Gulls expect to welcome Gibson — for now

Anaheim Ducks goalie Josh Gibson

The San Diego Gulls radio voice is clearing his throat, working on his signature call.

“Stick save, Gibby, and it’s a beauty!”

Craig Elsten probably doesn’t need the practice, but he’ll get plenty of opportunities to say just that.

This “Gibby” is John Gibson and he’s the Anaheim Ducks goalie of the future. They guaranteed that when signing him recently to a three-year extension, averaging $2.3 million per.

But Elsten should be purring his name come Oct. 10 when the Gulls open the American Hockey League season against Grand Rapids.

Gibson’s eventual work address will be the Honda Center. But before motoring to Orange County, he’ll tune up at the Valley View Casino Center.

“He’s prepared for that,” Ducks general manager Bob Murray told the media. “I told him, ‘Maybe you’ll start in the A(HL), but injuries happen. And injuries have happened to us in goal every year, the last four-five years here. We always have injuries.”

San Diego hasn’t had the Gulls of late. But they land here again, as the Ducks’ top minor league squad.

To add more spice on the ice, the talented Gibson, 22, should be in the crease.

“I’m just looking forward to playing,” he said. “Obviously I want to be (in Anaheim) sooner rather than later. But I can’t really control that. I’m just going to play my best.”

The Gulls are on their best behavior. 

Because Gibson has yet to be officially assigned to their bunch, they can’t say a peep about him.

But it’s clear he’s the real deal and he proved it last year.

Gibson was 13-8-0, which includes a shutout. The 6-foot-3, 216-pounder was fourth among rookie goalies by setting career highs with wins (13), saves (616) and shots faced (674).

Still, Gibson will likely chill on the Gulls’ ice to start the season.

“I’m sure with every decision they make it’s for the betterment of the team, so you have to respect that,” he said. “I’m just worried about playing and doing my job.”

Elsten can’t wait to do his.

“Stick save, Gibby, and it’s a beauty!”


+ Contact Jay Paris at Follow him on Twitter at @jparis_sports.



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