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POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.15.2013 / 1:02 PM PT
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 / 1:47 PM PT
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, 10.1.2013 / 2:23 PM PT
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 / 2:51 PM PT

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 / 12:27 PM PT

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 / 12:03 PM PT

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 / 12:37 PM PT

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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POSTED ON Monday, 09.16.2013 / 1:42 PM PT

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:

Luca Sbisa

Your favorite NHL player(s) growing up
Mats Sundin

Favorite hockey moment of your career
First NHL game

Do you have any pregame superstitions or routines?
Pigeon stretch (haha)

Your favorite TV shows
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Sons of Anarchy, HGTV

Your favorite movies
This is the End, Lawless

Your favorite bands
The Temper Trap, Alt-J

Your favorite food
Schnitzel with potato salad

Strangest thing you've been asked to autograph
A baby

The best perk of being a pro athlete
To do what you love

Where did you spend most of your summer?
Split it mostly between Newport Beach and Switzerland

What else did you do this summer?
Lots of traveling – Switzerland, Mexico, Italy, Vancouver

Any movies you saw this summer you liked?
This is the End (my new favorite)

Any music you've gotten into to or concerts you attended this summer?
Capital Cities, Alt-J



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POSTED ON Friday, 09.13.2013 / 2:53 PM PT

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:

Matt Beleskey

New fiancee’s name
Victoria Hall

Your favorite NHL player growing up
Wendel Clark

Favorite hockey moment of your career
My first NHL goal vs. Detroit

Do you have any pregame superstitions or routines?
Always dress from left to right.

Your favorite TV shows
Sons of Anarchy and Breaking Bad

Your favorite movies
Slap Shot, Billy Madison, Dumb and Dumber, Old School, Step Brothers
(You get the trend haha)

Your favorite bands
BB King, Jimmy Hendrix, Tragically Hip, Pearl Jam

A band or artist on your iPod you're ashamed of
Justin Bieber  (one mistake of a song)

Your favorite food
Italian, Mom’s chicken parm

Strangest thing you've been asked to autograph
A man’s lower back

The best perk of being a pro athlete
Hearing 20,000 people cheering you on ... and concert hookups (haha)

Where did you spend most of your summer?
In northern Ontario. Minesing is where we live.

What else did you do this summer?
Had a great trip to Jamaica, watched Karl (my dog) entertain the family for many weekends, visited with good friends and family, got engaged!

Any movies you saw this summer you liked?
Did not go to one movie all summer. Too busy!!

Any music you've gotten into to or concerts you attended this summer?
Unfortunately, we didn't go to any concerts this summer which is pretty sad :(




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POSTED ON Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 10:53 AM PT

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:

Andrew Cogliano

Nickname
"Cogs"

Your favorite NHL player(s) growing up
Joe Sakic, Paul Kariya and Sergei Federov

Favorite hockey moment of your career
Winning two World Junior Championships with Team Canada and playing in my first playoffs last season with the Ducks

Do you have any pregame superstitions or routines?
Nothing too crazy. I just have the same warm-up routine every game

Your favorite TV shows
Sons of Anarchy, Homeland and Suits

Your favorite movies
Gangs of New York, Chasing Mavericks, Old School, Training Day

Your favorite bands
The Lumineers, City and Colour, Needtobreathe, CCR, Bob Dylan and Fleetwood Mac

A band or artist on your iPod you're ashamed of
Miley Cyrus

Your celebrity crush
Kate Beckinsale

Your favorite food
Organic ribeye steak

Strangest thing you've been asked to autograph
A baby

The best perk of being a pro athlete
Getting the opportunity to travel and see great cities

Where did you spend most of your summer?
Spent most of my summer in Vancouver, BC training and also my hometown of Woodbridge, Ontario.

What else did you do this summer?
It was a pretty low-key summer, but I was in Tofino, BC a few times surfing with my girlfriend and friends. Very cool little surfing town off the coast of British Columbia and one of my favourite places to travel to.

Any movies you saw this summer you liked?
Haven't made it to the movie theatre this summer unfortunately, but I'm sure I’ll get a few movies in on the road this year

Any music you've gotten into to or concerts you attended this summer?
I like a lot of classic bands. Really got into Fleetwood Mac the last few years and they have become one of my favourite bands. I also like listening to Bob Marley a lot. It’s very relaxing music, especially in the summer


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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 25 45 15 70
C. Perry 67 33 22 13 55
R. Kesler 81 20 27 -5 47
J. Silfverberg 81 13 26 15 39
S. Vatanen 67 12 25 5 37
P. Maroon 71 9 25 -5 34
C. Fowler 80 7 27 4 34
H. Lindholm 78 7 27 25 34
M. Beleskey 65 22 10 13 32
R. Rakell 71 9 22 6 31
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 35 12 5 .914 2.38
J. Gibson 13 8 0 .914 2.60

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