ANAHEIM, Calif. – The rain has battered Southern California for the last week and a half and now the winds of “trade-related reasons” have made their way to Honda Center.
Defensemen John Klingberg and Dmitry Kulikov were absent from today’s morning skate and are being held tonight due to trade-related reasons, per Ducks PR.
General manager Pat Verbeek has been relatively quiet in doing his dealings so far while the rest of the league has been turned upside down leading up to the trade deadline, which is this Friday at noon Pacific Standard Time.
Harrington set to make Ducks debut
With Klingberg and Kulikov out, Scott Harrington—who was claimed off waivers yesterday—will make his Ducks debut. He’ll wear No. 17, a number that hasn’t been worn since 2019 when Ryan Kesler was still an active player in the organization.
It’s been a wild couple of days for Harrington, who was involved in the deal that sent Timo Meier to the New Jersey Devils on Sunday. Harrington was then placed on waivers Monday morning and now finds himself in Anaheim after being claimed.
“Yeah, it’s been kind of a rollercoaster,” said Harrington. “Getting in on Sunday when I got traded to Jersey, (I) didn’t really see that one coming but it’s exciting. (A) mix of emotions when you get traded. You’re kind of sad that you’re leaving some friends, but you’re excited about where you’re going to end up.
“Then, I got put on waivers––which was disappointing obviously––and then got picked up by Anaheim. So, a lot of highs and lows but (my family and I) are thrilled to be here. It was nice to get on the ice today with the guys and I’m really excited to get into the game tonight.”
Head coach Dallas Eakins just wants to make sure Harrington gets settled into his new surroundings ahead of his Ducks debut. “I think it’s been a really busy few days for the kid, (it’s) nice that he was still in San Jose (and) was able to just buzz down real quick. We just want to get him in there, get his feet underneath him, and just be solid.”
Harrington is expected to be paired with Colton White tonight—who draws in for Klingberg—while Nathan Beaulieu will move up to fill the spot of the absent Kulikov.
“My mindset is you coach the players that you’re given and that should be your focus,” said Eakins. “When I spoke to Pat yesterday about Klingberg and Kulikov, I totally understood it. It’s no different (than) ‘Hey, they’re banged up a little bit and they can’t play’ so you gotta insert other people. I think that’s just the best way to go about it.”
Ducks and Caps ready for reverse fixture
Tonight the Ducks face the Washington Capitals, their second matchup in the last seven days. Anaheim was victorious last week by a score of 4-2. Eakins praised the play of goaltender John Gibson––who starts tonight––and emphasized the need to check well in order to limit the number of shots the Capitals take.
An emphasis on staying out of the penalty box—as always— with Alex Ovechkin, arguably the greatest goalscorer of all-time and a dangerous weapon on the power play, on the other side wasn’t surprising.
“(We need to) be ready for a desperate team,” said Eakins. “They’ve made some moves but they are still in it, and I’m sure they’re going to bring their best game tonight.”