niklas Hagman is a good fit
So much about the NHL is place and timing when it comes to job performance.
What didn’t work for 31-year-old left wing Niklas Hagman in Calgary could end up fitting together like puzzle pieces in Anaheim.
“We’re hoping and we’re gambling to some degree that this is going to be the right place and the right time for Nik Hagman to come in,” said Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle, who thought Hagman would land on the third line. “He’s going to get the opportunity as soon as we can get him a working permit.”
That could come later in the week or next week because Hagman, who skated with the Ducks on Tuesday, will have to go back to Canada to complete the work permit process once an appointment becomes available. Until then, he can practice with the Ducks but won’t be able to play, say, against the Kings on Wednesday night at Staples Center.
Carlyle did not think he would be creating an all-Finn line of Hagman, Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne just yet. The Ducks claimed Hagman on reentry waivers Monday from the Flames.
“If you ask me, I can pretty much see myself playing with anybody on this team,” Hagman said. “That’s obviously a coach’s decision to see where they think I fit and how it works out. I’m just happy to get a chance to play too.
“It was tough because you’re watching the games and you feel like you’re in good shape. You feel like you’ve been playing well but still you’re sidelined because of so many bodies [in Calgary] and their plans. I was just relieved that I got into a new environment and just get a chance again to play.”
Injuries and other issues have forced the struggling local teams, the Kings and the Ducks, to make a series of moves before their home-and-home series. They meet again Thursday at Honda Center.
The Ducks sent center Peter Holland back to the minors and recalled defenseman Nate Guenin and left wing J.F. Jacques from Syracuse. Forward Bobby Ryan did not practice Tuesday because of flu-like symptoms, and backup goalie Dan Ellis cut short his session because of a sore groin.
Ducks enforcer George Parros, who had laser eye surgery to repair a torn retina last week, resumed skating (with no contact) and was wearing a visor. He said he was undecided about doing so once he resumed playing in games.
The Kings have tweaked their roster since forward Dustin Penner and defenseman Alec Martinez went on injured reserve. They recalled forward Andrei Loktionov from Ontario of the East Coast Hockey League and Slava Voynov from Manchester. Loktionov has been practicing on a line with Mike Richards and Dustin Brown.
“We talked a lot about our scoring here the last couple of years,” Kings Coach Terry Murray said Monday at practice. “We need to get our five-on-five scoring to have more depth, more balance. And we feel that with Loktionov, he’s a very creative guy. He’s a puck-possession player. He can, we’re hoping, make some good things happen on that line.”
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