Most of us know about the legendary "Why you haf to be mad?" interview before the Ducks faced Edmonton with former Oiler Chris Pronger for the first time or his explanation of the universe ("humongous big") from HBO's 24/7 Flyers Rangers.
For me, there is the personal story of the time I went around the Ducks locker room asking them for their favorite memories from the '06 playoffs and Bryz's answer was simply, "Free lunch."
He ended the session by responding to a question about whether he had changed since his last time in Anaheim (for which we're including the audio snippet to properly do it justice):
"You know, I don't think so. I am who I am. Life is [too] beautiful to be sad, to be depressed. You've got to enjoy every day of your life. The sun comes up and it’s so beautiful. Everybody is in good condition and good health. You've got to enjoy it. You've got to find the positive moments in your life every day."
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I think I might get that embroidered on a pillow.
The 6-2, 231-pound of St. Louis was geared for big things this season after breaking out last year with 11 goals and 18 assists in 62 games with the Ducks. The early part of his campaign was derailed when he missed suffered a lower-body injury on October 13 and was expected to be out for four weeks. But he cut that time in half and returned ot the Ducks lineup at the end of last month.
Maroon had points in four of his first five games this season, all assists, and he's still looking for his first goal of the year.
Here are a few of his favorite things:
Favorite NHL player growing up
Todd Bertuzzi. He’s a similar player to me – big and tall.
Favorite hockey moment of your career
Making it into the playoffs last year. I’d never been in an atmosphere like that before, and being in the Stanley Cup Playoffs was pretty exciting.
Why he switched to 19
That’s what I wore in the minors, when I first got traded to Syracuse. I wore 19 all the way up after that, so I figured I’d go back to it.
Man on Fire is a really good movie. I love that. Dumb and Dumber is a classic.
Favorite TV shows
Friday Night Lights, for sure, and Sons of Anarchy.
I love Tracy Chapman, and I love Luke Bryan.
Someone on your iPod you’re ashamed of
Who would play you in a movie about your life?
I think Jim Carrey
My mom’s chicken cutlets
Favorite Orange County restaurant
Roy’s in Newport Beach
Favorite vacation spot
I don’t take enough vacations, but I would say Florida.
Do you have a secret talent?
Let’s go with my roller hockey game.
Later in the day, an assembly was held for all fourth- and fifth-grade classes, with many of the students clad in the orange Let's Go Ducks shirt provided to them as part of the #PaintItOrange campaign during last year's playoffs. (We'll have a full story on the Reading is the GOAL event in the next few days.)
Ducks wingers Devante Smith-Pelly and Matt Beleskey were featured guests at the assembly hosted by Ducks reporter Kent French. The two of them read from the children's hockey book called Brady Brady and the Twirlin' Torpedo, as one read the text and the other showed the illustrations (and they switched halfway through).
They also performed admirably during a Q&A session with the kids, fielding questions that included, "What was your worst injury?" or "How many penalties have you taken?" When it was revealed Smith-Pelly has zero penalty minutes this season, he explained it by calmly saying, "I'm a nice guy."
But there was one question that stumped the duo: "Where did you go to college?" Both players, of course, elected to play junior hockey instead of attending college, and both were drafted as 18-year-olds (Beleskey in 2006 and Smith-Pelly in 2010).
Watch in the video below as they reveal that neither of them attended college. The collective gasp in the audience is a good sign for the future academic potential of these kids. (Also note the polite applause from just one kid when Beleskey offers, "I did take one class ... and I passed.")
This season, Andersen has gotten off to a 6-1-0 start (with a gaudy 1.69 goals-against average and .940 save percentage) while donning this fantastic mask inspired by The Lego Movie, which we profiled over the summer. And while he's only played seven regular season games in that mask, he apparently has another incredible one on deck, this one a tribute to a more ... mature film.
Andersen's designer -- airbrush artist and custom mask painter David Gunnarsson of Sweden (who also designed John Gibson's current Pac-Man mask) -- has released photos of a new one for Andersen inspired by the Quentin Tarantino cult classic, Reservoir Dogs.
The left side of the mask has a duck depicting the character "Mr. Blonde" from the movie, whom you may know as the primary player in one of the movie's more memorable (and disturbing) scenes. Below that is a duck-themed take on an iconic photo from the movie of the main characters walking down the street in their black suites, ties and sunglasses.
The front of the mask is a closer look at that black-tie look, while the right side is a nod to the old Mighty Ducks logo, with sunglasses.
Here is how it's described on Gunnarsson's website:
Watch out... With this mask on Frederik Andersen will be transformed into a certain Mr Blonde... Just check out his iconic shirt and tie on the chin of the mask...
Frederik and me love to come up with new design ideas for every new mask... And a Reservoir Ducks mask feels so good... And more movie themed Andersen masks will come :)
And if you have seen the Reservoir movie you will see Mr Blonde is not a very nice guy... And on the side of the mask you will find Mr Blonde again, with his team, as ducks of course... And he is holding his razor...
And on the other side the Ducks logo, and as a true Reservoir Duck of course he wears sunglasses...:)
Just as usual the design is loaded with effects and details to be discovered all over the mask...Here's a closer look, courtesy of Gunnarsson's Instagram:
The answer (which comes from Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf) may surprise you: "All About That Bass" newcomer from Meghan Trainor, a song that has topped the Billboard chart for seven straight weeks. Here it is:
That's not to say it's the only song that blares from the locker room speakers following a victory. Last night, for example, you could hear the catchy new hit from Taylor Swift, "Shake It Off."
For those who don't know it:
Incidentally, last year -- when the Ducks won a franchise-record 54 games -- the song they played after each of them was "Wake Me Up" by Avicii.
Here it is, in case you're working on that mix tape:
And one last thing. Many people have been asking what song is playing in the arena following a Ducks win, notably during the Three Stars presentation. Here's that one:
Ducks TV reporter Kent French (the guy we all call “Frenchie”) has been aware of that for a long time, and he knows it all too well after a mistake he made six nights ago in Detroit took on a life of its own.
While introducing Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf for a postgame interview on Prime Ticket after Anaheim’s 3-2 victory over the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena, French must have had fellow Ducks center Ryan Kesler on his mind. And then this happened (click the audio icon in the corner):
The blunder by Frenchie, followed by the priceless facial expression by Getzlaf, did not go unnoticed. It soon spread throughout social media, thanks in part to the above Vine video posted by a fan named Tim Hollenback (@thollenback15). Suddenly, the hashtag #Keslaf was born, along with a fake Twitter account, Ryan Keslaf (@RKeslaf).
French, however, didn’t realize the mistake until later that night.
“I didn’t even know I said it at the time. No idea,” French says. “Nobody said a word to me, but after the game when I got on the bus, I looked at Twitter and all of a sudden I was getting a ton of tweets about it. Then [Ducks radio commentator] Dan Wood walked on and said, ‘What have you done?’ I just said, ‘I don’t know.’"
To his credit, French is as polished as they come, and on-air flubs are few and far between. This one, unfortunately for him, wasn’t missed.
“I wasn’t very happy because I don’t like to make mistakes, especially with the captain. But then Getzy comes on the bus, and the first thing he says to me is, ‘I thought we’d been together a long time.’ The next day before practice, I was in the press room reading some notes, and he walks by and he’s like, ‘Studying up on the names, bud?’”
As if Getzlaf wasn’t already aware of the expression he made, (“Oh yeah, I was giving him a look. He screwed up my name”), his friends made sure he knew about it.
“I’ve got lots of text messages with my face,” Getzlaf said with a laugh. “But I was there, I know what I did.”
Getzlaf has known French for nearly a decade and says, "You don’t see Frenchie mess up very often, and I thought he transitioned great after he did it.”
Of course, social media – not to mention Frenchie’s co-workers here in the Ducks offices – have made certain that he doesn’t forget about it anytime soon.
“I don’t like to mess up, but you just kind of roll with it and have fun with it,” Frenchie says. “I always tell people: It’s live TV, you’re going to make mistakes. It’s how you move on from those mistakes.
“But Getzy’s been great about it and the fans are having a good time with it, so it’s fine.”
The telecast happened to show a glimpse of the tattoo on the back of Rams wide receiver Austin Pettis' neck, which looks none other than the old Mighty Ducks logo. It makes sense, since Pettis is a native of Orange County who was born in Anaheim and attended Orange Lutheran High before going off to Boise State and eventually getting drafted by the Rams. And if the name sounds familiar to Orange County sports fans, his uncle is former Angels outfielder Gary Pettis.
The Ducks Twitter had this exchange with Pettis after the game Monday night:
@AnaheimDucks absolutely I'm a big fan. Anaheim born and raised appreciate it!— Austin Pettis (@Austin_Pettis) October 14, 2014
Pettis explained the tattoo in an interview that aired on the Rams website. "One, it's a great movie," he said, half-jokingly. "I'm from Anaheim, I was born and raised. The Ducks were right down the street. I was able to watch the Angels games, the Ducks games my whole life growing up. I pretty much just grew up being a big fan. I know you wouldn't expect a lot of footbally guys to be hockey fans, but I'm a sports fan, so I enjoy it."
Here's the full interview and below you can see a little more of the ink.
The 21-year-old Swede, who made the Ducks opening night roster after a strong training camp, has earned the ironic nickname of "Wild Bill" despite his soft-spoken nature. After that game in Buffalo, the guys in the NHL Live studio asked Karlsson about it during an Arena Cam interview from the benches at First Niagara Center.
"I don't actually know where it comes from,” Karlsson said. “Our Strength and Conditioning Coach [Sean Skahan] just started calling me 'Wild Bill' and then everybody else picked it up. I'm ‘Wild Bill’ forever, I guess."
It's at least caught on to the point that it's included in his Wikipedia profile. Here's the rest of that NHL Live interview, during part of which Karlsson needlessly apologizes for his English:
About a year ago, I met a guy named Stuart while working in a local bar. Our eyes met across the tequila-smothered surface, and I spent the rest of the night plying him with shots as a good bargirl would. On our first date, three ‘make or break’ facts emerged. One: Stuart was an ice hockey player, a sport I know absolutely nothing about. Two: Stuart is a loyal Anaheim Ducks fan, and has been for over seven years. Three: We had started dating at exactly the right time; it was the start of the NHL season, and he was just so excited to share it with me.
As our romance blossomed, so did the time spent watching and reading every single game, blog and news update. My Google Chrome favourites ‘ducks.nhl.com’ over any other duck-related Google search and, believe me, there are many. Breakfast in bed? We were joined by Saku Koivu. Romantic candlelit dinner? We made it a party – left, right and centre. Mini-break to Berlin? Who needs Brandenburg Gate and currywurst when we have Ryan Getzlaf and some cheap popcorn?
It was midway through this mini-break that I decided to face my reality. If this relationship was going to work, I had to learn about ice hockey, and I had to become a Ducks fan. Stuart brushed remnants of salty popcorn from his increasingly unruly beard (he had to support the players, after all), and in the time it takes Cogliano to cross the rink, he had created a ‘Hockey 101’ poster for my perusal. I learnt about the rink layout and game time, player descriptions, icing, penalties and why we should really like Bruce Boudreau. All was complemented by pausing games at specific points to show how the Ducks players executed forechecks, line changes and power plays to perfection.
I was hooked. I loved the bold colours, the tension during shootouts, the crazed fan’s cheers and exasperated sighs, and most of all, the crisp sound of skates on ice. As the Ducks ventured further into the Stanley Cup playoffs, I even handmade a ‘Holy Ducks’ prayer flag, reminiscent of the Nepalese prayer flags. Sadly, my efforts came a little too late. We were out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and now our Holy Ducks prayer flag hangs limply on Stuart’s noticeboard, waiting for next year’s victory. Next came free agency, which caused Stuart a bit of stress. But, as I kept on reminding him, everyone needs a bear killer on their team.
The months between the Draft and preseason games were tough. Coping mechanisms included watching Disney’s The Mighty Ducks every morning and night, listening to Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice, downloading the Ducks mobile app, or just going back to that tequila-smothered bar surface and waiting for September to come round. Now, four months later, preseason games have begun and, as the roster changes, so does our relationship: We have moved in together.
As a ‘Date Night’ idea, Stuart proposed that we buy some cheap cereal bowls and paint them together. What a romantic, creative and economical idea, I thought. We can share an intimate evening together without the company of the Ducks. As I dabbed my paint brush into the red acrylic pot and delicately started to construct a flower design, I noticed Stuart outlining an all too familiar emblem onto his bowl face. His bowl design was a tribute to the team, adorned with both the new and old logo*.
Having become an enthusiastic Ducks fan myself, I supported Stuart’s source of creative energy. Once finished, I suggested we write a themed message on the bottom of our bowls, etching our love and truly making our house a home.
This is mine: "I love you (plus cereal)."
This is Stuart’s: "I love Corey Perry #10 (plus cereal)."
I’ll let that sink in.
*Stuart is eager to add that, if you need any additional merchandise, do not hesitate to get in touch.
He's a former Ducks first round pick (2011) with tons of promise, a guy who is in a battle in camp for a coveted center spot in Anaheim's opening night lineup.
But while Ducks fans have seen some of what 21-year-old Swede Rickard Rakell can do on the ice in his 22 career games with Anaheim (plus four in last year's playoffs), they don't know a ton about him.
Here's a little more on Rakell:Favorite NHL player growing up
Peter Forsberg and Alexei Kovalev
Favorite hockey moment of your career
Winning gold for Team Sweden in the World Juniors in Calgary in 2012
Putting my gear on left to right
Step Brothers, The Blind Side
Best movie you've seen recently
22 Jump Street
Favorite TV shows
Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, Paradise Hotel
Rebelution, Volbeat, UB40
Someone on your iPod you’re ashamed of
Swedish pancakes, Swedish pizza
Favorite Orange County restaurant
The Catch in Anaheim
Do you have a secret talent?
Strangest thing you've ever been asked to autograph
How you spent the summer
At home in Stockholm, but I visited Hampus [Lindholm] in Skåne one weekend.