|Adam Brady is the Director of Publications & New Media for the Anaheim Ducks and Honda Center. You can email him by CLICKING HERE.
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All times Pacific.
Updated Aug. 31 at 12:43 p.m.
The NHL section on ESPN.com has a well-written story on Scott and Rob Niedermayer's time with the Cup.
Updated Aug. 31 at 10:28 a.m.
The L.A. Times points out that the Ducks are favored to repeat as Cup champions on Vegasinsider.com, despite the fact the NHL hasn't had a repeat champion since Detroit won in '97 and '98. Also, Detroit didn't have the potential to lose two of its best players after its first championship.
The Ducks are listed at 11-2, with Ottawa a close second at 6-1, followed by Detroit (8-1), Buffalo (10-1 despite losing Daniel Briere and Chris Drury) and the Rangers (11-1 after adding Drury and Scott Gomez). The Kings are 60-1 and the Coyotes are 125-1. Even Rick Tocchet wouldn't take that bet.
Shifting gears, Justin Timberlake is going to play a pro hockey player in Mike Myers' latest movie, called The Love Guru. If you think that's a little far-fetched (despite Timberlake's many talents), you should know that Jessica Alba plays the owner of the team and Verne Troyer (a.k.a Mini Me from the Austin Powers movies) will play the coach. I think it's a drama.
In the world of coaches over four feet tall, Ducks bosses Randy Carlyle and Dave Farrish are featured in the latest edition of Stanley Cup Journal. Randy is actually smiling in a couple of the photos.
Updated Aug. 30 at 11:16 a.m.
Tomorrow is Scott Niedermayer's birthday, when he will turn 34 years old. Scotty is exactly four days younger than I am, which always makes me feel old. He's considering retirement and his playoff beard is noticeably salt-and-peppery. He also has a little more money than I do, which makes me feel like I've underachieved in life. I'll get over it eventually.
Anyway, there is a story on ESPN.com about Scotty's decision on whether or not to retire, and it again touches on the fact that whether he plays or not, he has no intention of seeing London next month.
Updated Aug. 30 at 9:08 a.m.
If there is some doubt as to the worth of the newly extended Chris Kunitz, I came across this set of stats yesterday, courtesy of the Battle of California and Hockeyanalysis.com websites. This shows the top four Ducks forwards Kunitz played with at even-strength last year. All four had better numbers playing with Kunitz at even strength compared to their time on ice without him.
Even-Strength Goal-Differential Rates
Goals For, Goals Against, and Differential with and without Chris Kunitz
+1.25 -0.61 +0.64
+0.91 -1.26 -0.35
+1.27 -0.62 +0.65
+1.13 -0.92 +0.21
+1.31 -0.60 +0.72
+0.91 -0.57 +0.35
+1.12 -0.56 +0.56
+0.93 -0.58 +0.35
(note: all scoring rates are expressed as goals per 20 even-strength minutes)
Of course, numbers often don't tell the whole story, but it's still intriguing.
Updated Aug. 29 at 10:05 a.m.
More on the Sceemu Niederlanne saga in today's local papers. A story in the L.A. Times covers whether Niedermayer will retire or not and includes a surprising quote from Scotty about the Ducks opening the season in London: "Let's put it this way, there's a bigger chance that I will play this season than go to London."
The OC Register's Randy Youngman chimes in about halfway through his column today.
Updated Aug. 28 at 3:45 p.m.
I finally got off my duff and put a new poll question on the home page, which concerns how many times you think newly extended Chris Kunitz will shoot a puck over the painted goal line during a regular season game next season. (Do you say next season or this season? I still haven't figured that out.)
Anyway, here are the results of the last poll, in which we asked which of these gentlemen will have the most goals for the Ducks in 2007-08. And it appears that Ryan Getzlaf is the runaway winner:
Updated Aug. 28 at 11:20 a.m.
I know it's rare these days for me to actually post more than one thing per day, but a couple of things have come up that warrant the extra work.
First, I just found out that the Ducks website was the No. 1-visited site in the NHL for the month of June. I'm sure the Stanley Cup winning thing had something to do with it, but who knows. Either way, thank you to all of you who visited at that time and continue to do so.
Check out this story on Scott Niedermayer that was just posted on TSN in which he says he may not be leaning toward retirement as much as he once was. A quote: "I'm in a different spot, no question about it. But again, I'm just trying to make the right decision. I know it's unfortunate that people are waiting to see what the decision is - it's not fun, but that's the way it is right now."
The San Jose Sharks website has a splash page marketing its season ticket sales in which it says: "You like your beer fresh and your Pronger flat. You're a Sharks fan." Nice. Maybe it should say "You like bowing out of the playoffs in the second round each year. You're a Sharks fan."
Updated Aug. 28 at 9:45 a.m.
I didn't get a chance yesterday to comment on the contract extension Chris Kunitz signed. What a great story that is considering where Kunitz was less than two years ago. At the beginning of the 2005-06 season, he was claimed away from the Ducks on waivers by Atlanta, but he was only in town long enough to get into two games. The Thrashers quickly put him back on waivers and he was snatched back up by the Ducks. Next thing you know, he's playing on the first line with Teemu Selanne and Andy McDonald, had 25 goals and 60 points last year and now has put his name to a lucrative deal that will keep him here for the next four years. That's fantastic. Plus he's such a friendly, personable guy.
On a personal note, I saw Superbad last night and really enjoyed it. VERY funny movie. Definitely not a date movie, or something to take your parents to go see, but very funny nonetheless. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think it's a good sign that so many legitimately funny movies have been made over the past few years, like Superbad, Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Wedding Crashers, Napoleon Dynamite, Little Miss Sunshine, Brokeback Mountain. (Okay, maybe not that last one.) Granted, studios are still churning out movies like Rush Hour 3 and Norbit, but I can't remember a time where so many smart, funny films have been made.
Updated Aug. 27 at 3:12 p.m.
I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. I mentioned earlier I was in San Francisco, and AT&T is even better than I remembered it. Don't get me wrong. I have a grand ol' time at Angels Stadium, but AT&T Park makes that place (and almost every other park in the league) look like a little league field. They've even improved it since the last time I was there (a couple of years ago). The gigantic video screen on the centerfield scoreboard is now in high definition. It's really a sight to see. The only negative about the place is that Barry Bonds still plays there.
On to some Ducks stuff. The 2007-08 Yearbook edition of The Hockey News has their pick to win the '08 Stanley Cup. And it's ... wait for it ... the Anaheim Ducks. And who will they beat in the Final? The Ottawa Senators. Yeah, that's right. I had to double-check the cover to make sure it wasn't last year's.
Strangely enough, the publication acknowledges Teemu Selanne's departure, but pretty much assumed Scott Niedermayer will return. We'll just see about that. But I like this quote in one of the stories from Chris Pronger about head coach Randy Carlyle on the topic of many teams having an off year following a Cup title: "Randy won't allow our team to slide."
The yearbook does have several different covers that feature players from different teams, but I assume the Stanley Cup pick is the same in each one. There is also a feature in there on the Miller family (including Buffalo goalie Ryan and the Ducks' Drew). You can order it for $9.99 by CLICKING HERE.
By the way, I know the poll question on the home page has been up there longer than normal. We'll get a new one up there soon. I'm sure you can't wait.
Oh, one more thing. It's my birthday today.
Updated Aug. 24 at 11:39 a.m.
There is a poll on the TSN website that asks Will the Anaheim Ducks win a second straight Stanley Cup without Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne? As of this posting, a whopping 93% of the respondees said "No". Guess not too many of our optimistic Ducks fans have jumped on there.
In other news, a Stanley Cup ring was recently found by treasure hunters in the Gulf of Mexico. I guess it's better than finding one on Ebay. CLICK HERE for that story.
Also, they've convicted an 18-year-old in the stabbing case at Chris Chelios' restaurant, Cheli's Chili Bar. CLICK HERE for that story. When we were in Detroit for the conference final, we never made it to that Cheli's Chili Bar, but we did frequent the one in nearby Dearborn, which was a happening spot with a fantastic live band. Strangely enough, we went back there when we were in town for Game 5, and there was no live band and the place was practically empty.
Okay, that's all I've got for today. No news on TeemuScotty as of now. Or is it Selannermayer? Sceemu? On a personal note, I'm heading to San Francisco to visit my sister, brother-in-law and niece and re-visit my favorite ballpark, AT&T Park. Hope everyone has a lovely weekend.
Updated Aug. 23 at 1:06 p.m.
There is a nice mention in the OC Register today of the "fan" who caught Garret Anderson's grand slam ball that gave him a team-record 10 RBI's in the Angels' 18-9 win over the Yankees on Tuesday night. The story mentions that the girl who caught the ball is Amber Conley, who happens to be the daughter of Ducks staffer Janet Conley. What it doesn't mention is that Amber was a Ducks Power Player last year and is also on the Angels Strike Force (which is their version of the Power Players -- or vice versa). CLICK HERE for the story.
Updated Aug. 22 at 10:19 a.m.
Well, in case you haven't seen in already, a story in the OC Register indicates that we should hear about Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermayer's decisions by early next week. A quote from Brian Burke doesn't make it look too promising that either will come back:
"Obviously, at some point I have to ask Scotty if he plans to come to camp or not. I have to ask them both that. I probably will pretty quickly, probably by this weekend.
"My guess would be that they’re probably not. If that were their intent, I think I would have heard by now."
CLICK HERE for the whole story.
It's always been my gut feeling that neither of them was coming back, especially after Scotty told media he was leaning "strongly" toward retirement, and Teemu has for a long time indicated he would like to go out with a Cup.
Updated Aug. 21 at 11:59 a.m.
I know it's been about 2 1/2 months since the Ducks won the Stanley Cup title, but I was going through some photos today and came across this one that somehow I hadn't seen before. I think it's kind of cool, just because it's two guys who are among the best the game has ever known, and you really don't see them together all that much.
There is a new edition of Stanley Cup Journal that includes Andy McDonald, Corey Perry and Ducks Senior Advisor to the General Manager Al Coates. There is a remarkable story in there about a tragedy Coates eluded when he was a young hockey player that I didn't know about. CLICK HERE to read the latest edition.
I just read that Entourage and another HBO show, Flight of the Conchords are both being renewed. That was a no-brainer for Entourage, which unfortunately has only two episodes left for this season. Flight of the Conchords is a hilarious show that I'm not sure a lot of people are watching. Give it a shot for an episode or two if you haven't seen it yet.
Updated Aug. 20 at 11:23 a.m.
There is so much to get to today that I hardly need to mention my vacation to Cabo, which was fantastic, by the way. Again, we very much enjoyed the Riu Palace, a sprawling, all-inclusive resort right on the beach. All-inclusive is certainly the way to go on trips like these. Although, I can't figure out why my pants are a little tighter this morning than they were last time I wore them. Curious. There is hardly a need to go outside the resort, with the variety of bars and restaurants (especially since you've paid for them in advance) and nightly entertainment. The first night we were there, there was a "variety show" in the theatre area, that included (among other things) a Michael Jackson impersonator and backup dancers recreating "Thriller". I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it ... and took pictures.
We did manage to leave the resort on the last night, where we inevitably ventured into the touristy Cabo Wabo, which featured a fantastic cover band performing staples like Bon Jovi and Van Halen.
All in all, a fantastic place to vacation.
Okay, back to reality. First thing's first, we at Honda Center are saddened by the passing of General Manager Mike O'Donnell, who had been with the arena since before it was even an arena. CLICK HERE and HERE for more on Mike.
On to some Ducks items. Ilya Bryzgalov never fails to make me laugh. Whether it's some of the awkward media interviews he's done or the fact that he can't help but smile when he's about to start a game and the camera is on him during the anthem. Now he provides some laughs in the account of his time with the Cup in the Stanley Cup Journal. First is that horrendous shirt he's wearing. Then it was the mention that he took the Cup to what has got to be the only Long John Silver's in all of southeastern Russia. CLICK HERE to read it.
Speaking of time with the Cup, Part 2 of the Ducks TV coverage of the Cup's travels to Finland with Teemu Selanne is available by CLICKING HERE. (This was a bad link earlier that went to Part 1.)
SI senior writer Michael Farber gives a nice mention of Francois Beauchemin in his All-Future Team story. I do think he should have somehow slipped Ryan Getzlaf in there, but why quibble? CLICK HERE to read it.
I forgot to mention this before it originally aired last night, but the latest episode of the wildly popular "Rock of Love" with Bret Michaels features Bret and his ladies spending time at a Ducks game (shot back in March). I've never seen the show, but I'll have to at least check this one out. The episode airs again at 8 p.m. Pacific tonight if you have cable and 5 p.m. Pacific if you have satellite.
Updated Aug. 17 at 9:44 a.m.
I'm writing this from the lobby of the Riu Palace hotel in Cabo, which I can't recommend enough (more on that later). I wanted to provide an update on that Teemu Selanne story posted earlier. You might want to take that one with a grain of salt. A Ducks official was talking with Teemu on the phone yesterday, and Teemu said that he never talked to anybody about retiring and never said those words that were reported in the story.
So, you can still keep your hopes up, Ducks fans.
Alright, back to the beach.
Updated Aug. 15 at 2:18 p.m.
We have a follow-up on that Teemu Selanne story in the Finnish newspaper. A fan named Jan-Erik was kind enough to provide me with a much better translation than the one I found from the online translator. Here it is:
Motivation completely lost
Teemu Selanne's return highly unlikely.
Family means more to Teemu Selanne than continuing his career.
It is starting to look quite sure that Teemu Selanne won't be taking part to Anaheim Ducks' training camp that starts in a month's time.
"Hockey has been my life's work, but there is a lot more to life than that. The thing I fear the most is that I would base my decision (about my career) on something else than motivation and hockey". Selanne told on YLE interview.
(note: YLE is the Finnish Broadcasting Company and they ran a televised interview on Aug. 13th that this article is based on. You can view the interview here: http://areena.yle.fi/toista?id=683372 )
The empty feeling that follows the winning of the Stanley Cup still has a hold of our hockey hero, who by winning the Cup had the perfect crown for his career. Even the money does not bring any extra motivation to this millionaire.
"I have always dreamed about retiring at the top. I want to leave myself a picture, that this was greater than anything," the hockey-star told.
The forward that has been among the top players in NHL since 1992 also told that he has always respected people who have been able to retire at the top.
Teemu and his wife Sirpa have 3 boys, but a new family member is already on its way, so family means more and more to this hockey player.
"My boys are already at an age where they don't play around the home for that long anymore. I also do not want to be in a situation where I'll be thinking 'Darn, I wish I would've had more time with my family,'" said Teemu, who is well known for loving children.
"At this point I have everything to lose" Selanne added.
Teemu's teammate Scott Niedermayer has been rumored to retire. Returning to the long and hard road trips does not appeal to him.
"He (S. Niedermayer) has a little bit of a similar situation as I do" Selanne said.
The man who has won many medals in his career says that he will wait till the end of August if his mind changes.
"If someone would say now that let's go skating, I would answer "not a chance."
Updated Aug. 14 at 4:07 p.m.
We've posted a new Ducks Poll on the homepage. You'll notice that the wording of the question and the choices had to be carefully planned, since Teemu Selanne's status for next season is still up in the air. Go ahead and cast your all-important vote!
Updated Aug. 14 at 1:32 p.m.
Teemu Selanne reportedly told a Finnish newspaper that the chances of him coming back are unlikely. You can find the story in Finnish by CLICKING HERE. I tried to run the thing through a Finnish-to-English online translator and didn't come up with much. Although, it did translate the headline to say this:
MOTIVATION DIAMETRICALLY LOST
Motif Selänteen comeback jäille is very unlikely.
I don't know if that tells us much, but I did what I could.
Updated Aug. 14 at 1:02 p.m.
I've gotten a couple of emails from out-of-town Ducks fans asking how they can purchase the Commemorative Tribute if they can't get to the Team Store. Give the Team Store a call at (888) 438-2505 and they can arrange having one or more shipped to you. So, please do that if you can't get to the Team Store. It really is a nice publication.
I'm hearing that the Ducks have definitely signed Joe DiPenta to a one-year deal. Look for an official announcement on that soon.
Also, here's an answer to another question I'm getting a lot. Ducks training camp will start Sept. 11 at Anaheim Ice, and practices are open to the public there. I can't believe training camp is less than a month away. Why do I feel like this summer is getting away from me?
On a personal note, I'm headed to Cabo for an extended weekend starting this Thursday. So, you might not see much blogging over those four days. I'm sure that's heartbreaking. By the way, if anyone has any great ideas for fun things to do in Cabo (aside from the obvious lying on the beach, drinking Mexican beer and eating tacos), lay it on me. And please don't email me that "Cabo Wabo is Sammy Hagar's bar." I already know that.
One last thing. The Stanley Cup Journal has great coverage of Teemu Selanne's time with the Cup. CLICK HERE to check that out.
Updated Aug. 13 at 3:07 p.m.
Sorry for the delay in today's posting. I usually like to post a little earlier coming out of the weekend, but I was delayed by some meetings this morning. Not that you care. Okay, we have a lot of ground to cover, both Ducks-related and otherwise.
First of all, I want to mention that the Ducks have released a Stanley Cup Champions Commemorative Tribute publication. It's a 40-page magazine that chronicles the Ducks' run to the Stanley Cup title. It features recaps of the regular season and every round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, with tons of photos from every game, the postgame celebrations, on the road in Ottawa and more. I happen to think it's very well done, but that's only because I was in charge of it. It's not available online, but you can pick it up in the Team Store at Honda Center for $10. If you're a season seat holder, you're already getting one with your tickets for 2007-08.
Hockey writer E.J. Hradek of ESPN.com is doing a story on each team in the NHL leading up to training camp, and whether they will be "Better or Worse" than last season. He's started with Anaheim. CLICK HERE to read that. It's located within the Insider section of the website, which normally requires a membership fee. But right now it's offered for free.
It's the beginning of the week, so it's time to change to poll on the homepage, which we will get to soon. Here are the pretty-close-to-final results from the last one, where Ducks fans were asked what they think will happen with Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne. I was surprised to see almost 44% of the Ducks fans think they're both coming back and less than 25 percent think they're both gone. Here are the results:
Niedermayer will retire and Selanne will come back
Selanne will retire and Niedermayer will come back
They will both retire
They will both come back
* * * * *
It's getting to the point where I relish going to Angels games, not because of the action on the field, but because something unique happens every time I go. A couple of months ago, my girlfriend and I went when it was Tim Salmon Bobblehead Night. After a few innings, we got up to get something to eat and, like the trustworthy souls were are, we left our bobbleheads under our seats. Then when we came back, we discovered that they were gone. Not only that, nobody sitting around us seemed to have any idea what happened to them. Although, when my girlfriend asked the little boy a couple of seats away from us if he took them he said, "I don't know." That was sort of a clue.
Then, of course, was the night last week I mentioned before in this blog. That was the drunk, obnoxious 20-somethings sitting a row behind us banging the equally obnoxious Thunder Sticks. (Or is it Stix?)
Last Friday night, 5-foot-8, 165-pound Maicer Izturis hit a grand slam, and that wasn't even close to the strangest thing we saw that night. Earlier in the game, two people who appeared to be a middle-aged man and his daughter sat in the row in front of us. The man was somewhat overweight, wore glasses and a ballcap and was kind of geeky-looking. The girl was either in her late teens or early 20s and was somewhat attractive.
We didn't pay them much attention until around the seventh inning ... when they started feverishly making out. And they hardly stopped over the next two innings. It really was a horrifying site. It's disturbing enough when two people make out in public, let alone at a ballgame in front of 40,000 other people. But the discrepancy in ages - and for that matter, levels of attractiveness - was puzzling and truly appalling.
I can't wait to see what happens next time I'm at Angel Stadium of Anaheim California Left on Katella, or whatever we're calling it these days.
Updated Aug. 10 at 1:12 p.m.
So, I was reading the Halifax Daily News today, as I do every morning, and came across this article that indicates Joe DiPenta will be re-signed by the Ducks. (Actually, a fan named Maribel informed me of the story.) Nothing has been announced by the Ducks yet, but DiPenta indicated that he made a formal commitment. CLICK HERE for the story.
Updated Aug. 10 at 11:33 a.m.
Sami Pahlsson and his boyish good looks are both featured in the newest edition of Stanley Cup Journal. CLICK HERE to take a look.
Updated Aug. 9 at 12:23 p.m.
Hey, guess what?
Stanley Cup -pokaaliaan juhlinut jääkiekkoilija Teemu Selänne jatkoi ystävineen karkeloita helsinkiläisessä karaokebaari Pataässässä varhain sunnuntaiaamuna.
CLICK HERE for more on that. Man, that Finnish language is complicated looking. It has more dots than Lindsay Lohan's shoulders.
Wow, that was a hacky joke.
Updated Aug. 9 at 11:32 a.m.
NHL.com has a nice story on the Ducks prospects you'll probably see during training camp and the preseason, some of whom you might see on the opening night roster. Take a look at the story by CLICKING HERE.
Updated Aug. 8 at 6:45 p.m.
That last note on the NHL jersey sales prompted a couple of emails from fans that explained why the Ducks aren't in that top 10 anymore. Apparently the NHL Shop doesn't have many of the Ducks jersey sizes available, orders were canceled because of lack of inventory and many were backordered. Also, Ducks jerseys are not on sale, while those of every other team are.
That explains it. They were just too popular. You know, because the Ducks are Stanley Cup champs. (Just thought I'd mention that again. You can't do that too often.)
Updated Aug. 8 at 3:48 p.m.
Scott Niedermayer is much more than just a Ducks defenseman. He's also a defender of ducks. CLICK HERE.
I had no idea that's how foie gras was made. Then again, I've never really been sure what it is.
Updated Aug. 8 at 3:25 p.m.
It was recently announced that Ottawa center Jason Spezza will be on the cover of the new NHL 2K8 video game. I suppose that's a decent choice, although Spezza had exactly zero goals and just two assists against the Ducks in the Stanley Cup Final. But I guess having Sammy Pahlsson on the cover doesn't sell video games. Then again, does Spezza?
Cover boy aside, I'm very much looking forward to the release of that game. I love that game. I could play that thing with my buddies all day. It's simply amazing on the PS3 I got a few months ago. I once had neighbors complain because I had the audio on the game (which pipes through my surround sound) turned up too loud. By the way, I'm 33.
On another note, here ar ethe top selling jerseys on Shop.NHL.com for the period of July 1-31:
1. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
2. Daniel Briere, Buffalo Sabres / Philadelphia Flyers
3. Chris Drury, Buffalo Sabres / New York Rangers
4. Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres
5. Thomas Vanek, Buffalo Sabres
6. Peter Forsberg, Nashville Predators
7. Maxim Afinogenov, Buffalo Sabres
8. Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
9. Jaromir Jagr, New York Rangers
10. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
Not one Duck in the top 10! Here was the list for the previous month:
1. Teemu Selanne, Anaheim Ducks
2. Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim Ducks
3. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
4. Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Anaheim Ducks
5. Peter Forsberg, Nashville Predators
6. Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres
7. Chris Pronger, Anaheim Ducks
8. Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks
9. Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
10. Andy McDonald, Anaheim Ducks
Granted, I don't believe Teemu jerseys are available right now since he's officially considered a free agent, but what happened to the other five? There must be a mistake.
Now, something completely unrelated. My lady friend and I went to the Angels-Red Sox game Monday night and were blessed to have a group of five drunken, obnoxious twenty-somethings sitting directly behind us. As if their loud cursing, idiotic discussions and screaming weren't enough, they also came equipped with those Godawful thunder sticks. I know those things were wildly popular during the '02 World Series, along with the inexplicably popular Rally Monkey, but enough is enough with those things. That sound, especially when it's coming from the row right behind you, is just horrifying. I wanted to turn around and pop them with my girlfriend's Swiss Army knife keychain, but I'm guessing wielding a knife in the middle of a baseball game is frowned upon.
Brian Burke has been having trouble keeping in the hockey news lately, so let's help him get some publicity. His time with the Cup is featured in the latest edition of the Hockey Hall of Fame's Stanley Cup Journal, along with Travis Moen's. Moen is one of the most friendly and humble Ducks, a guy who still helps out on his family's farm every offseason in his hometown of Stewart Valley, Saskatchewan (population 101). Here's a great part of the account of Travis' Cup time:
Travis was reminded who would welcome the Stanley Cup next. "Mr. Burke? Okay, give me that Cup. I want to scrub it until it shines like new!" And he did, even though it was 5:30 in the morning and he had to head back out to work on the farm.
Read the whole thing by CLICKING HERE.
Back to Burkie, he again held court with the local media yesterday in a conference call relating to J.S. Giguere's surgery. But he covered a little more than just the topic at hand. CLICK HERE to take a look.
One last note. You have to love the optimism of Ducks fans. Take a look at the latest poll results on the home page.
Updated Aug. 6 at 2:13 p.m.
I hope everybody had a fantastic weekend. I saw "The Bourne Ultimatum" yesterday afternoon and I thought it was phenomenal. If you've liked the first two, you've got to see this one. Very well-done story and Matt Damon is again at his best, while uttering hardly more than a few lines of dialogue the entire movie. The action sequences are shot in such a close-up, shaky-camera style that you almost feel worn out by movies end, like you've been on the treadmill for an hour and a half. I highly recommend it.
Okay, on to some Ducks stuff. As I mentioned before, I was very surprised at the landslide victory by Francois Beauchemin in the latest Ducks poll. Beauch garnered 64.77% of the votes for most popular mid-season Ducks trade acquisition of the past two years. So, I guess the real race was for second place, where George Parros just edged Brad May 11.37% to 10.36%.
The new poll isn't exactly the most creative in the world, but it's timely. No, I don't know when we're going to hear an announcement on either of those guys. So, cast your vote.
Updated Aug. 3 at 10:57 a.m.
Here is an email I got this morning:
"So, are we supposed to BOO Dustin Penner when he comes to town?"
Here's what I think:
Let's say you like the job you have now. You like where you live. You've been there less than two years. You like the people you work with. It's a successful company. A very successful company. Another company comes in and offers you a salary you could never have imagined. Possibly twice what your current employer was going to offer you. Of course, to take that offer you would have to move to that company's location. The climate isn't as nice. There isn't as much to do. But the support in that town for that company, and in turn for you and the rest of the employees there, is unlike any other area in the world. And, just to reiterate, they're offering way more money than your current company was offering.
You'd probably move to the new company, wouldn't you?
You have to know this about Dustin Penner. This is a guy who was repeatedly cut from his junior hockey teams. He had to play high school hockey, which is a little like playing JV football when you're a senior. When he graduated, he was about to quit the game until he got a last-minute call from a junior college in North Dakota. He played well there and ended up at the University of Maine, where he was discovered by Ducks Assistant GM David McNab. He signed with the Ducks, and you know the rest of the story.
This is a guy who not that long ago couldn't imagine in his wildest dreams that anybody would pay him more than $4 million a year to play hockey. Granted, he would have gotten a nice salary from the Ducks, but Burke has made it clear it would have been nowhere near what Edmonton was offering.
What we have in Penner is a young player, an all-around good guy, who performed very well for the Ducks while he was here and helped them win a Stanley Cup title. Then, partly because of that Stanley Cup title, another team made him a huge offer and he took it. Just like most players would.
Just like you probably would.
So, should Ducks fans boo him? My answer to that - to paraphrase Brian Burke - is an unequivocal and instantaneous no.
Updated Aug. 2 at 4:33 p.m.
There was a bit of a delay getting the Brian Burke video up, but you can now access it on this page.
The audio isn't great right now. We're in the process of fixing that. If you don't want to wait for that, check it out now.
Updated Aug. 2 at 3:19 p.m.
If you're interested in hearing Edmonton GM Kevin Lowe and Dustin Penner's conference call from earlier today, you can find it on the Edmonton website by CLICKING HERE. A fan named Rex pointed out that when he visited that page, the audio player had an ad for Ducks Stanley Cup Champions merchandise above it. Ironic.
We will have video of Brian Burke's reaction in just a few minutes.
In the meantime, here are a couple of excerpts from Brian Burke's conference call with reporters at 3 p.m. today:
"If I match the salary then I'm just as dumb as the team that offered it."
"We're taking back three [draft] picks, and given Kevin's recent performance I expect them to be excellent picks."
Updated Aug. 2 at 11:51 a.m.
Okay, Penner's gone. We'll have reaction from Brian Burke on the website later this afternoon. CLICK HERE for that page.
Updated Aug. 2 at 11:34 a.m.
Yes, the deadline is passed for Penner and we'll have something on the website any minute. Edmonton radio is already reporting that Penner is an Oiler. Stay tuned.
Updated Aug. 2 at 9:25 a.m.
I got together with my father last night for our Wednesday night ritual of watching "Rescue Me" together. I had just grabbed a copy of the Ducks DVD that day, which he hadn't seen yet, and I saw just once at the screening we had at Honda Center. It still gives me chills in certain parts. There are also a few laughs in there. One is during the Final when a mic'd-up Brad May runs into the boards in front of the Ottawa bench and one Senator yells out, "Watch out for the boards." Then May turns, looks him right in the eye and says, "Who the [bleep] are YOU?" Always cracks me up. It also makes me laugh to know that most of the players were interviewed for that thing about a day or two after Game 5, and they look like they had pretty much been celebrating that entire time. Lots of baseball caps and puffy eyes.
There was also something near the end I hadn't noticed before. During the postgame celebration, you can clearly hear Teemu Selanne tell Ryan Getzlaf, "It's all yours, Getzy. I love you." Is that a passing-the-torch kind of sentiment or am I reading too much into it? Do I sound like one of our message boarders now or what?
Here's something else I found interesting last night. Dad and I kept stopping the movie to watch the Dodger game when Barry came to bat. Dad the Dodger fan was probably hoping Barry would twist his knee and suffer a career-ending injury. Then again, I guess you don't have to be a Dodger fan to share that sentiment.
Anyway, when Barry came up for the last time, they showed a close-up, slow-motion replay of his swing when he popped out to center. And behind home plate, I could clearly make this out. In the first row of seats, wearing a green t-shirt, was none other than ... wait for it ... Ian Ziering. That's right, Steve from "Beverly Hills 90210". I couldn't believe my eyes. How the heck does Ian Ziering get front row seats behind home plate at Dodger Stadium??? For a Giants game, no less! When Bonds is on the brink of 755! I'm bewildered.
Okay, back to Ducks matters. The deadline for the Ducks to match or not match the Edmonton offer sheet signed by Dustin Penner is today, around 11 a.m. Pacific. So, be on the lookout for an announcement around that time.
Updated Aug. 1 at 5:31 p.m.
Alright, so nothing new on the Dustin Penner "will we match or not match" saga. Looks like this one is being pushed all the way to the brink of the 7-day deadline. It goes without saying, but look for something on this tomorrow.
Hey, it's August. Which means its pretty much the last month of the summer, which means the summer feels like it's getting away from me. You'll soon find the Ducks Blog postings for July posted in the archives, which you can find by clicking the link under that stupid little picture on the top right of this page.
Much to my surprise, good ol' Francois Beauchemin is running away with our current Ducks poll. I certainly didn't see that coming. I thought George Parros or Sean O'Donnell or Brad May would make it a race. But good for Frankie. He's one of the nicest guys we've got.
On to less important matters. I know I have to be a 15-year-old girl to like this song, but "Umbrella" by this Rihanna girl is actually kind of catchy. I can't get it out of my head this morning. I'm in no way a fan of hers, and frankly I don't think she has the greatest voice in the world, but that song has grown on me. Of course, I prefer the Jay-Z remix, which hopefully gives me a little more street cred.