This is Anaheim Calling to the hockey world. The Ducks chances of crawling out of the cellar just went form bad to abysmal. TSN is reporting that Teemu Selanne will be gone for the next 4-6 weeks with a broken bone in his left hand. Selanne is a key component of the Ducks secondary scoring in 5 on 5 situations along with Saku Koivu. More importantly, Selanne is third in the league with 7 power play goals, and second in game winning goals with 4. Aside from being a fan favorite, Selanne is very important to the overall performance of the Ducks, and with Joffrey Lupul still sidelined with back spasms there is no indication of who will replace Selanne's goal scoring abilities.
Recent acquisition Kyle Chipchura has played with Saku Koivu before and might be an accidental success with the space that has oppened up on Koivu's wing. Lupul has been skating recently and might only be a couple games away. Chipchura would provide a big body to go along with Koivu's playmaking and Lupul's shoot first mentality. Possible chemistry could ensue. This would lead to a demotion for Artyukhin whose only bad game in the past week was against the Kings when he took three offensive zone faceoffs penalties, a trend he had seemed to reverse.
Perhaps the best hope for the Ducks was just called up from the AHL. Dan Sexton, a.k.a. Big Sexy, had a phenomenal year in the ECHL posting 13-13=26 in 18 games. Dan Sexton is generoulsy listed at 5'10" and a 170 lbs. More importantly, the guy is crafty in the corner. During training camp I was most impressed with Sexton's ability to come out of the corner with the puck against bigger opponents. He uses his speed and lack of size to his advantage. Think Andy McDonald, only as a winger instead of up the middle. I'm excited to see what Big Sexy brings to the team. If nothing else, I expect energy and better play along the boards. I'd love to see an all rookie line of Beleskey-Sharp-Sexton. This line would have Arthur's favorite combination from old Nintendo, the fat guy, the regular guy and the skinny guy.
No matter what happens, the Ducks are going to have to solve this problem from the inside. There's a report that the best s ource for talent via trade, the cap strapped Blackhawks, don't need to move any players until the off season. The Ducks' rookies can get it done. The Ducks need to let their depth start doing a little work, otherwise the top players won't have any guess for a potential stretch run.