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Ducks send Sbisa to AHL for conditioning assignment

Luca Sbisa

Anaheim Ducks’ Luca Sbisa is congratulated after scoring a goal in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Edmonton Oilers, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Christine Cotter)


Luca Sbisa’s regular season debut will come with Norfolk, not Anaheim.

On Thursday, the Ducks announced that Sbisa was headed to the AHL for a long-term injury conditioning loan. According to the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement, this type of conditioning loan allows players to go to the minors without clearing waivers, so long as said player doesn’t spend more than 14 days there.

Sbisa, 23, has missed all 13 games this season dealing with an ankle injury suffered during the preseason. The Swiss rearguard has been a regular fixture on the Ducks blueline over the last two seasons, appearing in 121 of 130 games while averaging nearly 20 minutes a night.

The former first-round pick (19th overall, 2008) injured his ankle during Anaheim’s exhibition opener against Phoenix. Sending him to Norfolk will get him a lot of games in a short period of time, as the Admirals play three games in a row on Friday (vs. Albany), Saturday (vs. Bridgeport) and Sunday (vs. Hershey).