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Ducks expect late-arriving Sami Vatanen will return to form

By in Press Enterprise on September 15, 2017

By Eric Stephens

ANAHEIM — When it comes to the new NHL season, Sami Vatanen’s best bet is to arrive fashionably late.

The questions that surrounded his future with the Ducks for weeks early in the summer have given way to how much of the season he’ll miss because of surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

“It’s been a little different summer but it’s all good now,” Vatanen said earlier this week, following an informal workout at Anaheim Ice. “It’s all in the past now.”

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The place will be bustling with activity Friday as the Ducks officially open training camp to prepare for the 2017-18 campaign. Vatanen won’t be a full participant, however. The shoulder is repaired and its response to his activity has been encouraging. But it is going to take time before it feels right.

Count on sometime in November for the Finnish play-making defender to see his first action – if all goes to plan.

“It’s not ready yet,” Vatanen said. “I’m progressing every day. I’ve been skating right now and doing a little bit of passing and shooting. It feels better every week. We’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing and try not to have any setbacks.”

Last season was one Vatanen, 26, wants to push aside. His numbers plummeted to three goals and 24 points after consecutive seasons of 12 goals and 37 points, and nine goals and 38 points. Injury and illness made him miss 11 regular-season games and the shoulder cost him five in the playoffs.

Examinations during that time made it clear that it had to be addressed following […]    

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