News Blog: Returns and departures

The rich get richer, the poor get poorer…and the Ducks get duckier.

With defenseman Scott Niedermayer back in the fold for nearly two months now, Anaheim is ready to welcome back another superstar to its lineup. Teemu Selanne, the most popular – and talented – player in franchise history has completed his mini-training camp and should be back in action in Anaheim any day now.

The Western Conference race begins. (Granted, the Red Wings have had a heck of a head start.)

At the other end of the good-news spectrum is Edmonton.

The Oilers lost No. 1 center Shawn Horcoff for the remainder of the season due to a shoulder injury he re-aggravated in the All-Star Game.

First of all, the circumstances are a tough pill for the player and team to swallow – losing a key guy in a meaningless game hurts, period.

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The fact he happens to be the Oilers’ best pivot, and the fact Horcoff had been enjoying a renaissance season, makes it all the more bitter.

There are 12 players within 10 points atop the NHL scoring race – and 30 players within 20 points.

Alex Ovechkin, Daniel Alfredsson, Vincent Lecavalier, Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Jarome Iginla hold down the top six spots; the injured Sidney Crosby is hanging onto an eighth-place tie.

Considering Ovechkin has piled up 20 goals and 32 points in his past 20 games, you’ve got to like the 22-year-old winger’s chances at his first Art Ross Trophy.

Looks like he’s got his eyes on the Rocket Richard Trophy, too.