The Anaheim Ducks are facing the San Jose Sharks tonight in their first matchup in round 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals and are getting ready to please their local fan base. However, one roster change is probably not pleasing one Ducks member, as the team decided to place a player on waivers a few hours before their first playoff contest of the season.
On Thursday, the Ducks placed defenseman Korbinian Holzer on the waiver wire.
The veteran defender was called back by the Ducks in mid-March and took part in a couple of games en route to playoff contention. In his last two games with the team, Holzer did not manage to write his name on the scoresheet. He was pointless both on March 21st against the Calgary Flames, and on March 23rd vs. the Winnipeg Jets.
In fact, Holzer seems to have struggled all season long, taking part in a total of 16 games with the Ducks, in which he failed to record a point. He ended the regular calendar with a -3 rating. He participated in nine games with the Ducks' farm club, the San Diego Gulls in the American Hockey League, where he ended up with two assists, and added 14 penalty minutes to his statistics.
The Ducks can count on quite a bit of depth on the blue line, and while they might be without Cam Fowler and Kevin Bieska for the first game of the first-round series, the team might have decided to use Andy Welinski over Holzer.Brandon Montour, Francois Beauchemin, and Marcus Pettersson will also be expected to elevate their roles to ensure a strong back end.
It is not the only roster move that was made by the Ducks in the past week. On Saturday, the Californian club announced that they had signed goalie Olle Eriksson Ek to a three-year entry level contract. Eriksson Ek, 18, played with Farjestad BK’s junior team and also spent time with BIK Karlskoga in the Allsvenskan, Sweden’s second-tier pro league.
The younger brother of Minnesota Wild forward Joel Eriksson Ek had a combined 15-7-4 record with the two teams and played in three playoff games with Farjestad.