We’ve discussed five current Anaheim Ducks that might make quarantine enjoyable, but what about players that are no longer on the team?
It’s been way too long since I’ve written, and considering the fact what we haven’t had anything to talk about hockey wise, it’s caused me to be lackadaisical in my writing endeavors. So, to make it up to you, I’m going to deliver on something that should have been done eons ago. So, we go, the million-dollar question is this: if given the choice, who are 5 players who played for the Anaheim Ducks in the past that would be great choices to quarantine with during COVID-19?
To answer this question, I have to go against the grain a little bit. You see, usually, I would rely on the stats to buffer my points, but with this question, I’m going in a different direction. My answers are more personal and contain the fondest memories of each player that I am going to choose. So, let’s get down to business.
Getting Jiggy with It!!!!
Jean-Sebastien Giguere: the man the myth, the legend. A man that has single-handedly become a fan-favorite among Mighty Ducks fans. He was the man between the pipes for the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 2003, leading the team to a miraculous run to the 7th game of the Stanley Cup Finals. What made him so special to us is his mastery of puck-saving and giving us Anaheim Ducks fans reasons to cheer. His run in 2007 provided us with some memories that we’ll never forget, and though he left Anaheim to play for other teams, he never left our hearts.
A fond memory of him is the big save against Minnesota in Game 1 where he was caught out of his net but rallied just in time to make the big save. That began a run of him shutting out the Wild in three straight games to lead the Ducks to an amazing sweep over them to clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Giguere was amazing beforehand, leading the Mighty Ducks to a surprising out-of-this-world sweep against the 2002 Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings, then leading them over another six-game upset over the Dallas Stars. That performance in Game 1 of the WCF over the Minnesota Wild, particularly that save, was something to behold, though. It’s a moment that not a lot of Mighty Ducks of Anaheim fans will forget that easily, which makes him my first choice in the Ducks Quarantine house.
Cogs and Wheels, Wheels and Cogs
We all know most of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks past heroes, but there is one person who may not get much recognition. Andrew Cogliano, or Iron Man, to most Anaheim Ducks fans, gets my second slot. Cogliano was a fan favorite to most people in the OC, mainly because of his hard work ethic, and his ability to push people to play their best. If people are asked about what made him so special to us, two things automatically come to mind.
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Number one, his consecutive games streak. Cogliano never missed a game playing his tenure with the Anaheim Ducks. Cogliano was the consummate professional that everyone loved and adored. So, it was a crying shame, that his streak officially ended when he got suspended two games for a questionable interference against the LA Kings. Though the streak officially ended at 830 games, Ducks fans and other fans agreed that streak didn’t end in our eyes. It wasn’t until the following year, when he got injured, that his streak officially ended. Cogliano’s work ethic is second to none, which made his trade to Dallas hard on all of us Ducks fans when it happened.
Number two, the game-tying goal against Edmonton in the 2017 WCSF against the Edmonton Oilers. Though everyone remembers game 5 of the same series, everyone also remembers the game 7 curse that came along that needed to be broken. Cogliano’s goal helped turned the tide when he stashed in the rebound off Kesler’s shot. His greasy-style goal score was emblematic of how he always played, and to be rewarded correctly with a goal to help push us over the top was the only way a man of his honor and dignity should be rewarded.
Those two moments are the reasons why he gets, my vote and a spot in my house. He may not get the shiny bells and whistles, but he was reminiscent of Samuel “Viking” Pahlsson, a man that played hard and got the dirty work done.
CP10 To the Rescue
Whether it’s the Miracle on Katella or the game 3 OT winner against the Calgary Flames in 2015 or the overtime game-winner against Calgary in 2017, Corey Perry has given Anaheim Ducks fans something to cheer for. His enemies hated his style of play, but by his teammates and fans, he was beloved by all. Corey’s scoring prowess and his flair for the dramatic got fans to rise from their seats and cheer. Outside of #8 and #9, CP10 formed the second-best duo to wear the Anaheim Ducks sweater with current team captain Ryan Getzlaf.
His funny personality and his happy-go-lucky attitude would make it fun to be around. He is a prankster by heart, but good-hearted in nature. He would make it fun to do an Impractical Jokers segment throughout the day, playing jokes on the rest of us.
The fondest memories of Corey Perry are far and wide, but three come to mind. Of course, the game-winner against Edmonton that completed the movie-style comeback of the ages, and in the process, shutting up Jeremy Roenick from NBC Sports when he chose Edmonton to beat us. His teaming up with Getzlaf showed up in the biggest of stages and will forever live on as one of the most iconic playoff comebacks in MDA history.
The second favorite moment I have of him is the 2015 game-winner against Calgary, in which the Ducks swept the Flames to move onto the WCF. After getting injured earlier in the game, Corey returned and in overtime, stashed in the loose change after getting into a scrum, ending the Flames’ playoff and once again, proving the old adage to be true, that no matter what, they can’t win here.
The third and final moment about Perry was his run in the beginning in 07, where he and Getzlaf began their journey to the Cup. Though they weren’t the leaders that they are now, his contributions to the team’s success doesn’t go unnoticed. Him and Getzlaf’s journey to becoming the best duo south of the 00s began that year, and who would’ve thought that we would not only see the only championship in our trophy case, but also a dawn into what has been the most impressive, stellar, hall-of-fame worthy duo in the NHL. In the end, the only crowning accomplishment that would be missing is if they don’t get into the HOF together.
Battle of the Finnish
Of course, no list is complete without one of the greatest players of all-time to don a Mighty Ducks of Anaheim jersey: The Finnish Flash. His stats speak for himself, but his grace on the ice makes him lovable by all fans. Though he had 2 stints with the Ducks, along with a stint with Winnipeg, Colorado and San Jose, Selanne’s heart remained in the OC. That reason alone is why he gets the fourth slot in my house. Selanne’s heart for people, his humor and most importantly, his Finnish accent, makes a hard to beat combination to keep him out. His stories about his childhood in Finland, as well as his stories of playing for the Finnish hockey team along with Saku and Mikko Koivu over beer, or any Finnish cuisine is something to behold and not to pass up.
Of course, the best moment in Teemu’s career with the MDA has to be game 5 in 2007 against our playoff rival Detroit. Stealing the puck before he went backhand on Howard for the overtime GWG was something to behold. It would be a prelude to the game 6 coronation to the Stanley Cup Finals yet again. That moment in time will be forever remembered, and outside of his jersey getting retired, that moment puts him on the Mt. Rushmore of all-time Mighty Ducks players.
Another moment in time in Teemu’s career was his lap around with Jiggy in his last game. With both of them teammates in 07, their lap around the rink symbolized their friendship on and off the ice, and for their final moments in their latter stages in their careers to culminate in that fashion, is something that we won’t forget. it just goes to show that no matter how far they went, it never broke their bond.
The Captain Has Returned
Disclaimer: what you are about to read in this section, is purely emotional, purely fanboy and purely explains how I fell into fandom over the best and coolest team on the ice. Forgive me for going overboard, but as you read on, you’ll understand the meaning behind the reverence for this legend.
There are no words to say that can fully describe how I feel for PK9, or of course, Paul Kariya, aka the Captain. Of course, most people remember him for the famous, or infamous, game 6 goal that caused an earthquake, brought down the house and probably will go down as one of the most indelible, tear-jerking, movie to life comeback of all time.
What makes it sad is that he of all people doesn’t remember a thing, but if you ask most fans to mention their favorite MDA moment, his comeback will be the top one of all time. His time away from the game may have been upsetting to a select few, but as the old saying goes, time heals all wounds, and maybe just maybe, his anger wasn’t towards the fans, as he eloquently stated in his jersey hanging ceremony, but rather to how he wasn’t properly protected.
Of course, there are many other accomplishments in PK9’s career, him being the Hobey Baker award winner or scoring the game-winner against Phoenix in the MDA’s first playoff appearance in ’97. You also have to include the game-winner against Detroit in game 1 in ’03 or the game-winner against Minnesota in game 1 of the WCF to shine a more positive light on his career.
Though he won’t want to relive the darkest days of his career in 2003, Kariya is still my favorite to me. Him being a team captain and standing after resiliency in the 03 SCF was enough for me to become a fan. His heart and soul contrast to his quiet personality, shone brighter than most would give it credit for, and when push comes to shove, he will forever be remembered for not only the greatest MD of all time but rather the greatest MD captain of all time.
His quiet demeanor doesn’t lead him to become shy or non-competitive, as we saw in an interview, he can do some amazing things, including surfing. His background on display during his HOF speech will bring everyone into tears. His honoring of his parents spoke volumes, as well as his honoring of his friend, brother-in-arms, the Finnish Flash. All in all, why would you not want to learn from one of the greats to play the game?
My only wish is that he is here when the Anaheim Ducks rise to the Cup and bring it back home for the second time. It would be appropriate for the next generation to learn from a legend, and to follow in his footsteps in how to become a hero wearing a Duck mask.
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