It’s been over a decade since the Anaheim Ducks have lifted the Stanley Cup, but it still stands out as the most important day in franchise history.
For every NHL team, a new season represents a blank slate. Instead of wallowing in their self-pity and failures from the season before, they charge forward with one goal in mind: the Stanley Cup. In 2007, the newly rebranded Anaheim Ducks wanted nothing more than to raise Lord Stanley for the very first time, and after a bit of bad luck, it finally seemed like they had all of their ducks in a row.
The Road to Lord Stanley Was Paved Well Before the 2006-07 Season
While the path to Lord Stanley seemed as though it was paved in the 2006-07 season, on the contrary. There were several steps that had to happen in order for the Anaheim Ducks to raise the most coveted trophy in the NHL. It started with their fall from grace, learning from their failures, taking the time to rest, regrouping, and finally, they had their resurgence.
In 2003, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim fell short of winning the Stanley Cup after a devastating 0-3 loss in Game 7 to the New Jersey Devils. While the effort they showed in that series was incredible, as they say, second place is always the first loser. 2004 was no kinder to them when they missed the Stanley Cup playoffs altogether. The 2004-05 season was all but lost when the NHL failed to come to terms during the lockout.
Finally, in 2005-06, with a new coach behind the bench, the addition of Scott Niedermayer, and the reacquisition of the Finnish Flash, Teemu Selanne, things seemed to be looking up for the Mighty Ducks. However, yet again, they fell just short of the Stanley Cup when they were knocked out of the Conference Finals by the Edmonton Oilers, walking away with just one win during the series.
Prior to the 2006-07 season, the franchise underwent a major facelift. In 2005, Henry and Susan Samueli purchased the team from the Walt Disney Company and decided to dissociate themselves from the original parent company. Trading in the eggplant and jade for a more sophisticated color palette, choosing the webbed “D” Ducks logo in favor of the iconic Wild Wing logo, and simplifying the team name were all steps taken to rebrand and revitalize the team.