When the Anaheim Ducks entered the NHL for the 1993-94 season, it was seen by some as an experiment that may, or may not work.
Now that it has been 27 years, we can say for sure that the critics were wrong. The Ducks have thrived as a franchise, both in the community and on the ice.
Anaheim has won the Stanley Cup (2007), lost in one Stanley Cup Final (2003), and made it to another three Western Conference Finals. The team has been one of the most consistent in the NHL, qualifying for the playoffs 12 out of the last 17 years.
The major factor in the franchise’s success is the number of high-end players that have worn a Ducks jersey. Anaheim has had Hall of Fame talent both up front, and on the blue line.
Teemu Selanne: The Finnish Flash was traded from the Winnipeg Jets to the Ducks during the 1995-96 season. Selanne spent 14 years in Anaheim, scoring 457 goals and 531 points in 966 games with the Ducks. He helped the team win the Stanley Cup in 2007. Selanne was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2017.
Ryan Getzlaf: Mr. Duck himself has spent his entire 14-year career with the franchise. Getzlaf is the Ducks’ all-time leading scorer, with 926 points in 996 games. He was a perennial Selke Trophy contender during his prime and one of the best overall players in the game. As a 22-year-old, Getzlaf had 17 points in 21 playoff games, helping the Ducks win the Stanley Cup in 2007.
Scott Niedermayer: The smooth-skating defenseman signed with Anaheim after the cancelled 2004-05 season, and immediately had an impact. He was regarded as the best defenseman in the game, scoring 201 points over four seasons with the Ducks. Niedermayer won the Conn Smythe Trophy, leading Anaheim to its only championship.
Corey Perry: He was the finisher playing alongside Getzlaf and Dustin Penner on “The Kid Line.” Perry spent 13 years in Anaheim, and is the franchises’ all-time leading goal scorer with 359. The four-time All-Star had 15 points during the Ducks’ Cup run in 2007, and he won the Rocket Richard Award in 2011.
Paul Kariya: He was the organizations first true superstar. Kariya was a dynamic playmaker, who played the first nine seasons with Anaheim, and was a monster during the dead puck era. Kariya had a then franchise-record 669 points when he left to sign with the Colorado Avalanche. His high-point came when he helped the Ducks get to within one win of a Stanley Cup title.
Which player is your favorite in Ducks history? It could be one of the players mentioned above, or another one who might not have been a superstar, but just resonated with you.
Let us know in the comments below!