By Adam Brady
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POSTED ON Monday, 09.09.2013 / 1:34 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:

Viktor Fasth

New wife's name
Linda

Daughter's name
Signe (two years old)

Your favorite NHL player(s) growing up
Patrick Roy and Arturs Irbe

Favorite hockey moment of your career
NHL debut

Do you have any pregame superstitions or routines?
Yes, too many. Don't wanna jinx them.

Your favorite TV shows
River Monsters and Gold Rush on Discovery, Family Guy and Big Bang Theory

Your favorite movies
Hot Rod (according to me, the funniest movie ever), and I just watched Grown Ups 2. It was really good.

Your favorite bands
Bob Dylan, Håkan Hellström (Swedish guy), Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso

A band or artist on your iPod you're ashamed of
Justin Bieber???

Your favorite food
Sushi

Strangest thing you've been asked to autograph
A teammate's jock strap

The best perk of being a pro athlete
To work with what I enjoy the most, as a full-time job.

Where did you spend most of your summer?
Back in Sweden, travelled around the country visiting family and friends

What else did you do this summer?
Got married in July. And had some great days fishing with my brother.


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POSTED ON Friday, 09.06.2013 / 1:06 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:

Jonas Hiller

New wife's name
Karolina

Your favorite NHL player(s) growing up
Patrick Roy, David Aebischer

Favorite hockey moment of your career
Olympics Vancouver 2010, Swiss champion and Spengler Cup 2005 and 2007

Do you have any pregame superstitions or routines?
I do the same warm up before every game and get dressed the same way every time

Your favorite TV shows
Top Gear, Dexter, Homeland, Friends

Your favorite movies
Shawshank Redemption, Gladiator, Fast and the Furious,

Your favorite bands
Metallica, Rammstein, Die Toten Hosen, Bligg

A band or artist on your iPod you're ashamed of
DJ Oetzi

Your celebrity crush
Jennifer Aniston

Your favorite food
Thai

Strangest thing you've been asked to autograph
Forehead

The best perk of being a pro athlete
Earning money with your hobbie and you get to travel a lot (sometimes too much ;-))

Where did you spend most of your summer?
In Bern, Switzerland

What else did you do this summer?
Honeymoon to Maldives, kite-surf trip to Lake Como, Italy,  vacation in Cabo

Any movies you saw this summer you liked?
There wasn't much out there, I thought. The only good one I saw was "Mud."

Any music you've gotten into to or concerts you attended this summer?
Got invited to the new album release of Krokus. Missed the Gurten Festival and one of my favorite bands "Die Toten Hosen" because of a sore back :-(

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 09.04.2013 / 6:07 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 first subject:

Cam Fowler

Where did you spend most of your summer?
Northville, Michigan

What else did you do this summer?
Went to North Carolina with Bones [Nick Bonino] on a golf trip and also visited Palms [Kyle Palmieri] in Syracuse to play golf as well.

Your favorite NHL player(s) growing up
Nick Lidstrom, Ray Bourque

Favorite hockey moment of your career
2010 World Junior gold medal

Do you have any pregame superstitions or routines?
Same meal every day and must play soccer before the game

Your favorite TV shows
Seinfeld, Suits, Big Bang Theory

Your favorite movies
Tommy Boy, Anchorman

Your favorite bands
Zac Brown Band, Lil Wayne, Jay Z

A song on your iPod you're ashamed of
Dancing Queen

Your celebrity crush
Amber Heard

Your favorite food
Alfredo pasta

Strangest thing you've been asked to autograph
Team Canada puck

The best perk of being a pro athlete
Waking up in the morning and being able to do something I love


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POSTED ON Tuesday, 09.03.2013 / 2:23 PM
It was a pretty big weekend here in Ducks land, and just like many big moments in the history of this franchise, it was because of Teemu Selanne

In case you missed it – and if you’re reading this, there is virtually no way you could have – last Friday the Ducks announced Teemu’s return for one last season via this video:



The feature was the brainchild of Teemu and two of our Ducks video guys – Rich Cooley and Peter Uvalle – who shot it on Wednesday and edited it in time for Friday’s announcement. But the heart of its content was all Teemu.

It was his idea to throw the bag in the water, realize he’d left a cell phone in there and then dive in after it, because he said he had a friend who went through something similar in real life. They used an old golf bag that Teemu dug out of his garage and an old Blackberry that once belonged to one of our staff members. Our video guys were content to have him reach for the bag and fish out the phone from the edge of the pond, but Teemu himself insisted on wading into the murky water.

He ad-libbed the part where he took off his golf glove (seemingly to keep it dry), and then inexplicably tossed it into the water anyway.

And for those wondering, the muttering in Finnish in the opening scene of the video roughly translates in English to, “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

On their way out to the far reaches of the golf course to shoot the footage, Teemu realized about halfway there he had forgotten one important prop. So that quick shot where he’s digging through the brush with his club to look for a golf ball? That’s real.

It all ends with the "announcement" coming from a staged phone conversation with Ducks GM Bob Murray. "Hi, Bob, it’s Teemu," he says into the dripping phone. "Yeah, I’m coming back, but this it, this is my final one.”

Teemu was asked later by media about the video and said it was “pretty much” his idea. “They wanted to do a video like that, and I‘ve seen something similar, so I said, ‘Let’s do it like this,’” he said.

Selanne is a strong (and longtime) golfer despite what the video indicated [“I’m a good actor,” he laughed] who said he’d never thrown a club – let alone a bag – in the water before. “That was my first time,” he said. “It felt pretty good.”

Soon after we released the video via social media and the Ducks website, it went viral – with the number of views on YouTube soaring by the minute as the video was featured worldwide on ESPN, Fox Sports 1 and other outlets. (Here's a few: HLN | ESPN SportsCenter | ESPN News | KTLA | KNBC | GOLF Channel | KCAL | NewsWorld TV Canada)

By the end of the long weekend, the views on YouTube had skyrocketed past the 1 million mark, and this morning it stands at just over 1,633,381. (On a smaller note, I was at a sandwich place in Orange for lunch today and overheard a guy describing it enthusiastically to his friends in line.) It's by far the most-watched video in Ducks history, and we couldn't be prouder.

“I hope people liked it,” Selanne said on Friday.

At 1.6 million views and rising, it would appear so, and here’s just some of the reaction on Twitter.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 08.29.2013 / 5:17 PM
Complete with smoldering look, fashionable sweater and mandatory ocean backdrop, Ducks defenseman Luca Sbisa was the subject of a short feature in the latest Orange Coast Magazine.

Sbisa was quizzed about his fashion choices:

What's your style personality?
Simple with details

Biggest fashion regret?
Never been able to wear a Speedo, even though I'm European (legs are a little too big, ha!)

(Editor's note: I think he may be the only person regretting that.)

Cocktail, black tie or ______?
Three piece?

Favorite accessory
A watch, hands down

Favorite fashion decade
The 1920s era ... I like the suits, the slicked hair and all that stuff
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POSTED ON Thursday, 08.08.2013 / 7:05 PM

New (or old, depending on how you look at it) Duck Dustin Penner agreed to take part in a live chat with fans -- who submitted questions via the web and Twitter -- on Wednesday afternoon. Here's a little of what we learned:

- If you call him to start the chat a little after the promised time of 1 p.m., he answers the phone with, "You're four minutes late."

- He figured Teemu Selanne would announce his return to the Ducks as soon as the ink hit the paper for Penner's signing with the team. When asked if he thought 8 would return, he sarcastically replied: I would think he'd come back pretty quickly after I signed and said, "Now that Penner's back..." I'm pretty disappointed he hasn't already.

- He was inevitably asked about the pancake incident from when he was in LA, and came back with:
Obviously the severity of the incident has become more of a comedic thing. But I probably have had pancakes at least twice this offseason without incident. I'm more of a bacon and eggs type of guys anyway. #PrayForDustin.

- He named his dog Ryback, and there is a long, intricate story as to why: I got him at a canine ranch Adelhorst in San Bernardino where a lot of law enforcement get their dogs. It's a place where dogs train to detain criminals. It happened to be that Steven Segal was getting a dog too. He was looking at the same one I was and he had first dibs, and they gave him a week to buy it. He had to run things by his family and he ultimately said no. I swooped in there and took the dog, and named him after the character he plays in Under Siege.

- His favorite restaurant in Newport Beach? A good choice: I'd say The Cannery, for sure. They've got really good sushi, and it's kind of a one-stop shop. You can get everything there.

- Asked if he trash-talked his Ducks friends when he was with the Kings, he referenced this YouTube video (which I hadn't seen before): I made it a point to talk trash to those guys, especially Getzlaf and Perry. There was a play, I think it's on YouTube, where Perry chirps me, and I get up and line him up, knock him down and kind of land on top of him on his back. He lays there crying. I knew he was faking it, so that felt pretty good.

- At one point old teammate and friend Joffrey Lupul asked via Twitter if Penner was going to skate with him and "the boys" the next day, and Penner came back with: I'll be there contingent on him picking up my ice fee, and I'll pick up his green fee later in the day.

- He was later asked by Bobby Ryan what his handicap was in the Golden Tee golf video game: I'd say about a plus-12. I'd have to give you about eight strokes a side.

- On what he eats postgame:
After games most players don't have the stomach to eat. But sometimes you have to eat if you have a game the next day. More times than not, you just have a shake and go to bed. When I do eat after, I like to have some pasta with a light sauce.

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He was asked who would play him in a movie about his life: Hopefully Vince Vaughn. Both of us like to talk a lot and joke a lot, and can be a bit confrontational and passive-aggressive.
(P.S. He used a different word for "confrontational" but we asked him to choose a different one.)

- Favorite movies? The Big Lewbowski and both Bad Boys movies. Favorite band? A trio of DJs called Above and Beyond.


- How he unwinds after a game is different than it was during his years in Edmonton:
Depending on what time the game ends, you might have a couple beers with friends down at a beach bar. You can go a little more unnoticed down here than Edmonton. But more times than not, people don't bother you too much. They just say, "I'm a fan. Have a nice night." But depending on what time it is, I might just take the dog down to the beach after a game. It's always nice to have the ocean in your back yard.

- The first thing he did after signing with the Ducks? Go on a serious run on the links: I actually did make three birdies on a row after the news broke, so that had to be a good omen.

- He likes his iPad on the plane, and an occasional poker game: I watch movies on my iPad. A lot of guys play poker and other card games, like snarple and 7-up 7-down. I stay away from the other games, but I'll play poker.

- Growing up, he looked up to: Definitely my dad, but Mario Lemieux was someone I always idolized.

All in all, Penner was just as engaging, funny and occasionally biting as we'd expect. And based on the number of questions that came in that unfortunately weren't able to be answered, we'd definitely like to do another one of these chats with him down the road.

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POSTED ON Monday, 07.01.2013 / 5:18 PM
If you recall, three months ago in this space we posted a pretty cool commercial Teemu Selanne made for Finnish milk company Valio Suomi. The commercial had its own "making of" video to accompany it, but the Ducks video crew also shot some footage during the filming of the commercial and have their own look behind the scenes:



Teemu, when talking about the demanding schedule the shoot entails, says, "I don't know if I could be an actor."

It's fine, we're happy with him being a hockey player for at least a few more years.

But speaking of Teemu as an actor, we had a commentor on our Facebook page remind us that Teemu did a bit of acting along time ago for another Finnish commercial, this one for some kind of online shopping service in Finland. If you haven't seen it, this is a beauty:


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POSTED ON Friday, 06.28.2013 / 4:24 PM
It was good news to Ducks fans, teammates and staffers (like myself) when it was announced Thursday that Ben Lovejoy had agreed to a new three-year contract. It's not just because what Lovejoy did on the ice as a shutdown defenseman, who was a huge asset after being acquired by the Ducks from Pittsburgh in early February (and played great in this year's playoffs). But Lovejoy brings a quirky, smart and often funny personality to the Ducks locker room.

While Ducks fans were happy to be keeping Lovejoy around for another few years, teammates were as well, based on a couple of tweets:

Lovejoy commented on that tweet in this Q&A I did with him on Friday: "When I got traded, I got put in a corner next to Bobby Ryan, who has been awesome. We really bonded in that corner. Also in that end of the locker room is Teemu, Getzlaf and Perry. So now with me signed, we have all the high-rollers locked up. I need to text our trainers to make sure I still have my locker room spot next to Bobby."

And on the #hesaheadcase remark: "I’m not a superstitious guy, but I have a lot of routines. And I think Bobby is just as bad, if not worse. So he’s dishing it out a little."

Here was Kyle Palmieri's reaction on Twitter:

In case you missed it, Lovejoy admitted his germaphobia (I think that's the word) when I interviewed him about playoff beards just before the postseason started:

“I’m a chronic handwasher," he said. "I don’t like shaking hands, I just don’t like touching things. People give me a hard time for not being a dog lover or an animal person. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t enjoy touching them.”

I asked him if he shakes hands or goes with the Howie Mandel fist bump.

“I will tough it out,” he said, “and then pull out some hand sanitizer when I have to. I carry it with me all the time.”

I asked how long it’s been the case. “It’s been awhile,” he said. “My teammates here have recently discovered it. I get a hard time, but I think they understand.”

They better. They'll have those quirks around the locker room and the road for another three years.

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POSTED ON Monday, 05.20.2013 / 12:55 PM
Some of the Ducks took to Twitter to thank fans for the season. 




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POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.30.2013 / 7:20 PM
Palmieri is favored by most Ducks to grow the best one. Says Lovejoy, “Palmieri is a fairly hairy dude, so I think he would grow a very grizzly beard.”
This feature also appears in Ducks Digest, the official publication of the Anaheim Ducks.

It is a Stanley Cup tradition almost as engrained as the Cup itself. The longer and thicker it gets, the better you’re doing. And there is a certain point of pride in growing one to the point of unruliness and maximum scruffiness.

It’s the playoff beard, a long-held tradition in which players grow their facial hair at the start of the postseason and refuse to shave until their team is either eliminated or they are lifting the Cup over their heads.

The custom is believed to have started with the great New York Islanders teams of the 1980s, which must have been doing something right, since they won four straight Cups. Some say it goes back to the elite Montreal teams of the late ‘70s. Either way, it has spread well beyond the NHL – to minor, junior and European leagues and, in the case of the Ducks, even to many of the male team employees.

The frequent itchiness and grumblings of wives and girlfriends is a small price to pay for such a sacred custom. Among the legendary Ducks, Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermayer each had bodacious beards by the time they captured the Cup with a Game 5 victory over Ottawa in the Stanley Cup Final. Goalie J.S. Giguere did not grow one that year, but had a strikingly thick one by the time he was handed the Conn Smyth Trophy in a seven-game defeat to New Jersey in the 2003 Final. 

For most of the current Ducks, growing playoff beards is on the agenda, with high hopes that they will be forced to keep it for a very long time. Although, some players have greater expectations for their whiskers than others.

Ben Lovejoy

I actually have a pretty manly playoff beard, even though I do not enjoy having facial hair. It itches, and I get made fun of around here because I’m a bit of a germaphobe. I like keeping clean and nicely shaven. But I do it because it’s an important tradition. It’s the profession I’ve chosen, and I’ve been lucky enough to go on some long playoff runs and grow it out because of it. You tough it out because it’s that sort of bunker mentality. Everyone grows one, and I look forward to having a beard for over eight weeks coming up.

Niedermayer’s salt-and-pepper look during the ’07 Stanley Cup Final is unquestionably the greatest playoff beard in Ducks history.
Emerson Etem
I’ve got a little something going, not too much. When it grows, it comes in pretty thick. It’s nothing special, nothing really to brag about. I usually grow it out, but I’ve got to start like a month and a half before. It takes quite a bit of time. Once it gets going, it’s greasy and nasty.

Kyle Palmieri
I’m pretty excited about it. I had a little one going last year when we were in Syracuse [of the AHL], but it was only for a week or two. I’m really looking forward to it this year. It comes in very fast for me. It gets thick, but it doesn’t really grow that long. I don’t think I’ve gone past two weeks or so, because it can look pretty bad.

Bobby Ryan
I’ve done it in the past and I’m going to do it again. I don’t trim it. I just let it get wild. Pretty soon my face will turn a shade of red from the hair color.

Francois Beauchemin
It’s part of the tradition and I don’t trim it at all. It gets pretty good.

Toni Lydman
I’ve been trying every time, but my growth isn’t strong. It’s tough to tell. Trust me, I don’t have to touch it. It’s barely there.

Jonas Hiller
I’ve been working on once since Christmas, but as you can see, it’s not really successful so I’ll probably have to skip that. To be honest, there’s not a whole lot growing. Secondly, I don’t really like it under the mask. It starts to get really itchy, and I never really got into it. I tried a couple times, but it [felt] more annoying than having it help me.

Matt Beleskey
Yeah, I’ll be growing one. It won’t be much, so I’m not going to trim it or clean it up.

Giguere had a substantial beard by the time he accepted the Conn Smythe trophy following Game 7 of the ’03 Final.
Meanwhile, opinions vary on who will have the best and worst beards, but one young Duck was an almost unanimous choice:

Etem
“Palms” [Kyle Palmieri] would be top 3 on the team for sure, since he’s so hairy anyway. I bet Bobby can grow a pretty good one. We have a pretty clean-cut team for the most part. The worst  would probably be Viktor [Fasth]. Probably the nastiest and grossest is Sami [Vatanen].

Lovejoy
Palmieri is a fairly hairy dude, so I think he would grow a very grizzly beard. As for the others, some of these European guys might struggle. Viktor [Fasth] seems into his appearance, and I look forward to seeing him and Jonas try and grow nice beards.

Ryan
Palmieri, definitely. Daniel Winnik is pretty hairy, and I think Ben Lovejoy can grow a pretty strong playoff beard too. The worst? Cam Fowler and Corey Perry, hands down.

Palmieri
I’d say I’m in the running for the best, but there will be a couple guys who can definitely grow a nice one. Bobby already has a good one at times. I’ve seen pictures of “T” [Teemu Selanne] from ’07. I expect him to have a good one.

Selanne had a nice growth going in the '07 playoffs, but Beauchemin is not impressed.
Lydman
Palmieri is good, Beauch [Francois Beauchemin] might be good. Maybe Sheldon [Souray]. Bryan Allen might be a sneaky strong playoff beard guy. The worst would be me, maybe Viktor. I don’t think Hillsy [Hiller] has a good one.”

Hiller
Palmieri would have the best, probably. Bobby Ryan’s looking pretty good right now. Shelly [Souray], the new addition, I don’t know how he’s looking. Daniel Winnik could be a good one too. It’s definitely interesting. Corey Perry would be the worst. It’s out there. I don’t want to throw myself under the bus, but it’s Corey Perry.

Beleskey
“Palms.” I mean, just look at his face. The worst would probably be me or Toni Lydman.

Beauchemin
Shelly, Palmieri, Bobby. I don’t know about Daniel Winnik’s beard. For the worst? I’d go with Teemu. He’s got that weird jawline beard thing going on.”


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SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 31 56 28 87
C. Perry 81 43 39 32 82
N. Bonino 77 22 27 14 49
M. Perreault 69 18 25 13 43
A. Cogliano 82 21 21 13 42
C. Fowler 70 6 30 15 36
K. Palmieri 71 14 17 9 31
D. Winnik 76 6 24 6 30
H. Lindholm 78 6 24 29 30
S. Koivu 65 11 18 3 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 20 5 0 .923 2.29
J. Hiller 29 13 7 .911 2.48

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