The Anaheim Ducks honored Paul Kariya by retiring his number 9 into the rafters to hang next to the retired #8 of Teemu Selanne. The celebration was very well put together by the Anaheim Ducks organization, and the speeches from the guests had the audience laughing, crying, and every emotion between.
Guests included Scott Niedermayer, Henry and Susan Samueli, David McNab, Bob Murray, Steve Rucchin, and of course, Teemu Selanne.
A clip below from Steve Rucchin’s speech shows how highly Steve viewed Paul, not only as a hockey player, but as a person and a teammate.
Paul Kariya exhibited the qualities of a true team player & leader, according to former teammate Steve Rucchin.#RetireThe9 | #LetsGoDucks pic.twitter.com/riIwiuCViL— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) October 21, 2018
The honor for Paul Kariya was well-deserved and Ducks fans had been waiting for this moment since the night that Teemu Selanne had a similar ceremony. It was long awaited and very gratifying to see Paul’s smile as he truly became engraved as a permanent memory in the minds of Ducks fans - past, present, and future.
What an absolutely perfect ceremony to honor Paul kariya and raise the banner. Couldn't happen to a better person and couldn't have been organized better. Well done, Anaheim— Anaheim Calling (@AnaheimCalling) October 21, 2018
Beautiful, elegant, organized, emotional, all words I would use to describe the ceremony.
None of the words I would use to describe the hockey game that followed.
I vented briefly after the conclusion of the game regarding the recap for the game and came to this conclusion: there is nothing to say anymore about this team that has not already been said. The problems have been identified, the concerns are real, and while goaltending can steal wins every now and then when it is on a level as elite as John Gibson and Ryan Miller, you can only make garbage smell so good.
(Side note: I am happy that Sam Steel scored his 1st NHL goal. Shame it was marred by atrocious play around it.)
So I leave you with this. A fitting image that our very own George loves to post in times of struggle, and a fitting recap for the game in a single image.