Maine Hockey Journal

Ducks Make Minor Splash

Portland, ME – Where’s the circus?

By all accounts the trade deadline was suppose to be full of glitz and glamour as Anaheim General Manager Brian Burke was to work his magic as he tamed lions, tigers, bears and sharks.

Instead, he was out sharked by several other General Manager’s leaving Burke on the outside of the Big Top as he missed out on Bill Guerin, Todd Bertuzzi, Sheldon Souray and even Ryan Smith. Certainly, Brian Burke won’t lose any sleep over it as their were deals to be made, but at the end of the day, he wasn’t prepared to part with young forwards Corey Perry, Ryan Shannon and Bobby Ryan – all three believed to be sought after by other General Manager’s. Burke premise was the asking price was too steep for a rental player for 20 games.

Nothing wrong with that thought process, but one has to wonder if the Hatfield’s may have outsmarted the McCoy’s.

However, Burke wasn’t completely left out in the cold today as he made a couple of minor deals, which mostly affected the Portland Pirates roster.

The Ducks dealt goaltender Michael Wall to the Colorado Avalanche for Brad May. Wall, considered an up-and-coming prospect failed to generate much buzz with his inconsistent play for the last season and a half.

In 19 games with Portland this season, he was 10-6-1 with a 3.13 GAA and 0.880 save percentage.

Last year wasn’t much better for the 21 year old as he was 5-5 with a 3.38 GAA and 0.887 save percentage in 10 games with the Pirates before being sent to the Augusta Lynx of the ECHL. In 21 games with the Lynx, he was 8-11-1 with a 3.81 GAA and 0.879 save percentage.

Wall did see time in the NHL this season, going 2-2 with a 2.97 GAA and a save percentage of 0.877.

May, 35, has appeared in 868 career NHL games, scoring 123 goals, 152 assists for 275 points with 2,027 penalty minutes. A native of Toronto, Ontario, May has played in 10 games with Colorado this season, scoring three assists. The 6-1, 220-pound forward missed the first 53 games of the season with a shoulder injury, returning to action Feb. 8 vs. Atlanta.

The acquisition of May will provide the Ducks with another forward to test with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. It will also provide the Ducks with another penalty killer and role player as Todd Marchant is currently out with an abdominal strain and is expected to be out for at least another 10 days.

“Mike Wall was a very good prospect and a player that goes to a team that is in need of goaltending depth and in return Anaheim becomes stronger for their stretch run,” said Pirates Head Coach Kevin Dineen.

In the second move of the day for the Ducks, they have sent Joe Rullier to the Springfield Falcons for defenseman Doug O’Brien. In 53 games with the Falcons, he’s scored 6 goals, 13 assists for 19 points and 34 penalty minutes.

Rullier, hardly known to the Portland squad as he only played six games, notching one assist. He had missed the last several games due to a lower body injury.

O’Brien will be assigned to the Pirates giving the defense a much-needed shot in the arm.

“Joe never got a chance to get going here and now we have a younger player that has played very consistent hockey against us for the past two seasons,” said Dineen.

Plank Notes:
– Pirates Head Coach Kevin Dineen was suspended for one game by the AHL on Tuesday as a result of his actions in Sunday’s game vs. the Lowell Devils. He received a gross misconduct after an altercation with an official after the Devils scored the overtime winner. He will be able to return to the bench on Sunday against the Norfolk Admirals.

– The Portland Pirates have traded Nick Kuiper to the Springfield Falcons in exchange for future considerations. In seven games with Portland this season, he was scoreless with six penalty minutes. Kuiper was currently playing for the Augusta Lynx of the ECHL, scoring one goal, five assists for six points and 21 penalty minutes in 33 games. Kuiper was acquired back on October 18 from the Manitoba Moose in exchange for future considerations.

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