Ducks General Manager Bob Murray plans to monitor the team's prospects… (Damian Dovarganes / Associated…)
We checked in with Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi on Monday to see what he’s doing during the NHL-imposed lockout, so on Tuesday it was time to check in with Ducks General Manager Bob Murray and ask how he has been using his time.
Murray said he has been out on one scouting trip and plans to leave for another on Wednesday to spend some time monitoring the progress of players assigned to the Ducks’ American Hockey League affiliate in Norfolk, Va. Among the players assigned there is Long Beach native Emerson Etem, who led the junior-level Canadian Hockey League last season with 61 goals. Other top prospects assigned to Norfolk include forward Devante Smith-Pelly, 2009 first-round draft pick Peter Holland and 2012 first-rounder Hampus Lindholm.
“I’ll catch a couple of college games in between and see our kids,” Murray said. “It’s all stuff I wouldn’t usually get to do. You do like to see these kids yourself.”
He will also use the time to connect with his scouting staff.
“You spend time with them and it’s more important than people realize. Meetings are not enough,” he said. “You drive with them to games and see what they think is not up to snuff and how they’re feeling about things.
“People forget about the last lockout, there was a draft after it and Sidney Crosby was chosen No. 1 and Bobby Ryan was chosen No. 2. So we have to do our scouting and be prepared for whatever the time frame is. This is out of our control so we might as well do whatever we can to prepare for whatever happens.”
He also said defensemen Francois Beauchemin (shoulder surgery) and Toni Lydman (knee procedure) have been cleared to play. That means the Ducks and their medical staff can’t have contact with them players, or any others. During a lockout only injured players are allowed to maintain contact with the team and training staff and use the team’s facilities.
“It’s another unfortunate circumstance of this,” Murray said.
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