Anaheim Ducks Rant Week: Hoping for a Tank Doesn’t Make Me a Bad Fan

ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 14: Head coach Randy Carlyle of the Anaheim Ducks talks during a post-game interview following Game Two of the Western Conference First Round against the San Jose Sharks during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center on April 14, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 14: Head coach Randy Carlyle of the Anaheim Ducks talks during a post-game interview following Game Two of the Western Conference First Round against the San Jose Sharks during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center on April 14, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Cheering for your favorite team to lose is not something that anyone ever wants to do, but sometimes it’s justified. That’s where I’ve been with the Anaheim Ducks since the Christmas break, and it doesn’t make me a bad fan.

Welcome back to Anaheim Ducks Rant Week here at Pucks of a Feather, I’m Jon Maxfield and I’ve got some things that I want to get off my chest and there’s no better time or place than during rant week. It’s become increasingly obvious to me over the years that being a fan of a sports team isn’t a choice, at a certain point in your fandom you become emotionally invested, and your love for your favorite team becomes unconditional.

There have been times where I wanted to watch other teams and have the same love for them as I have for the Ducks, I watch teams who are better than the Ducks, I watch teams who are closer in proximity to me than the Ducks, I watch teams who are incredibly important to my family, friends and other loved ones, and I simply cannot invest.

Our Favorite Teams Become Our Family

I find myself feeling about the Anaheim Ducks the same way that I feel about my family. I may not always enjoy the decisions they make, they may frustrate me to no end, but at the end of the day, I will always forgive them, I will always find time to spend with them and want them to succeed in the end. Why is this important?

Well, continuing the family analogy, sometimes sports teams can be a bit of a problem child, the family member who’s consistently finding themselves in trouble and you support them and give them every chance to pull themselves up by their boot-straps and make something of themselves. But at a certain point, you realize that unless they’re willing to make drastic changes to themselves, they’re never going to reach the heights that you know they can.

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That is where I’m at with the Anaheim Ducks. These Anaheim Ducks have spent the past decade as one of the more consistent, dominant and successful teams in the NHL. They never got fully over the hump to win the ultimate prize, but they did their best and you can’t fault them for that. But eventually, you expect them to take the next step, and they haven’t done that since the Ryan Kesler trade in 2014.

So, would I rather these Ducks continue on the path they’ve been on, being good, but not good enough, or would I rather them focus on doing whatever it takes to be good enough, to reach the plateau that every team strives for, and few reach? For me the answer is simple. This Ducks team is not going to win a cup in its current form (That includes adding the young kids from San Diego). They simply won’t.

The Anaheim Ducks Need a Franchise Changer

With each passing year, the best players on this team (excluding Gibson) are taking a step back. A team that had a cornerstone of Ryan Getzlaf, and a consistent 30 goal scorer in Corey Perry, adding a Selke winning center in Ryan Kesler is very very quickly becoming a team with Ryan Getzlaf, a Corey Perry who can’t control the pace of the play at the same level he once could, and a Ryan Kesler that for his own health and well being, should probably never touch the ice at an NHL level again.

I know what some of you are saying, “Jon it’s fine, those guys are aging but we have plenty of young forwards coming up who can fill that void and be the new cornerstones of the team!” To that, I say no…

These players are good, and exciting, and are going to be every-day NHLers. But we as fans have been spoiled by Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. We need to realize that not only do this caliber of players not grow on trees, that with them, with those two all-time Ducks greats who will have their numbers hanging in the rafters one day, but we also could not win a cup. So, ask yourself, do any of you truly believe that any of the Ducks prospects as they stand now can, not only match what Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf are but hopefully EXCEED what they’ve done if we want any chance at a cup? I don’t think so.

The Ducks need an elite, top end, blue-chip talent prospect. You don’t get those players often in the 10-15 overall range, you rarely get them after the top 3 selections. Even rarer is to win a cup without one. As it stands right now, the last team to win a Stanley Cup without a top 2 selection on their roster (That they drafted) was 2007-08 when the Detroit Red Wings won the cup. Since then the next 10 Stanley Cup winners won the cup with a player they got thanks to a very high lottery pick. I ultimately want the Ducks to win a cup, I want to see them as the unquestioned best team in the entire league, and I want that through whatever means necessary.

The viewpoint that some have, that because I’m okay with the Ducks losing games that really mean nothing to win, that I am not an actual fan of this team is asinine. I want the same end result that you do, I’m simply able to put my fandom aside, put my pride aside and admit that this team needs help, help that is incredibly hard to find, and is even harder to find when you lower the chances of you getting the help you need. Sometimes you need to hit rock bottom to rise from the ashes.

Cheering For A Loss Doesn’t Make Anyone a Bad Fan

It’s completely understandable to want your favorite team to succeed, and I am not telling you that you’re wrong for cheering for the Ducks to win, I’m simply saying that if you feel that I am not a fan, because I’m okay with losing to get better in the long haul, you’re wrong. Hockey has enough gate-keepers as it is and trying to shame someone for wanting the same result as you, with a different path to get there, is counter-productive.

Let fans cheer how they want, if I want the Ducks to lose to get a top 3 pick don’t try to make me feel bad about it, the same way I won’t try to make you feel bad about cheering for the Ducks to win a game against Edmonton in March that doesn’t help either team in the grand scheme of things. I’m just as much of a fan as you are. Now lets band together and cheer together as we watch this Ducks team build, grow, and become a force once again.

dark. Next. Checking in on some Pre-season Predictions

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