Hopefully Patrick Maroon likes garlic, doesn't have a black cat, and can avoid ladders for the coming season.
He may also want to find a four leaf clover, perhaps invest in a rabbits foot, or maybe carry a horseshoe in his equipment bag too.
Maroon is the latest Anaheim Duck featured in the Wild Wingers Kids Club program, which while a great value for young Ducks fans also has a developed a bit of a reputation over the last several seasons for carrying a jinx of sorts. Don't believe in curses? Check out what's happened to the recent captains of the Kids Club:
2014-15: Ben Lovejoy
A fan favorite on the blue line for his candor in postgame interviews, crushing body checks and general good demeanor, Lovejoy's year as the feature in the Kids Club was also his last with the franchise. First, he broke his hand during a fight midway through the third period with the San Jose Sharks Joe Pavelski during the infamous October 26 game that saw five fighting majors, seven 10 minute misconducts, and John Scott leave the bench and receive a game misconduct in the final frame. The injury sidelined Lovejoy for 16 days, and when he returned his play quality gradually dropped off, leading to him being dealt at the trade deadline to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Simon Despres.
2013-14: Viktor Fasth
After signing with the Ducks following a solid career in Sweden, Fasth's first season with Anaheim in 12-13 saw him put up strong numbers while backing up Jonas Hiller. A 15-6-0 record with .921 save percentage and 2.18 goals against average in 25 games primed things for a goalie competition the following season with Hiller's contract coming due. However it was not to be, as Fasth twice went on the IR early in 13-14 thanks to lower body injuries, and in his five games with the Ducks was nowhere near the goalie he was the season prior. The end result was a trade to the Edmonton Oilers in early March, bringing back a third round pick that was used to acquire Nate Thompson from Tampa Bay and a fifth round pick that would become Matthew Berkovitz.
2012-13: Francois Beauchemin
The lockout-shortened 12-13 season was statistically a phenomenal one for Beauchemin. He appeared in every single game for the Ducks, averaging 23:27 ice time and contributing offensively at a 0.5 Pts/Game rate, the second best of his career behind the 05-06 season. Beauchemin was named a Second Team All Star and finished fourth in Norris Trophy balloting. So why does he get included in the 'curse' factor? Just the matter of him playing the last month of the season and all seven games in the playoffs on a torn ACL. 12-13 could be looked at as Beauchemin's last great season in the NHL, made all the more impressive that the final stretch of it was played with a ripped up knee.
2011-12: George Parros
After being acquired from the Colorado Avalanche for a 2007 second round draft pick in November of the 06-07 season, Parros' personality and willingness to drop the gloves and defend his teammates with his trademark mustache made him an instant fan favorite. Parros made his mark as much on ice with his fists as he did the community, becoming a regular at charity events and serving as an ambassador for the franchise. However, in the midst of the rough 11-12 season the Ducks released Parros, leaving him to finish his career playing a year for the Florida Panthers and then the Montreal Canadiens before announcing his retirement.
2010-11: Jonas Hiller
Much like Beauchemin in 12-13, the 10-11 season was shaping up as a banner year for Hiller. The previous year he had represented his native Switzerland at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, and was a participant in the 2011 All Star Game in Raleigh. Through his first 46 games of the season Hiller posted a 25-16-3 record with a .926 SV% and 2.50 GAA as the Ducks sat five points back of the Stars in the Pacific Division and fourth overall in the Western Conference. Yet against the Sharks on February 2 Hiller felt lightheaded and slow to react, surrendering three goals on ten shots and being removed after 11:15 played, and was eventually diagnosed with 'vertigo-like symptoms'. He returned February 13 at Edmonton to make a 12-save shutout, but was torched again on March 24 at Nashville giving up three goals on nine shots in 11:37 and wouldn't appear again in the season. It took him until August to declare he was fully free of vertigo symptoms.
Corey Perry was largely able to avoid incident during his year in 09-10, though some could point to his 27 goals being the second lowest output of his career in a full NHL season as a slight manifestation. Ryan Getzlaf however had the best season of his career in 08-09, putting up 25 goals and 66 assists for 91 points as the Ducks upset the President's Trophy winning Sharks in the first round of the playoffs.
This isn't quite a man being unable to keep his pet goat at the ballpark, a video game cover curse, or a player disappearing on a fishing trip after scoring the Stanley Cup winning goal in overtime and the team not winning another until his body was discovered. It is, however, an eerie run of bad luck befalling players with the Ducks who happened to be feature players for the Wild Wingers Kids Club.
Here's to Pat Maroon breaking the 'jinx' in 15-16. Lets just hope he avoids breaking any mirrors, or folks are kind enough to share an amulet or two with him this season.