The Ducks came into the league during the 1993-94 suspansion era when they were named the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and owned by the Mouse down the street.
The following is a small sample of the moments and highlights that have made up the last 10 years for the Anaheim Ducks. Please feel free to add and share your own memories and moments from the past decade.
On August 22, 2005, fan favorite Teemu Selanne returned to the Ducks line-up after spending time with the San Jose Sharks from 2001-03, and as a part of the Colorado Avalanche during the 2003-04 season. After a long rehabilitation period due to knee surgery during the 2004-05 lockout, Selanne returned to the Ducks for a second go round and would later add the Stanley Cup to his already successful NHL career.
In 2005-2006 during Selanne's first season back in Anaheim, he won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which recognizes perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
Having returned to his "happy place" in Anaheim, Selanne continues to defy age, and at 39 is still breaking records on the ice.
Today, Selanne jerseys can be seen all over the Honda Center as he is the name of the Anaheim Franchise. Many fans expect to see his number hanging high in the rafters when he finally decides to hang up the skates.
The only question remains: what number will he choose to retire, 8 or 13?
The 2nd overall pick in the 2005 draft was as important to the Ducks as the first round pick was to the Penguins. While it would take some time to see the fruits of that pick, in 2008, Bobby Ryan made his official rookie season a fantastic one. Scoring 31 goals and 26 assists, he scored the fastest rookie hat trick in team history against the Los Angeles Kings in 2 minutes, 21 seconds. His dominating performance in his first NHL season saw him finish second in the Calder Cup race.
Currently in his second NHL season, Ryan continues to impress and is no doubt a fan favorite. “Bobby! Bobby! Bobby!”
While many haters use the Disney name against the Ducks, the changing of the ownership, the team colors, name, and logo gave new life to the franchise. New owners Susan and Henri Samueli have showered the Orange County community in many ways. Often lending their time and name to organizations geared towards children and youth foundations, the Anaheim Ducks have made a new name for their franchise in a few short years.
In the first season with the new sleek look and color scheme, the Ducks found the best way to kick off a new era is by winning hockey's holy grail.
While many fans have fond memories of the "Disney years", very few will complain about the positive changes stemming from a new ownership.
In the first ever battle of California, the Ducks had to work until the very last game of the regular season to guarantee a spot in the 2008-09 playoffs. Sitting in the 8th seed, the Ducks battled against the Presidents Trophy winning San Jose Sharks, and eliminated them in 6 games.
Very few people had the Ducks coming out on top in a series that was destined to turn in San Jose's favor. However, Jonas Hiller proved that the Sharks were stoppable, shutting them out twice and taking the first two games on the road.
Even though the Ducks didn't make it past Detroit in the following round, it had already been determined which team reigned supreme in California, and for many fans, that was enough.
Let’s face it, these men are the future of the Anaheim franchise. In what many consider the best draft of the decade (possibly longer) the Ducks were lucky to have made it out of the first round with two strong picks.
Both Ryan Getzlaf (19th overall) and Corey Perry (28th overall) have been linked ever since.
From that moment on, both men have played at various levels together. Currently paired on Anaheim's top line, it seems that these two may possibly continue to play together for the rest of their careers. At least the fans in Anaheim hope so.
Their chemistry on the ice is dominating and relentless. Often up against the top shut down men in the league, neither has suffered in terms of scoring. During the 2009-08 campaign, Getzlaf recorded a franchise high 66 assists while his partner in crime, Perry, lead the team with 32 goals.
Currently, they're both on pace to have another stellar season.
It came in two separate waves, but having two of the best defensemen on the blue line meant more than the Ducks and their fans realized. Well, maybe now they do.
Scott Niedermayer had a far fewer gray hairs in his beard when his New Jersey Devils defeated the Ducks and took home Lord Stanley's Cup in 2003.
When the opportunity to acquire that infamous beard presented itself in 2005, the answer was simple.
Come to Anaheim and play with your brother Rob, and Scott did.
When Chris Pronger and his Oilers eliminated the Ducks in the Western Conference finals during their miraculous run as an 8th seed in the 2006 playoffs, it was obvious the Ducks were missing one key piece to their line up, Pronger himself. When the Ducks acquired the towering sharp-shooting D man during the following offseason in a highly talked about trade, the league took note.
With two Norris Trophy winning defensemen standing in front of a Conn Smythe winning goaltender, the Ducks would dominate the following season early with an astounding 12-0-4 record in their first 16 games.
There was no question that the Ducks defense would be difficult to penetrate.
During their run to the cup in 2007, both Niedermayer and Pronger made headlines with game winning goals and controversial suspensions.
Many fans will tell you that everything during that post season happened for a reason.
The Ducks love defying the Detroit Red Wings and any time these two teams meet up in the playoffs, the match-up will be epic. In 2009 the Red Wings eliminated the Ducks with 3:00 remaining in game 7. In 1996-97 and in 1998-99 the Red Wings swept the Ducks in the first and second round of the playoffs respectively. However, it was the 2002-03 season when the Ducks returned the favor that many fans will remember. Sweeping the Detroit Red Wings during the playoffs is something 28 other teams in the league would be glad to talk about, and the Ducks are no exception.
Say...isn't there another time the Ducks were victorious over Detroit...?
The Ducks had a solid season in 2003 and making the finals against a dominating New Jersey (and then opponent Scott Niedermayer) was shocking to many around the league. After less than a decade, the Ducks were placing their name in history, even if it was in a losing effort. Playing to the very end, game seven saw New Jersey win the cup and losing goaltender J.S. Giguere take home the Conn Smythe Trophy for his outstanding play throughout the post season.
Perhaps the emotional clenching moment during that series was watching a motionless Paul Kariya lay on the ice after a huge hit from Devils’ defenseman Scott Stevens. Kariya would return in that game to score a momentous goal sending the series to a decisive game seven in New Jersey.
The moment that many consider the reason the Ducks won the Cup in 2007 came during game five in Detroit.
After the Red Wings dominated the first 58 minutes of the game, J.S. Giguere’s play between the pipes kept the score at 1-0 when he was pulled for an extra attacker. Scott Niedermayer who had already been credited with a monumental game winning (and series clinching) goal against the Vancouver Canucks would once again come through for his team. Snapping a shot that deflected off defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom’s stick and over Dominik Hasek’s shoulder, he tied the game with less than a minute remaining.
However, it was the turnover in front of Detroit’s net that would be their downfall.
As Andreas Lilja came around his net, center Andy McDonald would cause him to fumble the puck to a waiting Teemu Selanne. All alone, Selanne sent a backhanded shot over a sprawling Hasek for the picture perfect water bottle pop that sent many Ducks fans into a frenzy.
The Ducks would win the next game at home and move onto the Stanley Cup Finals for the second time in less than five years.
Plain and simple....winning the cup is everything.