NHL

Ducks sign young D Luca Sbisa to 4-year extension

Share This Story

   
 

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)

The Anaheim Ducks have signed defenseman Luca Sbisa to a four-year contract extension worth $8.7 million, rewarding the young Swiss Olympian for his promising play this season.

Although Sbisa just recently turned 21, he has become a dependable, hard-hitting NHL defenseman over the past four months. After a rough training camp and a stint in the minors, the Ducks believe he has finally matured into the player they expected after acquiring him in a deal for former league MVP Chris Pronger.

''I worked really hard for this contract,'' Sbisa said Tuesday after practice at Honda Center. ''I like the stability. I know where I'm going to be, and I know I can just focus on hockey.''

Sbisa has two goals and six assists in 52 games for the Ducks, averaging nearly 16 1/2 minutes per game. He's also among the Ducks' most physical defensemen, ranking second on the club with 131 hits.

''We're seeing a young player starting to mature into an everyday NHL player, and we think there's a lot more he can grow into,'' Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said.

Sbisa could have been a restricted free agent this summer, but the Ducks chose to offer a long-term contract over a qualifying offer. He will make $1.2 million next season, $2 million in 2012-13, $2.6 million in 2013-14 and $2.9 million in the final year of the deal.

Sbisa credits his rapid development to his early start in the North American game. He started junior hockey in western Canada at 17, and joined the Philadelphia Flyers a year later after they drafted him in the first round in 2008.

He even played in one playoff game for Philadelphia, becoming the second-youngest player to appear in a postseason game for the Flyers, but he spent most of last season back in junior hockey and with the Swiss national team after the trade to Anaheim.

But he struggled last fall in his second training camp with the Ducks, who sent him to the AHL's Syracuse Crunch for a month.

''It was the right decision,'' Sbisa said. ''I didn't want to leave at the time, but I needed to play a lot of minutes, take a lot of responsibility. It was also just about going out and having fun, and since I've been back up, I've tried to do the same thing.''

Carlyle believes Sbisa's month in the AHL cleared his head after a horrible training camp.

''We thought he was going to get hurt out there,'' Carlyle said of Sbisa's camp effort. ''But then he dominated games down there (in the AHL). Numerous people told us he was too good for the AHL.''

Sbisa was born in Sardinia, but his family moved to central Switzerland a few months later. He captained the Swiss world juniors team before playing alongside Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller at the Vancouver Olympics last year.

Sbisa thinks he has played the best hockey of his life over the past month, highlighted by a stellar effort in a thrilling 7-6 loss to Washington in mid-February. After Ducks general manager Bob Murray initiated talks about a long-term deal, Sbisa's agent flew in from Europe to hammer it out.

''They want to commit to me, and that just gave me a big confidence boost,'' Sbisa said.

Tagged: Flyers, Ducks, Luca Sbisa

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



Play Hockey Simulation Game on WhatIfSports

NHL Videos

Toews, Kane: Easy decision to resign with Blackhawks Posted: Jul 17, 2014
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane say their decision to sign matching 8-year, $84M...

LA mayor 'F-bombs' Kings rally Posted: Jun 17, 2014
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti toasts the Stanley Cup champion Kings in front o...

Kings, fans celebrate Stanley Cup Posted: Jun 16, 2014
Kings players celebrate winning the Stanley Cup with a parade through downtown L...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Pittsburgh_Penguins/browse/featuredproduct/175178/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_175000/FF_175178_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black
    Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Dallas_Stars/browse/featuredproduct/243363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_243000/FF_243363_xl.jpg&w=100 124.95 Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey
    Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Tampa_Bay_Lightning/browse/featuredproduct/301017/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_301000/ff_301017_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Anaheim_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/398322/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_398000/FF_398322_xl.jpg&w=100 43.99 Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Red_Wings/browse/featuredproduct/403205/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_403000/FF_403205_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack
    Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Chicago_Blackhawks/browse/featuredproduct/408123/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_408000/FF_408123_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey
    Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_Jersey_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/456774/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_456000/ff_456774_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Vancouver_Canucks/browse/featuredproduct/665779/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_665000/ff_665779_xl.jpg&w=100 11.95 Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick
    Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Islanders/browse/featuredproduct/752594/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_752000/ff_752594_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt