To play or not to play. That was one lockout question. A few Ducks jumped at the chance to head overseas to play hockey while others opted to wait and see if the NHL and players' union would find a solution to end their labor strife and put the regular season in motion. But some players, such as the Ducks' Bobby Ryan, had to change their mind when it was clear a new agreement would come much later than sooner. And there were those who had no plans to uproot their lives in order to compete on the ice. Now the question is whether playing during the lockout gave those an advantage over the ones who didn't or wouldn't as a 48-game blitz of an NHL season starts in eight days following a week-long training camp. Teemu Selanne saw a clear difference when nearly a full complement of Ducks gathered Thursday at Honda Center for another informal workout. "For sure, it's going to be an advantage," said Selanne, who remained in Orange County. "If you look, even guys like (Andrew) Cogliano, he's flying out there. And he doesn't get tired like the rest of us. "I'm sure it's going to be a big advantage right away." Selanne recalled that it took him six or seven games after his four-month sabbatical from the Ducks after their 2007 Stanley Cup victory "to get the legs back and the tempo and stuff." Players such as Ryan and Matt Beleskey shouldn't have that problem. Ryan initially remained stateside but changed his mind and played with Mora IK of the Swedish second-division Allsvenskan league. "The little things like timing and issues with the puck and things like that, they can't come by doing what we were doing every day here," Ryan said. "So I think going over there gave me a little bit of a base."
Did playing overseas help some Ducks?
Orange County Register | Jan 11