Free agency for bloggers comes far later in the year. Anaheim Calling went out and picked up two quality free agents to add to our roster.
Before/While you booze during the Superbowl, get to know our new contributors: Kyle and Derek. We're excited to have them and they're excited to get started.
KYLE, the new scatterbrained writer in your life:
How's it going? You look lovely today.
Who am I? Oh sorry, where are my manners? Gosh, I'm an idiot sometimes.
I'm Kyle, the newest staff writer. Not to brag, but thanks to the opportunity from Jen, I'm kind of a big deal now... or so I'd like to think.
Come here often? I'm sure you do. I have too, but I've been pretty low key. A wallflower you might say, just reading the stories and occasionally some of your comments (you can be pretty harsh sometimes but that's totally okay... it's part of your passion). But I love the scene here. So many Ducks fans talking and debating hockey and the team... totally my kind of place. Seems like yours too.
But listen to me brag. Enough about me. What about you? Tell me about yourself. Me? I graduated from UC Santa Barbara in June 2012 with a degree in Film and Media Studies. I've played hockey since I was seven years old, and to this day it is my absolute favorite thing to do. I'm your typical nerd who loves video games and goofy sci-fi shows. Oh, and I hate lettuce. Don't ask why, I just can't stand it. And Justin Schultz. Hate him too. A lot.
On that note let's talk hockey-it's what you're here for after all. What's your favorite Ducks moment? Personally I've been a fan for most of my life. I grew up the odd one out in a pro-Kings house so needless to say LA is pretty much the bane of my existence. You'll learn that about me pretty quick, if you couldn't already tell. Yes, even more than lettuce and Justin Schultz. Combined.
As for a favorite moment though, that's a tough call. I think I have to give that to Paul Karyia's goal in the 2003 Stanley Cup Final. You know, the one after Scott Stevens tried to kill him. Poor guy was never really the same after that but man it was crazy. (PS- 2:09 mark of that video... LOL Scott Gomez)
There are so many others I could choose though. Francois Beauchimin kicking Jarome Iginla's ass in 2006, running and jumping through the halls of my college dorm in my jersey and underwear because we had just eliminated the San Jose Sharks in 2009, sweeping the Red Wings out of the playoffs in 2003, Selanne's backhander in overtime in Detroit that essentially sealed the series in 2007... oh the list could go on and on.
Oh and there was a Stanley Cup in 2007 too. Can't forget that. I almost cried.
But it's more than just these great moments that make me love this team. The Ducks really seem to be there for their fans. They're involved with the community. They're out at middle schools building new facilities. They're hosting watch parties for away games. They're taking over and upgrading local rinks to grow the game of hockey in the Orange County area (I've played at some of those facilities and they're fantastic). The players are more accessible and extremely down to earth. And let's be honest: Teemu. How could you not be a fan? (Yes, he's on my jersey and I will cry openly when he retires.)
Oh geeze I've been rambling again. Well I know you've got other stuff you want to do so here, let me get your digits. No? Okay tell you what, I'll hit you up on Twitter. I'm there a lot. Or you can get back to me whenever at the handle @ACKyleNicolas.
I hope you'll grow to like me, because let's face it I'm going to be around for a while if I can help it. Hopefully I'll see your pretty face around here again soon.
Man, I really need to work on my people skills.
DEREK, My Life at The Pond (Fine, Honda Center):
There was never really a chance that I wasn't going to root for the Ducks. I'd like to think it's all because Teemu Selanne scored his first NHL hat trick on my first birthday (albeit in a Jets uniform), but the real reason is that my dad simply wouldn't have allowed me not to be a Ducks fan.
He was a season ticket holder from Day One, so of course I grew up going to games. And to be honest, I didn't like them at first. I didn't like 17,174 people screaming in the same building at the same time, and I didn't like my dad being one of them.
This was in the mid to late 90s. By the turn of the millennium, however, I was beginning to watch the game on TV, and from the comfort of my living room, I could finally appreciate its beauty. Eventually, I began to enjoy going to the games themselves.
I was ten years old the first time the Ducks played for the Stanley Cup, and my dad took my to Game Six against the Devils. Every time I see the clip of Paul Kariya's legendary goal and hear Gary Thorne's equally legendary call, "Off the floor, on the board!" I can say I was at that game.
Since 2003, I have been to at least one game in every playoff series the Ducks have played in. Obviously, my favorite Ducks moments came in the spring of 2007. I'll never forget the jeers of "Haaaaa-sek, Haaaaa-sek" that I helped rain down on the Red Wings in Game 6 of the conference final that year. Perhaps my favorite goal that I've ever seen live came off the stick of Samuel Pahlsson in Game 2 of the Ottawa series. Remember that one? Through the legs of Joe Corvo? Well, I suppose Kariya's aforementioned goal is up there too. As is Bobby Ryan's against Nashville in 2011.
I've seen a lot of great goals, hits, saves, shootouts, shutouts, and hat tricks. I've seen the Stanley Cup and the smiles on the faces of the players who have just won it but aren't quite sure they're not dreaming. I intend on seeing all those things again. Preferably sooner rather than later.