The strong playoff run by the Anaheim Ducks this year, proved once again that they have the size, strength, and determination to be Stanley Cup contenders. Although still young compared to some teams, the past twenty-two years have matured and created a team with a strong history and a bright future. There have been countless players who could have joined these men on this top 5 list, Rob Niedermayer, Jonas Hiller, Bobby Ryan, and Corey Perry to name a few. The following men had that bit extra, leaving behind a legacy that this team will never forget.
5) Scott Niedermayer
Positive that he could be on more than one of these lists, Scott Niedermayer joined with the Mighty Ducks in 2005, taking a lower salary to play with his brother Rob. Scott was immediately named Captain and wore it through four seasons with the Ducks, including the 2006-2007 Stanley Cup run. Known for his skating and offensive defense, Niedermayer was awarded the James Norris Memorial Trophy as top defenseman in the NHL. Although his number was retired within the New Jersey Devils Franchise, he will always be remembered as the captain who led the Ducks to their first Stanley Cup Championship.
4) Jean-Sebastien Giguere
Jean-Sebastien Giguere is known for his role as a veteran leader with the Avalanche, but played a pivotal role in not only helping the Ducks finish off their Stanley Cup Championship in ‘07, but also made Mighty Ducks history by bringing them to their first Finals ever on a cinderella run in 2003. He remains the last NHLer to receive the Conn Smythe Trophy as part of a losing team in that 2003 season, when they lost in game seven to the New Jersey Devils. After being traded to the Maple Leafs in 2010, he played his remaining years in both Toronto and Colorado. His last season began on a sentimental note in Anaheim with a video tribute from the Ducks, letting him know they wouldn’t forget his role in their history.
3) Paul Kariya
The Mighty Ducks first-ever NHL draft pick, Kariya is still a name that many within the Hockey world remember as bringing the team to a competitive standard. Drafted fourth overall by the MIghty Ducks in their first year in 1993, his captaincy and devotion to the game puts him firmly in this list. In 1996 he was teamed up with Teemu Selanne for one of the greatest lines in Ducks history. While on the same line as Selanne he had some of his best numbers, but truly stood out in how he led the team.
2) Ryan Getzlaf
10 years with the Ducks, 5 years wearing the coveted “C”, 2 Olympic Gold medals, 1 Stanley Cup, and countless strategic plays within the Ducks Franchise, Ryan Getzlaf has been a solid foundation for this team to grow on since he was drafted 19th overall in 2003. Together with Corey Perry, Getzlaf still holds great promise to bring the Ducks to another Stanley Cup Championship. He holds the All-time franchise record for playoffs assists and points, and the current captain still has room to become even more of a force within the NHL.
1) Teemu Selanne
The only player to have his number retired within the history of the Franchise, Teemu Selanne undeniably takes the number one spot on this list. Although only the captain for part of the ‘97-’98 season, Selanne wore the well-respected ‘A’ for 10 years of his career with the Ducks. The “Finnish Flash”, nicknamed for his impressive speed, holds the most All-time Ducks Franchise records including most goals, assists, and points, in Franchise history. Selanne has the privilege of being the inaugural winner of the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as well as recipient of the Calder Trophy. Although the numbers and awards speak for themselves, his fellow players remember him for the same reason he he won the Bill Masterson Trophy in the ‘05-’06 season, for his perseverance and determination