Well, this has to be humbling. Sami Vatanen just got back from playing for the Bronze Medal-winning Finnish team and now the Anaheim Ducks have sent him down to the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL.
Vatanen has played 41 games for the Ducks this season. In that time, he has scored 6 goals and added 8 assists for 14 points. In the Olympics, he led all defensemen in assists with five and was tied for fourth in scoring.
“It’s the same philosophy as the last time he went down… We have 24 men on the roster with him here right now, until March 5 when we can expand the roster as long as we’re under the salary cap.
“Everybody else would have to go through waivers, and I don’t think we want to take the chance of anyone going through waivers.”
“He knows exactly the reason why he went down. It’s not like we pull him in and say he’s playing bad. He knows he’s in this situation, just like Peter Holland was always in this situation. I want to make sure he totally understands the reasons. I don’t want him going down [to Norfolk] depressed and thinking he’s not good enough. It’s just the art of the business.”
Vatanen looks to be one of the cornerstones of Anaheim’s blue line for the foreseeable future. This is just a short-term assignment caused by roster limitations.
Although it has to be quite weird for him. One week he’s playing for his country in Finland and the next he’s playing in Norfolk, Virginia.