By Adam Brady
Director of Publications & New Media
for the Ducks and Honda Center
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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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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:

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):

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.
POSTED ON Wednesday, 07.09.2014 / 5:40 PM
As I've mentioned in this space before, one of the responsibilities of my job is to monitor the Contact Us emails that come through the Ducks website. And as I've also mentioned before, there is a wide variety of emails we receive from fans and ... not ... fans. (You can imagine how the emails looked in the days following the Game 7 loss to the Kings.)

Every once in awhile, I'll see emails that bring a smile to my face, like this one we received today from a Will Grant:

To the Ducks,

On Sunday, April 13 2014, I attended the Ducks vs. Avalanche game, and it was quite a magical experience! Not only did the Ducks pull out a tough 3-2 victory in OT, but the fans were truly treated above and beyond. The generosity and good spirits of the Ducks organization were contagious throughout the evening. I just had to write to say how thankful I am for that experience.

I am new to hockey fandom. Originally from Arkansas, there wasn’t a whole lot of hockey coverage growing up. It wasn’t until I decided to attend a Ducks game on February 28 that I realized I had found a new love. I was instantly hooked. The positive atmosphere and beauty of the Honda Center, the warmth of the crowd behind me while feeling the cold of the rink below, the speed and intensity of the game. I could see droves of happy fans, whether it be a single person with a Teemu jersey, or complete families decked out in classic Ducks gear. That night I bought a hockey jersey and knew I was a Ducks fan.

I bought a number of tickets in advance, so I already had tickets to that April 13th game. However, my roommate recently returned from Afghanistan and he wanted to splurge. We ended up with glass seats that night, and it was completely amazing. Since it was Fan Appreciation Night, ticket numbers were being called out all night for various prizes.

I had been chatting with the gentleman next to me and his granddaughter, and he mentioned one of the giveaways being displayed. I looked up and it was the seats that I had previously purchased! I was totally amazed, but was doubtful I would be able to receive the prize since I had left the tickets at home. The gentleman next to me convinced me to at least give it a shot.

I remembered that I had taken a picture of the tickets earlier, as I was trying to give them away to friends. Nobody had taken them, mainly because I live in San Diego county, so not too many of my friends want to make that journey. I walked up to the prize table and explained the situation. The staff member was very patient with my situation, and decided the best course of action would be to reprint my ticket. She was able to reprint the ticket, and in no time I was given 10 $50 American Express gift cards! I have never won anything in my life, so $500 was already something else for me.

I went back to my seat and talked to that gentleman again, and decided to give his granddaughter one of the gift cards. If it wasn’t for them I would have never noticed that my ticket was announced. Also, he had mentioned how charitable his granddaughter was, and had been telling me all night about his immense love for the Ducks.

The Ducks played an amazing game, and won in a dramatic finish. Afterwards, I saw the most amazing thing of all. Teemu Selanne’s last home game, and everyone was so emotional. Teemu actually came up and gave his stick to that gentleman’s granddaughter! I was witnessing all of this from only a few feet away, and saw how much it meant to them. The fans throughout the Honda Center showed their love for Selanne, and he returned the favor.

The Ducks organization, from top to bottom, is one of the most friendly and inspiring groups I have ever encountered. The ability to create moments like the previous mentioned is an opportunity this organization capitalizes on time and time again. I realize my experience is only a drop in the bucket compared to what goes on throughout the year in the Honda Center. I have decided that I want to be in a career that is so rewarding. To be able to give so much in such a professional way while still enjoying being part of such an incredible team. That is my new goal.

I know this has been a rather lengthy thank you, but I just had to attempt to convey the magnitude of my thanks to everyone working with the Ducks. I have not had a negative experience thus far, and will always be a Ducks fan after this past season.


Will Grant

POSTED ON Thursday, 06.19.2014 / 12:10 PM
Photo courtesy of @artofdave
This week a photo showing the beginning stages of a new mask for Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen was bouncing around the web and social media and -- to quote the song from the movie it depicts -- Everything Is Awesome.

The mask is the brainchild of airbrush artist and custom mask painter David Gunnarsson of Sweden, who has created several incredible designs, including some of Andersen's. One of those is the Stadium Series mask that Andersen didn't get a chance to wear in the game at Dodger Stadium, since Jonas Hiller started and finished that 3-0 shutout of the Kings. (Andersen did sport the mask in practice and warmups.)

Inspired by the incredibly popular The Lego Movie, the new mask depicts the character Emmet wearing a Ducks jersey that looks similar to the one worn in the Stadium Series game, with a retro Mighty Ducks logo shield on the front. Emmet, with a goalie mask on his head, is shown building what looks like a brick wall made out of Legos.

I talked to Andersen this afternoon about the mask and its painter:

"I’ve been working with David for three years, I think. He’s really creative, and he’ll throw some ideas at me and I’ll tell him what I like. I think it was originally meant for the Stadium Series game, but at the last second he went with a different design for that and decided to save the Lego idea for later. He came up with the idea because Lego is from Denmark and only an hour from where I grew up. I liked the idea, and I think it’s really good-looking with the orange on the jersey, since we have some orange on the jersey that we wore in the playoffs.

"When I was a kid, I had Legos and David told me that he still likes to help his kids build with Legos. I remember when my brothers and sister would get Legos at Christmas and all the kids would want to help them build with them. It’s kind of fun. I actually just saw the pictures today of the final mask, and I think it’s going to look really good."

Andersen said he has already seen photos of the finished product, which will be ready by the start of next season.

CLICK HERE for the full Q&A with Freddy.

POSTED ON Friday, 06.06.2014 / 12:24 PM
As we celebrate the anniversary of the Ducks claiming California's first Cup, I'm re-posting this piece (with a slight adjustment at the end) that originally ran June 6, 2008:

As anniversaries go, this one will always be a little bittersweet for me.

Eight years ago on this day, my mom passed away after a year-long battle with lung cancer. One of my reasons for moving down here and taking this job in 2005 was to be closer to her and my dad in her final months. And I know she would have loved to see what I experienced in this building on the night of June 6, 2007.

So you can imagine that when I watched Chris Pronger carrying the puck from behind the net with the seconds ticking down to zero, Ryan Getzlaf shaking his gloves off his hands (looking like an excited little boy) and jumping into J.S. Giguere's arms, the crowd noise reaching a level like none I'd ever heard before, fireworks popping, black and orange confetti falling from the sky and the victory song from "Rocky" coming on ... well, you can imagine it was a little emotional for me.

And my father -- the guy who grew up on the East Coast rooting for Gump Worsley, Rocket Richard and the New York Rangers, who played hockey through high school, who went to some of the first Mighty Ducks games in 1993 and remembers thinking the Pond was too pretty for a hockey arena -- was here that night. He's been here for almost all of the home games since then.

He was part of that roaring crowd, he saw the fireworks, picked confetti out of his hair (and still has some of it under glass at home over a team photo), saw the Stanley Cup being passed around by the players on his favorite team -- his son's team. When all of it finally died down that night and he was heading out of the arena, I called him on his cell phone. He answered it with one word:


Seven years later, I can still remember it well. It really was unbelievable.

-  -  -  -  -

One more thing:

The final horn that night sounded at 7:35 p.m. Pacific time -- the exact moment the Ducks officially became Stanley Cup champions. So when the clock strikes 7:35 tonight, maybe call a friend, turn to a loved one, someone who shared that magical night with you -- and propose a toast.

I know I will.





1 ANA 76 47 22 7 222 213 101
2 NSH 75 46 21 8 214 180 100
3 STL 74 46 21 7 226 182 99
4 CHI 73 44 23 6 207 167 94
5 MIN 74 42 25 7 211 183 91
6 VAN 74 43 27 4 212 199 90
7 WPG 75 39 24 12 212 197 90
8 LAK 74 37 23 14 199 184 88
9 CGY 74 40 27 7 217 195 87
10 DAL 74 36 28 10 232 236 82
11 SJS 74 36 30 8 207 210 80
12 COL 74 34 28 12 200 206 80
13 EDM 74 21 40 13 177 254 55
14 ARI 75 23 44 8 158 249 54


R. Getzlaf 73 24 44 14 68
C. Perry 61 32 20 16 52
R. Kesler 76 19 27 -5 46
S. Vatanen 61 12 25 7 37
J. Silfverberg 75 12 23 11 35
P. Maroon 67 9 24 -4 33
C. Fowler 74 7 26 3 33
H. Lindholm 73 7 26 22 33
J. Wisniewski 64 8 24 -14 32
M. Beleskey 62 22 9 14 31
F. Andersen 32 11 5 .913 2.41
J. Gibson 12 7 0 .914 2.65 is the official Web site of the Anaheim Ducks. Anaheim Ducks and are trademarks of Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club, LLC. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club, LLC and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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