Salzburg's newest recruit Mike Duco arrived in Salzburg yesterday afternoon and was able to watch his future team-mates in action for the first time when the Red Bulls took on HDD TELEMACH Olimpija Ljubljana. The 25-year-old forward, who is eligible to play both centre or winger, completed his first training session this morning and was in high spirits afterwards: "It's great to be back on the ice with a 'real' team again. I really enjoyed it and I look forward to my first games with the Red Bulls." But he will have to wait until at least Sunday, when the Red Bulls take on the Black Wings Linz at home, because there is still some red tape to take care of, which rules him out of tomorrow's game in Vienna.
The Canadian has kept himself in shape in his home town of Toronto, where under the guidance of his brother and coach Johnny Duco he has mostly been training with junior players. "I was on the ice six out of seven days and I made the most of every friendly taking place in the vicinity of Toronto." Asked the inevitable question about the difficulties involved in getting used to the larger European rink, he said: "I played a brief stint on European ice three years ago in Finland. I'm a good skater and it won't take me long to adjust."
Mike Duco has so far played a total of 18 games in the NHL, six of which with the Van-couver Canucks last season. The 25-year-old has notched up 250 appearances in the AHL, scoring 54 goals. He crowned his time as a junior by winning the OHL (Ontario Hockey League) with the Kitcheners Rangers in the 2007-2008 season. Mike Duco has signed a contract with EC Red Bull Salzburg through to end of the current season (without NHL lockout clause).