Souray, known for his booming snapshot, has not played this year because of a wrist injury suffered in the offseason. After surgery, he was given a four-to-six month recovery timeline. Three and a half of those months have since passed.
In September, he had his cast removed. And on Oct. 12, NHL correspondent Curtis Zupke reported that he had begun to skate. While that's obviously positive news, he's still not exactly where he'd like to be just yet.
And while the Ducks aren't really feeling his loss as too big of a burden right now, they may later.
After all, the 37-year-old Souray scored seven goals and 17 points last year and was a plus-19 in 44 games. That scoring pace is higher than any of the team's current defensemen that have played in at least 15 games.
Souray is also only four seasons removed from an Edmonton Oilers skills competition where he clocked a 106.7 miles-per-hour slap shot. Anybody with that type of shot from the point has the potential to be very dangerous.
To replace the defensive loss of Souray, the Ducks signed former Oiler Mark Fistric to a one-year contract---a move that hasn't really materialized in the way Anaheim had first envisioned. Fistric has been a healthy scratch for most of the year and has only played three games.
But others have stepped up.
Newcomers Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen---both rookies---have been productive for the Ducks. Both players have a goal and four assists through 15 games. Lindholm is a plus-13.
But while those stats are good, their ice time may drop, as Anaheim now finds themselves with too many capable defensemen for the six spots available.
With regulars Cam Fowler, Francois Beauchemin, Bryan Allan, and Ben Lovejoy all expecting ice time, and Luca Sbisa returning after missing 15 games because of a sprained ankle, tough defensive decisions are likely to ensue.
Strong performers could see a reduction in ice time because the Ducks are too deep--not something critics would have envisioned at the start of the year.
The dilemma becomes even harder when Souray returns, as everyone will have to raise their game to completely new level---one that will hopefully carry the Ducks all the way.
Kenny Lindberg is an award-winning journalist with a bachelor's degree in journalism from Chico State. Lindberg proudly covers the Anaheim Ducks as a Yahoo Contributor. In 2003, he served in Iraq as a U.S. Army combat engineer.
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