Anaheim Ducks

 By: Maria Brown
Being the members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL), a professional ice hockey team, The Anaheim Ducks is based in Anaheim, California, USA. Honda Center has always claimed to be the home of Ducks since their origin.

A name based on the film The Mighty Ducks, the club was founded in 1993 by The Walt Disney Company as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. In their 15 year existence, the Ducks have made the playoffs six times, winning two Western Conference Championships (2003 and 2007) and one Stanley Cup championship (2007).

With their first-ever draft pick, the Mighty Ducks selected Paul Kariya fourth overall in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft. Kariya quickly become a fan favorite and the cornerstone of the young Mighty Ducks franchise. As team captain, he brought them the glory of Stanley Cup in 2003.

On February 7, 1996, the Mighty Ducks made a blockbuster deal with the Winnipeg Jets. The Ducks sent Chad Kilger, Tverdovsky, and a third-round pick to the Jets in return for Marc Chouinard, a fourth-round draft pick, and, most notably, star right winger Teemu Selanne. On a line with Steve Rucchin and Kariya, Selanne's chemistry with the latter made them one of the highest-scoring tandems in the league.

After missing the playoffs in their first three seasons, the Mighty Ducks finished 1996–97 fourth in the Western Conference, earning home-ice advantage with the Phoenix Coyotes. The Coyotes initially took a lead, but the Ducks won their inaugural playoff series. The Ducks lost in four to the Red Wings in a more convincing manner than in 1997 ending with a 3–0 loss on home ice, this time in the Western Quarterfinals.

After a three-year playoff hiatus, Anaheim qualified for the 2003 Stanley Cup Playoffs. For the third straight post-season in which they participated, the Mighty Ducks met the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings. This time, however, Anaheim shocked the hockey world. The Ducks then defeated the #1-seeded Dallas Stars in the Conference Semifinals, which was noted for Game 1 being the fourth longest game in NHL history, with the Ducks winning in the fifth overtime period. In the Conference Finals, the Ducks made a quick work of the upstart Minnesota Wild to earn their first-ever Western Conference championship and berth in the Stanley Cup Finals.

The Ducks had played for three yeas as to qualify for the Stanley Cup of the year of 2003. They had a competition with the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings, in the third straight post-season in which they participated. Anaheim had really shocked the hockey world as they had a clean sweep in a match with Detroit, during the Rucchin's series. The Ducks were all set to number one team called the Dallas Stars in six games in the Conference Semifinals. It is noteworthy to mention that the Game 1 had been considered to be the fourth longest game in NHL history, and the Ducks had won in the fifth overtime period with a special reference to Petr Sykora. In the Conference Finals, the Ducks made quick work of the upstart Minnesota Wild to earn their first-ever Western Conference championship and berth in the Stanley Cup Finals.

There was a great set back for the Duckd, when their match winning player, Paul Kariya had joined the Colorado Avalanche along with Selanne, who had also signed with Colorado after two seasons of play with the San Jose. The Ducks had signed other star players like Sergei Fedorov from Detroit and Vaclav Prospal, from the teams of Tampa Bay. But after all such planning and work, the year of 2004 was full of misfortunes for the club, as they had missed the playoffs completely, and had also faced the low attendance figures of the fans, although they had a marvelous sport in the previous year. The Ducks had made another bargain in the month of June in 2006, as they had made a contract with the young sniper Lupul, and the defense man, Ladislav Smid. They had been picked for the 2007 first-round draft pick and a second-round choice in 2008. it was a conditional first-round selection in 2008 to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for star defenseman Chris Pronger, he had already requested to have a trade from the Oilers only ten days earlier, due to personal reasons.
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