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By Adam Brady
Director of Publications & New Media
for the Ducks and Honda Center.
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POSTED ON Wednesday, 10.30.2013 / 4:08 PM
Bonino in a simpler time.
It was a bit of a homecoming for Ducks center Nick Bonino today in Boston, when the Ducks held a practice at his old stomping grounds: Agganis Arena on the campus of Boston University.

Bonino was a star for the Terriers for three seasons (2007 through 2010), where he somewhat famously scored a gargantuan game-tying goal late in regulation in the 2009 Frozen Four final against Miami (OH) to help BU capture the national championship. It's the first time he's been back in Boston with the Ducks since December of 2010, a 3-0 Anaheim victory at TD Garden.

Today, the Ducks decided to honor Bonino's trip back to his alma mater in a number of ways, and he talked about the experience.

Tell us what happened when you got to practice today at the rink

There was a huge sign welcoming me when I walked in, but nobody will take credit for it. It had to be Sluggo [Ducks equipment manager Doug Shearer] or one of his partners. Last time we practice there, they shaving-creamed my gloves, so today I hid my skates and my gloves so they couldn’t mess with them. But they ended up finding my skates and my gloves, cut my laces, cut my sticks, hid my sticks … just played some pranks on me. But it was fun. We got to use the facility and I played some ping pong there against Getzy. It was great being back there.



We saw that you practiced in a red BU jersey. What was that all about?
Bruce did that. The guys in the red [practice jerseys] are usually Getzy’s line, but today they had me in the red BU jersey and Cogs [Andrew Cogliano] and Palms [Kyle Palmieri] and our line was the first line. We started every drill and everything. It was pretty funny, all in good fun.



And what happened after practice?
They took my laundry bag with all my clothes in it and put tape all around it, so when I got off the ice, I found it there. It was a pain.



Beyond that, how meaningful is it for you to be back in Boston?
Obviously you finish your college career there and you know you’ll never play there again. But it was pretty cool being able to go back there with the Ducks and skate on the ice and use the facility and see all the familiar faces.

It’s fun to walk the streets and everything is so familiar there. It’s like you haven’t been gone. And it’s pretty cool to be in Agganis and see the championship banner and stuff like that. Guys make fun of you for being back, because I had a smile on my face the whole day. But it was really cool to be back there and catch up with everyone, to see the rink again and see all the guys. It was really fun.

What’s the plan for the rest of the day in the city?

I’m going to the Red Sox game tonight. I got tickets through my agent and I’m going with Cam [Fowler]. Getzy got some tickets and he’s going with Perry, Penner and [Strength & Conditioning coach] Sean Skahan. I’m a big Sox fan. It’s gonna be a lot of fun.

Will you have a lot of friends and family watching you play tomorrow against the Bruins?
Oh yeah. I’ll have a bunch of people there. I put some tickets aside for people. I’ll probably know about 20 to 30 people there. It should be fun.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 10.30.2013 / 1:43 PM
As much as young Hampus Lindholm has looked good on the ice so far this season for the Ducks, he’s also been impressive away from it, with a demeanor and an intelligence well beyond his 19 years.

He apparently made a significant impact with some fans in the area as well, according to another nice Contact Us email we received this week:

I wanted to drop a message to Hampus Lindholm, if possible. This past July, my husband and I met him and some other players at the Doubletree Inn in Orange. My father had a severe stroke and we were dealing with his problems at UCI Medical Center. At the hotel, we met these young players. All of them were so kind to us.

Hampus was such a wonderful young man. Whenever I saw him, he offered to get me a chair to sit in (as I was tired), he offered to get me something to drink and he always asked about my dad. I wanted you to know what a great ambassador off the ice Hampus is and to somehow tell him that my dad has made a remarkable recovery.

If you could somehow relay this message to him, that would be appreciated. I also wanted to let the Ducks organization know that he is a great representative for the team off the ice; his character is top notch. We will not forget his kindness ever during a very difficult time. We watch him play when the games are telecast and are so proud of him. I thank you in advance, and if you could let Hampus know, things are much better and we are his biggest fans!

Thank you,
Jeff and Kathy Wohlford

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.22.2013 / 7:32 PM
One of my jobs here with the Ducks is to periodically check the Contact Us emails we receive from fans (and some non-fans). The content of the countless emails we receive include legitimate questions/requests, not-so-legitimate questions/requests, occasional complaints and sporadic compliments. The emails can sometimes be hard to read, many are unintentionally funny and often they are downright heartfelt.

This one I happened across today -- from a woman named Lauren in Winnipeg -- was actually written a few days ago but had gotten buried in the inbox. It's just another example of the impact Teemu Selanne has on people, especially in his former stomping grounds:

We were recently staying in Winnipeg at the Fairmont Hotel in celebration of our 35th wedding anniversary. Earlier this spring, our daughter's vehicle had been broken into and her Teemu Selanne jersey from the 1st version of the Winnipeg Jets was stolen.

As luck would have it, her name came up in a ticket lottery, and she managed to get 2 tickets for the October 6th game against Anaheim, which also happened to be [my husband] Rob's birthday. So it was to be a father/daughter night, and she purchased another Teemu jersey to wear.

We took the jersey in with us to the hotel, thinking that perhaps someone from the Anaheim organization might be there too, and could arrange for it to be signed. Amazingly, there was Teemu himself at the next table at breakfast. He very graciously signed her jersey, even as I was babbling my thanks.

She wore the jersey to the game, and is now in the process of framing it. That's after she quits squealing! We wanted to say that Teemu is a wonderful person, a great ambassador for your team and organization, and a really really nice man. His gesture made an already fabulous weekend a memorable one! And we wanted to say a proper thank you!

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.15.2013 / 4:02 PM
MORE PHOTOS FROM THE NIGHT
By Adam Brady

There will be plenty of "last" moments in Teemu Selanne’s final season, and we’ve already seen a few of them – his last visit to Winnipeg, his last home opener, his last time wearing the Mighty Ducks sweater. And while it won’t make headlines, his last Face-Off Fest clearly meant the world to the close to 3,000 people who attended the event held exclusively for Ducks season ticket holders.

Selanne’s autograph table had by far the longest line of the night, stretching from the end of the Honda Center parking lot back toward the arena and forming an “S” that appeared to contain about 1,000 people.

To accommodate as many people as possible, fans are asked to get one thing signed and move on without asking to take a picture, but Selanne is far too friendly to stick to that rule.

Not everyone in that line got their moment with Teemu, as some undoubtedly left as it got closer to the scheduled end of the autograph session (8:30 p.m.). But those who stuck around got rewarded, as Selanne stuck around more than a half hour after his teammates had left for the night, making sure everyone there got an autograph.

One of the last women through the line said as she was leaving, "You're the best, Teemu!" and it's hard to argue with that. It's also hard to imagine other legends in their game being as cordial, as genuine with fans as Teemu continues to be. As he recently told a reporter, "I like to meet the people. I like to talk to people. It’s the way I was raised at home. It’s the easiest part of my job. To give a couple minutes to someone who wants an autograph, really it’s not a big deal.”

It was on display yet again throughout the two-hour autograph session that came with plenty of notable moments. Here’s a running diary:

6:31 p.m. – The first people in line are a group of women that camped out at 9 a.m. that morning to get their coveted spot. Teemu asks them what time they got there and when they tell him, he exclaims, “Are you serious?!”

6:32 p.m. – A woman gives Teemu a small purple teddy bear with the number 8 to sign. “I have one of these two,” he says. “Me and Paul.” Apparently there was a set made of those depicting him and former Ducks legend Paul Kariya.

6:35 p.m. – Teemu is handed an artistic canvas photo to sign and adds, “I love this picture.” This is also the first time of many this exchange occurs:

“Thanks for coming back, Teemu.”
“It’s my pleasure.”

6:42 p.m. – He sees in front of him a little boy in a blonde Mohawk, and is asked to sign a photo of him and the boy (in a similar mohawk) taken at last year’s event. “I like your haircut,” he says, and the boy grabs a handful of his own hair as if he’s heard it a thousand times.

6:45 p.m. – Teemu is asked by a teenage girl to say, “Happy birthday, Chris” as she shoots video of him  from her phone. This is one of a half dozen times he’s asked to do this, and he gladly obliges.

In fact, pretty much every request of Teemu is met with his favorite word: “Absolutely.”

“Can I get a picture?”
“Absolutely.”

“Can you sign one more for me?”
“Absolutely.”

Later this is put to the test when he’s nearing the end of the two-hour session and is trying to quickly sign as many autographs as possible. A woman leans in and tells him she’s an 80-year-old grandmother and, “Is there any way I can sit on your lap?” He tells her he can’t do that because people are waiting, as do the Ducks staff working at the table. But she refuses to move on, and Teemu finally relents – resulting in this photo.

“I thought,” he says later, “I had seen it all.”

6:55 p.m. – A guy in his 20s asks, “Can I take a selfie with you?” and leans toward Teemu to take a photo with his phone of the two of them. I ask him if he’s ever heard the word “selfie” before, and he says he has not.

7:01 p.m. – Countless fans have thanked Teemu for playing one more year, but one fan takes it a little further. “Twelve more years, Teemu!” he exclaims. “Twelve more!” Selanne just smiles.

7:02 p.m. – One fan asks Teemu to sign a black Ducks flag with an orange permanent marker. But Teemu insists that it won’t show up well and goes with the silver Sharpie instead. “You know,” he says, “I have done this before.”

7:05 p.m. – He’s presented with a photo of his infamous fight with Brad Richardson of the Kings in the final regular season game of the 2011 season. “That’s a good picture,” he says.

7:10 p.m. – He’s asked for the first of many times when his restaurant in Laguna Beach – Selanne Steak Tavern – will open and gives the same answer each time: “Any day now.”

7:15 p.m. – This was one of my favorite parts of the evening. A man in his 30s hands Teemu a photo of the two of them from an event and says it was taken in 1997. “You haven’t changed at all,” the man says to Teemu. “You either,” Teemu lies.

A few seconds later, after the man has left the table, Teemu turns to me, points to my notepad and says, “By the way, that was ’96.” I ask him how he knows that, and he calmly replies, “Because I know, Adam.”

7:25 p.m. – An extremely excitable middle-aged woman looks like she’s about to jump out of her skin as Selanne signs an item for her. As she walks away, she yells to her friends, “I didn’t pass out! I remembered how to breathe!” and they exchange high-fives.

7:30 p.m. – An adorable little girl in a Ducks t-shirt and a black-and-gold tutu is asked by Teemu, “How old are you? Are you 4?” She nods her head. “I knew it,” he says. “You look like a 4.”

7:45 – A girl takes a picture of just Teemu with her iPhone, and he clearly wasn’t ready for it. “Take one more,” he says, and smiles wide for this one.

7:55 p.m. – One woman who has met Teemu many times, leans in and almost breaks down as she says, “Thank you for all these years. Thank you for your incredible athleticism. We all adore you.”

7:58 p.m. – Ask Teemu and he’ll tell you he’s autographed virtually everything you can imagine (including an airplane once), but this might be a first. A woman lays on the table a folded up shower curtain and after he signs it, she unfolds it to reveal it’s a painted image of her playing goalie in a Mighty Ducks uniform. As I take a picture of it, Teemu says, “That is awesome!” and grabs his own iPhone to take a picture of it himself.

8:01 p.m. – A couple with two little boys approach, and the woman points to the youngest boy in her husband’s arms and say, “My little one, his name is Teemu. I talked my husband into it.” I ask him if he has a lot of people tell him they’ve named their children after him, and he says not a lot. “It’s usually dogs or cats,” he says with a laugh.

8:20 p.m. – The effect Teemu has on fans differs according to age. A kid who had to be no older than eight walks up to the table and calmly says, “Hey” to Teemu, as if he’s greeting one of his buddies on a skateboard. Literally 30 seconds later, a woman in her 40s can’t stop giggling as she says hello to Teemu and hands him something to sign.

8:25 p.m. – An older gentleman tells Teemu how long he’s been waiting in line by saying, “It was worth the four hours.”

“Oh my God!” responds Selanne.  A minute later, two women tell Teemu they’ve been “waiting forever” and he calmly says, “I’m sorry.”

8:30 p.m. – This is the point where Teemu is technically supposed to stop signing and head home, but he keeps going, trying to move as many people through the line as possible.

8:31 p.m. – Two four-year-old twin boys come to the table, each saying the same thing one-by-one: “You’re a good player!” I told him he should reply “I know” when he hears that, but he just laughs.

8:35 p.m. – A woman inexplicably hands Teemu a pink My Little Pony to sign. He doesn’t even flinch.

8:38 p.m. – Teemu is told he can wrap things up. He stands up to look at a line that still has at least 50 people in it and says, “Let’s keep going a little.”

8:40 p.m. – A man in a Saku Koivu throwback t-shirt gets a jersey signed, and as he’s walking away says, “I love you, Mr. Teemu.”

8:43 p.m. – At this point, every Ducks player has headed home, and Teemu is signing as fast as he can for each person, somehow still looking up and smiling at each one. He’s truly earning the nickname, The Finnish Flash.

8:47 p.m. – Several fans say, “Thank you for staying late” to Teemu at this point, and to a few he jokingly replies, “I have nothing else to do.”
 
9:05 p.m. – Some 35 minutes after all the rest of the Ducks had exited, Selanne signs the final autograph of the night, ensuring that everyone who waited around got something signed and got their few moments with Teemu.

For some, it’s the first time they’ve met him. For others, it’s one of many times. And though it may be their last chance to get that close to him, it’s likely a moment they will never forget.

And the more you watch him, the more you realize he recognizes that as well.

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POSTED ON Monday, 10.14.2013 / 4:47 PM
Throwback Night at Honda Center was a tremendous success, as we honored the original Mighty Ducks and brought back the eggplant and jade for one night.

In the days leading up to the game, we asked a few of the players to harken back to the '90s and recall their favorite things to watch and listen to. One quote from Emerson Etem that stuck out: "I'm from Long Beach, so Snoop Dogg is a big influence on me." (Hopefully not TOO big of an influence.)

Here is the video:
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POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.01.2013 / 5:23 PM
Bonino and Beleskey celebrate their engagements (not really).
For a piece in Ducks Digest (coming out at the home opener), we're been asking the traditional question to a number of players: What did you do over the summer?

We've learned that two Ducks -- Viktor Fasth and Jonas Hiller -- got married, while two others -- Nick Bonino and Matt Beleskey -- got engaged. Both Bonino and Beleskey ("Bones" and "Bels," if you will) have unique proposal stories. Here they are in a nutshell:

Bonino
"It’s a funny story, and I’ll try to keep it short. I did it in St. Albert, Edmonton, where my Lauren is from. I did it in front of her family, and I wanted to do it in a suit. I felt that was very gentleman-like. It was 85 degrees at 11 at night, and we were watching the fireworks, since it was Canada Day, July 1st. I wore a tracksuit over my real suit, and I went out to get her and I was just sweating like crazy. It was so hot.

"I ended up telling her, 'Let’s take a walk' and she thought I was sick or something because I was sweating so much. I told her to close her eyes, and I had the suit on and the ring. So, that’s the soft side of Nick Bonino. We’re getting married next year on July 5 in Boston.

Beleskey
"I actually put [the engagement ring] on my dog Karl’s collar. He was the delivery boy for me, and it worked out pretty well. She seemed pretty shocked, that’s for sure. Once I made up my mind, it really wasn’t a nervous thing. I was just hoping she said yes. She’s planning. Next summer, hopefully, we’ll tie the knot. We have our venue planned and everything. It’s going to be a good summer again, but first, we have a big season to have."

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 09.24.2013 / 5:51 PM

As we get closer to the start of the 2013-14 season, we've exchanged emails with assorted Ducks, asking about their summers and other personal info. Our latest subject:

Francois Beauchemin

Family
Wife Marie Claude Joyal, Samuel (7), Emily (4) and Cedric (1)

Your favorite NHL player(s) growing up
Ray Bourque

Favorite hockey moment of your career
Winning the 2007 Stanley Cup

Do you have any pregame superstitions or routines?
Eat chicken and pasta then nap and grab a coffee on my way to the rink

Your favorite TV shows
Grey’s Anatomy

Your celebrity crush
Kate Beckinsale

Your favorite movies

Remember the Titans, Shawshank Redemption, The Hangover

Your favorite bands
AC/DC

Your favorite food
Steak

Where did you spend most of your summer?
Sorel, Montreal

What else did you do this summer?
Went fishing in Alaska

Any music you've gotten into to or concerts you attended this summer?
Blake Shelton (great concert)



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POSTED ON Monday, 09.23.2013 / 3:27 PM

As we get closer to the start of the 2013-14 season, we've exchanged emails with assorted Ducks, asking about their summers and other personal info. Our latest subject:

Emerson Etem

Family
I love my mom Patricia, dad Richard, brother Martin and sister Elise.

Your favorite NHL player growing up
Pavel Bure

Favorite hockey moment of your career
Too many to name but getting drafted to the Ducks and my first NHL game are top two.

Do you have any pregame superstitions or routines?
All my equipment is put on from left to right. A little Hazelnut coffee is a must.

Your favorite TV show
Workaholics

Your favorite movies
American History X, Alpha Dog, The Break Up, The Wedding Singer

Your favorite bands
Sublime, Pepper, Slightly Stoopid, Rebelution, Iration

A band or artist on your iPod you're ashamed of
If I have a country band I'd be pretty surprised.

Your celebrity crush
Charlize Theron

Your favorite food
Mexican

Strangest thing you've been asked to autograph
Kids forehead?

The best perk of being a pro athlete
Seeing smiles on the kids’ faces and giving back to the community.

Where did you spend most of your summer?
I didn't have to go too far, so Long Beach and Venice Beach is where I spent most of my summer.

What else did you do this summer?
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Also, played a lot of guitar, did a lot of art and of course surfed.

Any movies you saw this summer you liked?
42 was pretty money.

Any music you've gotten into to or concerts you attended this summer?
Wiz/ASAP concert, Jay Z/Justin and Damian and the Marley bros so can’t complain.


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POSTED ON Thursday, 09.19.2013 / 3:03 PM

As we get closer to the start of the 2013-14 season, we've exchanged emails with assorted Ducks, asking about their summers and other personal info. Our latest subject:

Ben Lovejoy

Wife’s name
Avery

Favorite NHL player growing up
Ray Bourque

Favorite hockey moment of your career
Playing in my first NHL game.

Do you have any pregame superstitions or routines?
Lots

Your favorite TV shows
The League, West Wing, Newsroom, The Office, Parks and Recreation

Your favorite movie
Count of Monte Cristo

Your favorite kind of music
'90s rap.

A band or artist on your iPod you're ashamed of
I have a couple of One Direction songs

Your celebrity crush
Jessica Biel

Your favorite food
Chocolate

Strangest thing you've been asked to autograph
A little kid's forehead. I declined.

The best perk of being a pro athlete
Telling people I play hockey for a living.

Where did you spend most of your summer?
Enfield, New Hampshire

What else did you do this summer?
Relaxed, worked out, waterskied.




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POSTED ON Tuesday, 09.17.2013 / 3:37 PM

As we get closer to the start of the 2013-14 season, we've exchanged emails with assorted Ducks, asking about their summers and other personal info. Our latest subject:

Bryan Allen

Wife’s name
Lexie
 
Children’s names
Layla (5) and Brenner (2)

Your favorite NHL player(s) growing up
Wendel Clark, Nick Lidstrom

Favorite hockey moment of your career
World Juniors in 1999

Do you have any pregame superstitions or routines?
I just try to follow a routine.

Your favorite TV shows
Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy

Your favorite movie
Anchorman

Your favorite bands
Mumford and Sons, Macklemore

A band or artist on your iPod you're ashamed of
Britney Spears

Your celebrity crush
Heidi Klum

Your favorite food
Sushi

The best perk of being a pro athlete
Get to play a sport/game I love for a living

Where did you spend most of your summer?
Spent time in Kingston, ON, South Florida and here in Newport Beach

What else did you do this summer?
Spent lots of time with my kids, a couple family vacations. San Diego (zoo, Legoland), Catalina Island. Trip with my wife to Cabo and the end of last season.

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HOME
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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 35 22 8 5 101 96 49
2 CHI 34 23 9 2 106 67 48
3 STL 33 21 9 3 100 81 45
4 NSH 31 21 8 2 87 64 44
5 SJS 34 19 11 4 97 87 42
6 WPG 34 17 10 7 83 80 41
7 VAN 32 19 11 2 92 90 40
8 LAK 34 17 11 6 94 84 40
9 CGY 35 17 15 3 100 95 37
10 MIN 31 16 12 3 91 84 35
11 DAL 32 14 13 5 95 109 33
12 COL 33 12 13 8 85 101 32
13 ARI 32 11 17 4 74 104 26
14 EDM 34 7 20 7 74 116 21

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 34 12 25 7 37
R. Kesler 35 11 15 -2 26
S. Vatanen 35 9 15 -1 24
C. Perry 23 14 8 11 22
M. Beleskey 35 15 3 11 18
C. Fowler 34 3 14 1 17
J. Silfverberg 35 4 12 3 16
H. Lindholm 34 4 11 12 15
P. Maroon 27 2 12 -5 14
D. Smith-Pelly 31 4 8 3 12
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Gibson 2 2 0 .927 2.28
F. Andersen 18 5 4 .913 2.41

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