This Week in Ducks History: September 30th - October 6th

The franchise's namesake movie was released 20 years ago, this week, and changed the game as we know it... maybe that's an exaggeration, but who knows how many of us would be reading this if that hadn't happened.

There were some significant events that occurred This Week in Ducks History; several season openers, including one in Tokyo, a new captain was named, and a few medium to low level trades, but for me the most significant was that on October 2, 1992 "The Mighty Ducks" was released in theaters.

I may catch some flak from those of you who became Ducks fans more recently and/or as adults, and certainly from any non-Ducks fans that may stumble across this post, but as silly as it may sound, that movie changed my life. It is the reason I became a hockey fan at age seven and the reason I still am today.

Though I've never actually met anyone else who's been equally affected by it - except maybe our fearless leader, Jen? - I knew I couldn't have been the only one. On Tuesday I was proven correct when the Ducks asked fans what the movie meant to them on the team's official Facebook page.

I've always held that the exposing a young generation of fans to the game and extending that to the real world through naming the team after the movie was a great thing for the sport, as a defense against the critics who call it an abomination or an embarrassment. Of course the movie was more of a coordinated marketing effort aimed primarily at children as a build up to the actual franchise debut than a work of cinematic art, but if that makes Gordon Bombay, Charlie Conway, Greg Goldberg et al. the Joe Camel or Ronald McDonald of hockey, so be it. Hockey is much better for you than cigarettes or McDonalds.

Perhaps, more importantly Mighty Ducks movie represents a time in which the NHL was a hot commodity. From roughly 1990 to 1994 the biggest, most important NHL markets were booming. Between the phenomenon of Gretzky in LA, back to back Cups for Lemieux and Pittsburgh, Hull and Oates in St. Louis and four of the Original Six teams making the Stanley Cup Final, with Toronto and Detroit on the verge, the atmosphere existed for one of the world's biggest companies to invest in the league.

Unfortunately that era didn't last as long as it could have, because that momentum was halted in large part due to the 1994-'95 NHL lockout, which coincidentally also started This Week in Ducks/NHL History. Luckily, the league has learned its lesson and would never again consider something as stupid as canceling games coming off of seasons of record revenue, heightened exposure and success of the league's super stars in its biggest markets.

Oh, wait ... Never mind.

This Week in Ducks History:

Sept. 30, 2007
Finished NHL Premiere series in London with a 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings.

Sept. 30, 2008
Traded D Sean O'Donnell to Los Angeles for a conditional draft pick in 2009.

Oct. 1, 1967
RW Scott Young born in Clinton, Massachusetts, USA

Oct. 1, 1985
C MacGregor Sharp born in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Oct. 1, 1994
NHL announces Lockout of NHLPA

Oct. 1, 1996
Acquired the rights to C Espen Knutsen from the Hartford Whalers in exchange for RW Kevin Brown.

Oct. 1, 1996
Acquired C Ted Drury and the rights to D Marc Moro from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for C Shaun Van Allen and D Jason York.

Oct. 2, 1992
the original Mighty Ducks movie is released in theatres.

Oct. 2, 1999
Opened the 1999-2000 season with a 2-0 loss at the defending Stanley Cup Champion Dallas Stars.

Oct. 3, 1980
D Sheldon Brookbank born in Lanigan, Saskatchewan, Canada

Oct. 3, 1997
Opened season with a 3-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks at Yoyogi Arena in Tokyo, Japan, marking the first NHL regular season game played outside North America. Pavel Bure's 11 shots in that game still stands as the most the Ducks have ever given up to a single player in a game.

Oct. 3, 2005
Named D Scott Niedermayer captain.

Oct. 3, 2005
Acquired D Bruno St. Jacques from Carolina in exchange for RW Craig Adams.

Oct. 3, 2009
Opened the 2009-'10 season with a 4-1 loss to San Jose.

Oct. 4, 1974
G Tom Askey born in Kenmore, New York, USA

Oct. 4, 1992
"D3: The Mighty Ducks" is released in theatres.

Oct. 4, 1997
The Mighty Ducks finished their two game series against Vancouver in Tokyo with a 3-2 win. The series entitled "Game ONe Japan" was an effort to market the NHL in the Pacific Rim in advance of the 1998 winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan - the first time NHL players would be allowed to compete in the Olympics.

Including Anaheim in the series was undoubtedly a calculated action by the league's marketing department to display a super star of Japanese descent in Paul Kariya to the region. Unfortunately Kariya did not play in the games as he was holding out in the midst of a contract dispute with the club.

Oct. 4, 2001
Opened the 2001-'02 season with a 4-2 loss at Boston.

Oct. 5, 1966
D Fredrik Olausson born in Dadesjo, Sweden

Oct. 5, 1996
Opened the 1996-'97 season with 4-1 loss at Toronto.

Oct. 5, 1998
Acquired G Dominic Roussel from the Nashville Predators in exchange for G Chris Mason and D Marc Moro.

Oct. 5, 2005
Opened the 2005-'06 season with a 5-3 win at Chicago.

Oct. 6, 2000
Opened the 2000-'01 season with a 3-1 win over Minnesota. This was the Ducks' first ever win in their season opener and the first game in Wild history.

Oct. 6, 2006
Opened the 2006-'07 season with a 4-3 win over Los Angeles. Anze Kopitar scored his first NHL goal in this game, a goal which even Ducks fans have to admit was SICK.

Ducks related #RandomNHLfacts from @NHLhistoryGirl:

"I knew about Hollywood, Beverly Hills and the `Fresh Prince of Bel Air.' That's my favorite."-Espen Knutsen on emigrating to CA.

During a practice during the 1994 lockout, Mathieu Schneider wore a piece of tape on his helmet that read "Bettman sucks." #RandomNHLfact (Schenids wasn't a Duck at the time, but it's no wonder he joined the NHLPA when he retired in 2010, eh?)

In 2003, 45 of Martin Gerber's fans flew from Switzerland to see him. He took them all to lunch. #RandomNHLfact

Brian Burke was once Kevin Dineen's agent. #RandomNHLfact (in July 2005 Burke named Dineen Head Coach of the Ducks AHL affiliate, the Portland Pirates where he would coach future Ducks Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan among many others.)

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