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By Adam Brady
Director of Publications & New Media
for the Ducks and Honda Center.
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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.16.2014 / 4:54 PM
If you were anywhere near social media on Monday night -- or if you happened to be watching the Rams plays the 49ers on Monday Night football -- you may have noticed this:



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:


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.


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POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.14.2014 / 7:15 PM
Yesterday afternoon, young Ducks center had the kind of game he'll remember the rest of his life, scoring the first two goals of his fledgling NHL career in a 5-1 win over the Sabres in Buffalo. 

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:



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POSTED ON Monday, 10.06.2014 / 4:45 PM
I got an email last last night from a Rebecca Roberts with the subject line: A romantic fan story from the UK. It reads as follows:

Dear Adam,

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.

Best wishes,
Rebecca

*Stuart is eager to add that, if you need any additional merchandise, do not hesitate to get in touch.

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POSTED ON Monday, 09.29.2014 / 5:27 PM

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

Pregame superstitions
Putting my gear on left to right

Favorite movies
Step Brothers, The Blind Side

Best movie you've seen recently
22 Jump Street

Favorite TV shows
Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, Paradise Hotel

Favorite bands
Rebelution, Volbeat, UB40

Someone on your iPod you’re ashamed of
Westlife

Favorite food
Swedish pancakes, Swedish pizza

Favorite Orange County restaurant
The Catch in Anaheim

Do you have a secret talent?
Ping pong  

Strangest thing you've ever been asked to autograph
Boxers

How you spent the summer
At home in Stockholm, but I visited Hampus [Lindholm] in Skåne one weekend.


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POSTED ON Friday, 09.26.2014 / 2:58 PM
Among the bevy of new faces on the Ducks roster this season is big veteran winger Dany Heatley, who signed a one-year deal with Anaheim back in July. The 33-year-old Heatley is embarking on his 13th season in the NHL, having spent time in Atlanta, Ottawa (where he got familiar with the Ducks during the '07 Final), San Jose and Minnesota (where he spent the last three campaigns).

Heatley (nicknamed "Heater") is already off to a (we'll say warm) start in Anaheim, having potted two preseason goals, including one last night in LA.

We found out a little more about his personal side a few days ago after a camp practice:

Favorite NHL player growing up
Brett Hull. He scored a ton of goals.

Favorite hockey moment of your career
Probably winning the gold [with Team Canada] in Vancouver.

Pregame superstitions
There are too many to name.

Favorite movie
Major League

Favorite TV shows
I liked Entourage and Californication a lot.

Favorite band
Dave Matthews Band

Someone on your iPad you’re ashamed of
Taylor Swift

Celebrity crush
Charlize Theron

Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Tim Robbins

Favorite food
Sushi and Italian

Favorite vacation spot
Kelowna, British Columbia

How you spent your summer
I was up in BC and spent a lot of time by the lake, just relaxing and playing a little golf. I was down in Orange County a little bit too.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 09.24.2014 / 2:22 PM

Ducks winger Matt Beleskey hasn't seen game action this preseason as he continues to recover from an abdominal injury suffered in Game 3 of the Kings series, which knocked him out for the rest of the playoffs.

Beleskey has been rehabbing the injury since then, which is only a part of a busy offseason for the 26-year-old. Matt (known by many as "Bels") and his new wife Victoria got married back in mid-August in his hometown of Barrie, Ontario. Beleskey talked about the wedding and more during some downtime in this Ducks camp, and we've provided some photos to go with it (courtesy of Matt's Twitter feed).

How was the wedding?

It was great. We had a perfect day, one of the nicest days of the summer. Everything ran smoothly, we got to see everyone and it was just an awesome day.


Notice the rubber Ducky bride and groom on their plates
.

And the honeymoon?
We went to Tahiti, and it was awesome. Tahiti is a pretty nice place to be. It’s very relaxing. After you plan a wedding and all of that, to spend a week and a half with your wife is quite a good time. We swam with some sharks, some stingrays, did some touring around the island. We really just took in the Tahitian lifestyle.



Anything else you did this summer?
It was a lot of planning between the bachelor party and all of the showers and all that. I tried to get some golf in when I could, and I played in Pebble Beach for a few days during NHLPA meetings.



Coming back from that groin injury, there was a lot of training with my trainer back home. So, it was a pretty busy summer, that’s for sure.




More on Matt

Favorite NHL players growing up
Wendel Clark, Eric Lindros and Doug Gilmour. That’s a good three.

Favorite hockey moment of your career
I’d have to say it’s my first goal. It was at home against Detroit, so that was a pretty great moment.

Pregame superstitions
You know, it’s starting to get pretty extensive. Nothing too crazy, but I have a full routine from the minute I leave my house until gametime that I follow. I like to get my green juice on the way there to get me going, and then it’s stretching and a lot of little stuff.

Favorite movies
Dumb and Dumber, for sure. Slap Shot is a classic. I’m a big fan of the movie Lawless, which is kind of a newer one.

Favorite TV shows
Sons of Anarchy for sure and Breaking Bad. I watch a lot of hockey and I’ll watch my Blue Jays. Football is kind of growing on me too.

Favorite bands
There’s Pearl Jam. I’ve been on a big City and Colour kick lately. I listen to everything.

Someone on your iPod you’re ashamed of
I’m glad to say I don’t have any Miley Cyrus or Justin Bieber, so I think I’m okay.

Who would play you in a movie about your life?
I’ll go with the guy from Lawless, Tom Hardy.

Favorite food
I would have to say sushi.

Favorite restaurant in Orange County
San Shi Go by the Balboa Pier

Secret talent
Guitar, I guess. Maybe that’s not a secret.

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POSTED ON Friday, 09.19.2014 / 11:42 AM
Thompson getting ready for a photo shoot on camp's first day.
A moment Ducks fans have been eagerly anticipating for months is finally upon us, as the first day of on-ice training camp opens this morning at The Rinks - Anaheim ICE (all sessions this weekend open to the public). But the 2014 Ducks camp officially opened yesterday at Honda Center, even though none of the Ducks slipped on the equipment.

It was the annual day of physicals, photo shoots and media sessions -- a day that has a "first day of school" feel to it each season. It's a chance to revisit with familiar faces that you haven't seen all summer, one of which -- Corey Perry -- had a perpetual smile on his as he moved from station to station (remarkable considering Perry isn't normally much of a  smiler.)

It's also a chance to get to know some of the newer faces who have become Ducks over the summer, one of whom this camp is likeable (and amply bearded) center Nate Thompson.

While the trade with Vancouver for center Ryan Kesler was Anaheim's biggest splash of the offseason, the move to acquire the veteran Thompson (for a 4th-round and 7th-round pick) was a key depth acquisition for the Ducks. Thompson is a workhorse who chipped in nine goals and 16 points in 81 games for the Lightning last season, and while that's interesting enough, Ducks fans obviously know very little about the personal side of him. (Here's a video interview with him from yesterday as well.)

Thompson actually hails from Anchorage, Alaska, and still heads back there a bit in the offseason. Here is his take on growing up there, as well as a few other personal preferences, which includes fly fishing (at left is a photo of a pretty decent catch, which is his Twitter profile photo):

About Anchorage
It’s about 250,000 to 300,000 people, but it’s kind of spread out and has a smaller feel to it.  It was a great place to grow up because it’s all about hockey there, but there is so much to do in the winter and summer, especially if you’re an outdoors person. I grew up fishing all the time and all of that stuff. I still have a lot of close friends up there, and I still call it home.

On the hockey in Alaska,
It’s definitely the No. 1 sport up there. There are a good amount of guys in the NHL from Alaska. Scott Gomez is the one who put us on the map, but you’ve got Matt Carle, Brandon Dubinsky, Joey Crabb, Tim Wallace, Ty Conklin, to name a few. There are definitely some good players from there.

On the biggest misconception about Alaska,
Everyone thinks we’re Eskimos and we ride our dogsleds to school and around town. That’s definitely not the case.

Favorite NHL player growing up
I was a big Steve Yzerman fan, just for how he played and what he did for the Detroit organization.

Favorite hockey moment of your career
There are a couple. My first NHL goal was a pretty special one. It was in New York and on [Henrik] Lundqvist.  I scored two goals in a game last year, and the second one was an overtime winner, so that was pretty special too.

Pregame superstitions
I put all my equipment on left side first.

Favorite movie
A River Runs Through It

Favorite TV shows
Modern Family, Sons of Anarchy and Game of Thrones

Favorite band
Pearl Jam

Someone on your iPod you’re ashamed of
Justin Bieber

Celebrity crush
Kate Beckinsale. “Cogs” [Andrew Cogliano] said that too? That’s my man right there. I like that. [Cogliano walks by and gets a fist bump from Thompson.]

Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Let’s go with Christian Bale.

Favorite food
Italian

Favorite Orange County restaurants
I’ve been to a few so far, and I’ve liked them all. Bear Flag Fish Co. is really good.

Secret talent
Fly fishing

Favorite vacation spot
Italy

How you spent the summer
I went home to Alaska for a fishing trip and saw some family. I went on another fishing trip in Northern Ontario for some walleye. Other than that, I spent my summer with my wife in Minneapolis, where she’s from. We went to her parents' cabin. That’s where we spend most of our summers.


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POSTED ON Wednesday, 09.17.2014 / 8:36 PM
As the Ducks continue to try and come up with creative ways for some of their season ticket holders to get their tickets delivered, an idea sprung up among the staff this past month. Inspired by the ever-popular "This Is SportsCenter" commercials in which famous athletes appear as everyday employees at ESPN headquarters, we decided to put some of the Ducks players to work around Honda Center.

New center Ryan Kesler, goalie John Gibson and defenseman Hampus Lindholm were "hired" as a security guard, elevator operator and receptionist, respectively. They were positioned one evening to greet a group of 10 randomly picked season ticket holders (and their families), who were only told to come to Honda Center and pick up their tickets for 2014-15.

The reactions of the fans to seeing the likes of Kesler in full gear, peaking around a newspaper as he sat at his security post, were priceless. I remained in the locker room with coach Bruce Boudreau, a few Power Players and Wild Wing to enjoy the looks on their faces as Bruce led them to their own stall, where a personalized new Ducks jersey hung from a hook.

Here's a group photo of everybody
, and here's a look at a video recapping the whole thing:


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POSTED ON Tuesday, 08.19.2014 / 1:08 PM
There isn't a whole lot to get excited about hockey-wise in the month of August, so when it's time to lay the ice at Honda Center and get it painted, it's given major event treatment.

This season the Ducks added something new to the process, holding a social media scavenger hunt-themed contest in which one fan was given the chance to help paint the ice. That fan, whose name is Kimberly, got a nice surprise when she showed up to Honda Center and Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen was there to help paint the surface. 

Meanwhile, we have this Vine video of Freddie painting the crease that he will soon man when games get started later this month. If you stare at this long enough, it's oddly mesmerizing.



And here is the finished product (with a couple of sponsor logos still to be painted):



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POSTED ON Thursday, 08.14.2014 / 6:05 PM
If you've been anywhere near Facebook or Twitter in the past few months, you're aware of the concept of the Ice Bucket Challenge. In case you haven't, it's a social media initiative in which people challenge friends, colleagues or others to record video of themselves dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads. If they don't accept and complete the challenge within 24 hours, they are asked to donate to the ALS Association or a charity of their choice.

Of course, they can always dump the water over their heads and donate to ALS research if they so choose. The ALS Association is a national non-profit fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease through global research and providing assistance and care for people with ALS.

Admirably, a number of Ducks have gotten into the spirit, dousing themselves in ice water and challenging teammates and other NHLers to do the same. Not surprisingly, Ben Lovejoy had probably the best one, sitting on a dock and getting his baby daughter Lila involved, with warm water poured only over her leg (she cried anyway). You can't really hear what he says at the end, but ...



Ryan Getzlaf, Emerson Etem, Cam Fowler, new Duck Dany Heatley and others have taken part. Take a look at all of the videos here.

The Ducks staff, led by Executive Vice President/COO Tim Ryan, got into the spirit today too (see below), after being challenged by the staff of the Nashville Predators. The Ducks and Honda Center are also making a donation to the ALS Association. 


If you'd like to get involved, simply post your own video on your Facebook or Twitter and use the hashtag #IceBucketChallenge.
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SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 50 32 12 6 147 134 70
2 NSH 48 31 11 6 145 115 68
3 STL 48 31 13 4 156 117 66
4 CHI 50 31 17 2 155 115 64
5 SJS 50 27 17 6 139 135 60
6 WPG 51 26 17 8 142 132 60
7 VAN 47 27 17 3 129 120 57
8 CGY 50 27 20 3 144 129 57
9 LAK 49 21 16 12 134 132 54
10 DAL 49 23 19 7 157 159 53
11 COL 50 21 18 11 131 141 53
12 MIN 48 22 20 6 131 138 50
13 ARI 49 17 26 6 113 168 40
14 EDM 50 13 28 9 115 166 35

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 49 15 35 7 50
C. Perry 35 19 13 13 32
R. Kesler 50 13 19 -3 32
S. Vatanen 50 10 20 3 30
M. Beleskey 49 19 7 11 26
P. Maroon 42 6 19 1 25
C. Fowler 49 5 18 2 23
H. Lindholm 49 5 16 12 21
J. Silfverberg 50 6 13 2 19
R. Rakell 39 5 12 2 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 27 7 5 .918 2.27
J. Gibson 2 2 0 .927 2.28

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