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DUCKS REPORT

Caron arrives dressed for success

December 31, 2006|Eric Stephens | Times Staff Writer

MINNEAPOLIS — Arriving in his goaltender's gear after a delayed flight forced him to take a taxi to the Minnesota Wild's practice facility, Sebastien Caron joined the Ducks well after his new team had begun its workout Saturday.

It was a snapshot of his journey from Norfolk, Va., to Portland, Maine, to Boston to Minneapolis in a 96-hour span, the result of being acquired by the Ducks on Thursday.

"It was pretty hectic," Caron said. "First time I've ever got traded in my life. It's a new experience. Now I know how they feel."

The Ducks got Caron from the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday for minor leaguers Pierre Parenteau and Bruno St. Jacques in a move to bring in an experienced goaltender as Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Ilya Bryzgalov recover from groin injuries.

Michael Wall figures to get the third start of his career in goal against the Wild today after a solid performance Friday in a 4-2 loss to Carolina. But with Giguere back in Anaheim and Bryzgalov slow to recover, the Ducks had no experienced goalie behind the 21-year-old Wall.

Stuck behind Nikolai Khabibulin and Brian Boucher in Chicago, the 26-year-old Caron said he expected to be moved last week. He has a 3.46 goals-against average in 91 NHL games, the majority with Pittsburgh.

The last three days have been particularly taxing. Caron played for the Blackhawks' American Hockey League affiliate Wednesday night and then joined the Ducks' AHL team in Portland on Friday to play against the Springfield Falcons.

After the game, Caron drove to Boston and caught an early-morning flight. He still had his gear in bags issued by the Blackhawks.

"It's a great opportunity," he said. "You have the best team in the NHL. I'm pretty happy to be here. Hopefully I can help them out."

*

Teemu Selanne will play in his 1,000th game, joining teammate Scott Niedermayer, who reached the career milestone last month.

Selanne, who came back from major knee surgery during the 2004-05 lockout, reached 20 goals for the 13th time when he scored twice Friday night against Carolina. He had 40 goals last season and has 513 in all.

"Timing in life works wonders," Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle said. "The lockout obviously was a time for him personally to reconstruct [his knee], refocus, reenergize. It gave his body a chance to heal for a full year ... and he came back even stronger."

TODAY

at Minnesota, 3 PST, FSNW

Site -- Xcel Energy Center.

Radio -- 830.

Records -- Ducks 28-6-6, Wild 19-17-2.

Record vs. Wild -- 2-0-1.

Update -- With Caron joining the Ducks, the team sent David McKee back to their East Coast Hockey League affiliate in Augusta, Ga. Minnesota star winger Marian Gaborik will sit out his 32nd consecutive game with a severely strained groin.

eric.stephens@latimes.com

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