Ducks give up on D Luca Sbisa for season, send him back to juniors

ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Anaheim Ducks have reassigned 19-year-old defenceman Luca Sbisa to his junior team, preventing him from returning to the NHL this season.

The Ducks acquired Sbisa from Philadelphia during the summer in the trade that sent Chris Pronger to the Flyers. Anaheim hoped the Italian-born Sbisa could play a regular role, but he managed no points and a minus-one rating in eight games.

Sbisa was sent to Lethbridge of the Western League on Monday. Since Sbisa is under 20, he can’t be recalled to the Ducks after getting sent down.

Sbisa appeared in eight games with the Ducks this season, recording zero points and six penalty minutes. The six-foot-four, 204-pounder came to Anaheim in a trade with Philadelphia on June 26 that sent defenceman Chris Pronger to the Flyers.

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Sbisa had seven assists in 39 games with Philadelphia last season, and also played a pair of games with the team’s AHL affiliate before finishing the year in Lethbridge.

The native of Ozieri, Italy was the Hurricanes’ rookie of the year in 2008, and led all defencemen in playoff scoring and help Lethbridge to an appearance in the WHL final.

Anaheim also recalled goalie Justin Pogge from Bakersfield before Monday’s game against Toronto to fill in for Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who plans to rest his injured groin muscle for at least two days.

-With files from The Canadian Press