Anaheim Ducks – Triple Deke

Throughout the year, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the National Hockey League (NHL), discovering the best and worst each team has to offer in a variety of subjects. We will also feature a drink based off the franchise. Today, we begin this trek with a look at the Anaheim Ducks. Let’s just see how mighty they are:

Establishment Story: The Ducks joined the NHL in 1993 as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The expansion team was born from the 1992 Walt Disney Company movie The Mighty Ducks, as Disney looked to expand into the sports ownership world. As of 2005, Disney is no longer behind the franchise and the team has dropped the ‘Mighty’ portion of their moniker, simply going as the Anaheim Ducks.

Stanley Cups: The Ducks lone Stanley Cup came in 2007, when they defeated the Ottawa Senators in five games. They reached the Stanley Cup Finals one other time, losing to the New Jersey Devils in seven games, ending their 2003 Cinderella post-season run. Despite being the Stanley Cup runner up, Ducks goalie Jean-Sébastien Giguère was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs MVP.

Celebrity Fan: Emilio Estevez, star of The Mighty Ducks movie franchise as coach Gordon Bombay, is a fan of the team his movies are responsible for. Estevez often makes appearances in the Anaheim crowd when the team is in important situations, such as the Stanley Cup Finals. From time to time, Estevez also supports the team on his social media accounts.

Emilio Estevez

Super Fan: Given the Ducks beginnings as a popular movie franchise and its Disney connection, fans of the team stretch far and wide. Season ticket members of the club are known as the Orange Alliance. Among the diehards is Ned Marr, who can be easily recognized for his face and head paint (he’s bald after all), which he first donned during the 2013 playoffs. His popularity even led to appearing in a Papa John’s commercial.

Mascot: Wild Wing made his debut with the rest of the team in 1993. His name was picked through a fan vote and he wears the number 93, referencing the franchise’s founding year. In a case of fiction-inspiring-reality-inspiring-fiction, the character of Wildwing Flashblade from the Mighty Ducks cartoon series is based on Wild Wing the mascot. The Ducks very first game featured a secondary mascot, nicknamed The Iceman, but the electric guitar-playing hype man disappeared soon after.

Tradition: Through all incarnations of the Anaheim franchise, Fowl Towels have been a popular fan item, with folks at games waving the towels to cheer on the squad. The towels were originally white, but are now orange, matching the team’s home jerseys throughout the years. Some Ducks supporters also use duck call devices to root on the club.

Appearances in Media: The team’s logo and jerseys appeared in the aforementioned Mighty Ducks movie franchise, as well as its spinoff cartoon series. The reboot TV series Mighty Ducks: Game Changers has included cameos from current Ducks players, such as Trevor Zegras, Troy Terry and Max Jones. Lastly, in the first season of TV show Boy Meets World (a Disney production coinciding with the Ducks inaugural season), main character Cory Matthews wears a Mighty Ducks jersey.

Mighty Ducks

Events/Scandals: Bob Murray’s run as the Ducks GM both began and ended abruptly. He took over the role in November 2008, when previous GM Brian Burke suddenly joined the Toronto Maple Leafs. Murray’s term ended almost exactly 13 years later, when he resigned while under investigation by the team for an alleged history of verbal abuse to players and other staff members.

Rivalry: Fellow California-based teams, the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks, are natural rivals to the Ducks. Anaheim’s feud with Los Angeles is dubbed the Freeway Face-Off. Despite the animosity between the teams and fan bases, the two squads have only met in the playoffs once, with the Kings winning the 2014 series in seven games. The teams have also faced each other for the 2007 NHL Premiere from London and the 2014 Stadium Series at Dodger Stadium.

Tragedy: There are no direct tragedies associated with the Ducks, but fan favourite Ruslan Salei, who played in Anaheim for nine seasons, was among the 44 killed in the September 2011 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team plane crash. The Belarussian was drafted by the Ducks ninth overall in 1996 and once held the franchise record for games played by a defenceman. Salei’s popularity led to the Honda Center, Anaheim’s home arena, being nicknamed ‘The House that Rusty Built’.

Player Nicknames: Corey Perry’s style of play has earned him two nicknames, one on each end of the spectrum. The first, Scorey Perry, was earned for his scoring prowess, including the career-high 50 he potted in 2010-11, earning him the Rocket Richard and Hart Memorial Trophies. The second, The Worm, comes from Perry’s knack of irritating his opponents.

Corey Perry

Line: Speaking of Corey Perry, his long-time partnership with Ryan Getzlaf led to a lot of success for the Ducks. The duo played together with Dustin Penner as the Kid Line/PPG Line and with Bobby Ryan as the RPG Line. Another very successful pair for the team was Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne. Their most notable third linemate was Steve Rucchin, a rare player to come to the NHL from the Canadian Interuniversity Sport route.

Captain: Ryan Getzlaf played his entire 17-season career with the Ducks, serving as captain from 2010 until his retirement in 2022. He holds the franchise record for most games played (1,157), points (1,019) and assists (737). Getzlaf was twice nominated for the Mark Messier Leadership Award, but failed to win the trophy. In retirement, Getzlaf is still an active member in the Anaheim community.

Enforcer: While I’d love to put the Bash Brothers (Fulton Reed and Dean Portman) here, from D2: The Mighty Ducks, the honour has to go to Todd Ewen, who holds the franchise records for penalty minutes in a season (285) and in a period (37). Sadly, Ewen commited suicide in 2015, aged 49. He had been suffering from depression for years, with chronic traumatic encephalopathy from his years as a fighter perhaps contributing to his death.

Family Values: Brothers Scott and Rob Niedermayer not only got to play together on the Ducks for four seasons, they got to share winning a Stanley Cup together. It was Scott’s fourth championship – following three with the New Jersey Devils – and Rob’s first. Scott was the team’s captain, while Rob was an alternate. After Scott finished his lap around the ice with the trophy, he passed it to Rob, which Scott described as a highlight of his career.

Ryan Getzlaf

Returning Players: Defenseman Francois Beauchemin had three stints with the Ducks. He was first traded to Anaheim in 2005, being part of the 2007 championship squad. Beauchemin joined the Toronto Maple Leafs as a free agent in 2009, but was traded back to Anaheim in 2011. His final tenure with the team was for the 2017-18 season, which he announced would be his final campaign, retiring as a Duck.

Short Stint: Dany Heatley’s NHL career wrapped up with six games as a member of the Ducks during the 2014-15 season. While playing for the Ducks minor league affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals, Heatley was traded to the Florida Panthers organization, but didn’t get into any games with them, instead playing for their minor league team, the San Antonio Rampage. Heatley then retired from hockey after a season in Germany.

Undrafted: Chris Kunitz was signed by Anaheim as an undrafted free agent in 2003, following being named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, given to the top NCAA men’s hockey player. He was actually lost to the Atlanta Thrashers on waivers in 2005, but reclaimed weeks later by the Ducks. Kunitz would go on to be a member of the 2007 Stanley Cup championship team.

Trade: Acquiring superstar Teemu Selanne and pairing him with Paul Kariya was one of the greatest moves in Ducks history. To nab Selanne, the team had to part with two former first round picks in Oleg Tverdovsky and Chad Kilger, but it was certainly worth it. Selanne would return to the club later in his career and be part of the franchise’s only Stanley Cup victory. Selanne holds many of the Ducks offensive records, including regular season goals, power-play goals and game-winning goals.

Teemu Selanne

Signing: The signings of Scott Neidermayer and Teemu Selanne (returning to the club) following the 2004-05 NHL lockout, would eventually lead to winning the 2007 Stanley Cup. On the flip side, the signing of Todd Bertuzzi in 2007 to a two-year, $8 million deal was eventually bought out after one season, as the Ducks had players like Corey Perry they needed to resign and were tight against the salary cap.

Draft Pick: The Ducks first ever player selection, Paul Kariya at 4th overall in 1993, was a very good one. Kariya became the face of the franchise for its first decade of existence, with his jersey number retired by the team in 2018. The 2003 draft also yielded great results, with Ryan Getzlaf (19th overall) and Corey Perry (28th overall) being chosen. The pair were integral to the Ducks 2007 Stanley Cup win.

Holdouts: When Paul Kariya’s first NHL contract expired in 1997, he and the Ducks failed to agree on a new pact. This led to Kariya missing the first 32 games of the 1997-98 campaign, prior to inking a two-year, $14 million deal. The holdout meant Kariya, a Japanese Canadian, was absent from the lineup as the Ducks and Vancouver Canucks played a pair of games in Tokyo to open the season.

Buyouts: It came as a bit of a shock when Corey Perry was bought out by the Ducks in 2019. Sure, his production had dropped in recent times, but he’d been with the franchise for 14 years. Another interesting case was that of defenseman Simon Després, who was let loose in 2017, with four years remaining on his contract, due to concerns over his concussion history.

Paul Kariya

Unique Game: Aside from the above-mentioned games against Los Angeles (2007 NHL Premiere from London and 2014 Stadium Series) and the Ducks travelling to Japan to open the 1997-98 season against Vancouver, the team has also played in destinations such as and Finland and Sweden (versus the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers, respectively), for the 2011 NHL Premiere. Their contests in Tokyo were the first NHL games outside of North America that counted in the league standings.

Goal: Trevor Zegras is known for his high skill level and many highlight real goals. These include his lacrosse-style tally and batting out of the air a Sonny Milano alley-oop pass made over the net from behind it. Zegras’ flair for goal scoring led to him being invited to the 2022 NHL All-Star Game as a special guest to compete in the Breakaway Challenge. He was also made the cover athlete for the NHL 23 video game.

Fight/Brawl: A rather ordinary December 2001 game between the Ducks and the Calgary Flames took a turn late in the third period, when the teams took turns taking runs at each other’s goalies. The result was the last minute and a half featured constant fights off of each faceoff. By the end of the game, only one substitute player remained on each bench, with 309 penalty minutes recorded. A number of players were suspended or fined in the aftermath.

Injury: During the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals, Devils defenceman Scott Stevens caught Paul Kariya with a crushing open ice hit that knocked the Ducks superstar out cold. In the days before concussion protocols, Kariya would return to the game just minutes later and even score a goal. Sadly, in 2011, Kariya would be forced to retire due to post-concussion syndrome and many point to this hit as one that contributed to Kariya’s issues.

Trevor Zegras

Penalty: During a March 2008 game against the Vancouver Canucks, Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger stomped on Ryan Kesler’s leg after the two had become tangled up. While the NHL originally let the incident pass unpunished, further video evidence resulted in an eight-game suspension for Pronger. Although Kesler wasn’t injured on the play, many thought the punishment was light, compared to Chris Simon’s 30-game suspension for a similar incident earlier that season.

Wildest Story: In the summer following Anaheim’s Stanley Cup triumph, Edmonton Oilers GM Kevin Lowe signed emerging forward Dustin Penner to a five-year, $21.25 million offer sheet. Ducks GM Brian Burke responded in the only way a responsible GM should, publically criticizing and name calling his counterpart. This led to the challenge of a barn fight, where a Lake Placid venue was even chosen, before NHL commissioner Gary Bettman stepped in and made sure the bout didn’t happen.

Blooper: Mascots can sometimes be put in dangerous situations, all in the name of getting fans riled up. For the Ducks 1995 home opener pre-game show, Wild Wing was to leap over a wall of fire. While rehearsal apparently went smoothly, when it came time to perform the act live, the mascot fell directly onto the flames. Thankfully, Wild Wing wasn’t harmed in any way and was back to interacting with fans quickly.

Miscellaneous: In the early years of the franchise, Mighty Ducks merchandise sold more than all other NHL teams combined. This was assisted by items being sold at Disney theme parks and in Disney Stores. With Disney World being located in Florida, it’s likely Mighty Ducks items sold better there than their expansion cousin Florida Panthers could ever have imagined for themselves.

Anaheim Ducks: Triple Deke

Triple Deke

  • Muddled Cuccumber
  • 1.5 oz Gin
  • 1 oz Watermelon Liqueur
  • Garnish with Cucumber Slices

This cocktail is an homage to The Mighty Ducks movies, particularly the first film, when the triple deke move is used throughout. The recipe called for Watermelon Syrup to be used, but I elected to add some Watermelon Liqueur to the mix.

July 12 – Three Strikes

Anything Can Happen

Oddly enough, summer is the time when I like to get into sports movies. Perhaps that makes sense, given it’s the off-season for most of the leagues out there. There were so many films I wanted to include on this list, that I’ve decided to split them over two articles, with one being family-friendly movies and the other to do with adult-themed releases. This week, we’ll check out the family options, while next week we’ll get a little raunchier and surpass the PG rating:

#5: Cool Runnings

How could you not get behind this ragtag group of Jamaicans as they try to compete in a sport they really have no business participating in and go on to earn the respect and admiration of their fellow athletes. While the film depicts the team being scoffed at in the beginning, in actuality, they were welcomed by their adversaries and were even lent a sled that helped them qualify. Creative liberties are okay, though. The casting of Doug E. Doug was a particularly brilliant choice, as the comedian-actor was popular at the time and broke up all the sports seriousness. Anything with John Candy is also worth a view.

Watched Cool Runnings

#4: Bad News Bears

This was your prototypical group of misfits coming together in the name of sports premise, before the genre ever existed. Some of the kids that make up the Bad News Bears are reason enough to never have children and the film should be used as a planned parenting advert. Walter Matthau as Morris Buttermaker was a great casting choice. He’s perfect for roles as a grouchy slob, who would rather drink a beer and catch a nap in a comfy recliner than do anything else in the world. That’s probably why he’s one of my favourite actors of all-time! Surprisingly, I’ve never seen either of the sequels to this classic and not the remake either.

#3: A League of Their Own

The story of women’s baseball and how it helped fill the sporting void left by men being shipped off to battle during World War II is so much better than it sounds on paper. Just kidding all you feminist sippers out there. Seriously, this is a fantastic movie, following a pair of sisters as the league tries to gain credibility during one of the roughest times in human history. With Tom Hanks playing the team’s oft-drunk manager and having to handle the issues of a girls’ team for the first time in his coaching career (there’s no crying in baseball… unless a modern male pitcher has a hangnail!), I can even forgive the casting of Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell.

league of their own

#2: The Sandlot

This is such a great movie, pushing folks to look back fondly on their days of neighbourhood sports. Every kid who ever played street hockey, or met at the nearest baseball diamond for a game of ball can relate to this film, which goes back in time to follow the adventures of the new kid in town as he gains friends and experiences the joys of childhood freedom. Roger Ebert compared the movie to a summertime version of A Christmas Story, which is high praise, as far as the Sip Advisor is concerned. The film has become a cult favourite and that’s exactly what it should be.

#1: Mighty Ducks

While the third installment might as well have been direct-to-video, the first two movies are childhood classics. As a young hockey player, it was inspiring to see a group of bad players be transformed into a skilled team… the downside was the mounting number of times we tried to execute the Flying-V play to little success. As if Emilio Estevez wasn’t a legend already, this series made his aura grow exponentially and no player out there didn’t want to have Gordon Bombay behind their bench. Disney even turned the success of the movie into its own NHL franchise, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks (now just the Ducks), although they sold the team in 2005.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Three Strikes

Three Strikes Shot

  • 0.5 oz Cinnamon Schnapps
  • 0.5 oz Jagermeister
  • 0.5 oz Yukon Jack Perma Frost
  • Garnish with Big League Chew

I have to say that for some reason, I love baseball movies. I’m a steadfast non-supporter of the actual sport, but I love me a good baseball flick. Stay tuned next week for our look at the best adult sports movies and even more ball and bat goodness!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I’ve wanted to garnish a drink with Big League Chew for some time now and this was the perfect opportunity to finally do so, melding baseball and childhood all in one. Did I mention that the Big League Chew flavour was Ground Ball Grape! The actual name for this recipe is “Three Strikes, You’re Out,” but I chose to cut the title in half. The shot is quite strong with competing flavours of cinnamon, peppermint and other spices. It’s not bad, but it’s one that will sit in your gut for some time.

Austria – Green Tear

Not Just a Band

When Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated on June 28, 1914, he had absolutely no clue what his murder would instigate. Despite being the major catalyst for the first World War, this Austrian ruler is a largely forgotten footnote in history. Thankfully, the Sip Advisor is here to teach and while sipping a glass of the country’s fine schnaps, here is a little information on ol’ ‘Double F’ and the tragedy that would change the world!

First World War Problems

Growing Up

Ferdinand and his family lived by the motto: “Good Habsburgs (his family lineage), Good Catholics, and Good Austrians”… that just doesn’t have the same ring to it as “A Lannister always pays their debts.”

At the age of 11, Ferdinand found himself one of the wealthiest men in Austria, after his cousin Duke Francis V died and named Franz his heir on the condition that he add the name Este to his own. Hell, to become one of the wealthiest men in Austria, I’d tattoo the name Este on my member! Rumour has it Ferdinand also had to spend one night in a haunted house, but many are skeptical of this account.

Ferdinand may have never found himself the heir to the Austria-Hungary throne had it not been for his cousin Prince Rudolf (aged 30) committing suicide with his 17-year-old mistress in 1889. Karl Ludwig, Ferdinand’s father, became second in line behind Franz Josef, but quickly renounced the position and passed the rights down to his son.

Throne of Games

As a youngster, Ferdinand spent very little time in Austria, often travelling the world searching for cures to his never-ending stream of illnesses.

Ferdinand’s relationship with the citizens of Austria was always strained due to his lack of time spent within the country’s borders and the feeling that he was an outsider. And not one of those cool greaser outsiders like Patrick Swayze, Emilio Estevez, or Matt Dillon. He still managed to somehow stay gold, though.

An avid hunter, Ferdinand always made sure to schedule at least one hunting trip as part of any official travel for the Empire. He kept a running tab of his hunting exploits and stories state that he killed 2140 birds in one day. My belief is that he wanted to assemble an army of undead animals to do his bidding.

Ferdinand was passionate about landscaping outdoors and interior design inside and was constantly on the lookout for a property in need of fixing up. He could be considered one of the world’s first home flippers. Ferdinand’s eclectic tastes also helped him build a great antique collection, which included 3750 pieces of St. George and the Dragon. Clearly, he had a thing for slaying mythical beasts.

slain da dragon

Finding Love

Women always have a way of muddling things up and that was no different for Ferdinand. His wife Sophie was from a lower social class and even though Franz Josef stated he would not consent to Franz and Sophie’s marriage, the two wed on June 28, 1900. The catch was that Sophie could never receive an official royal title and their children could not succeed Ferdinand as ruler. As a result, Sophie rarely appeared in public beside her husband.

Franz and Sophie had three children: Sophie (I guess you’d call her junior), Maximilian (a name which I hope to bring back to present day popularity), and Ernst (a name which I have no joke to deploy upon).

Sophie was finally allowed to accompany Franz on official business for the empire for his trip to Bosnia in June 1914. The end of the visit would also mark their 14th wedding anniversary. The couple arrived in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, which is also St. Vitus Day, commemorating the Battle of Kosovo in 1389.

cat-battle

Surprise Attack

The Battle of Kosovo made a martyr out of Milos Obilic, who snuck into the Ottoman Sultan’s tent and killed him before receiving the same fate himself.

Serbians viewed the Austria-Hungary Empire as their new oppressors and there had been other attempted attacks on high-ranking Austria-Hungary members before Ferdinand’s death.

The Black Hand (must have caught a case of gangrene), which carried out the assassination of Franz and Sophie were also responsible for the murders of King Alexander and Queen Draga of Serbia. This act of treachery was committed while the two were together in bed… what a way to go!

Death Sting

First, a grenade was hurled at Ferdinand’s procession by Nedlejko Cabrinovic, but it detonated behind his vehicle and he was not harmed. While any normal person would halt their little parade there, Ferdinand was urged to continue by General Oskar Potiorek who asked, “What, do you think my city is full of assassins?”

Ferdinand insisted that if the trip continued, only major routes should be used and no side streets… unfortunately his own driver was never delivered this message. When the driver took the first schedule turn, there was assassin Gavrilo Princip, waiting for him. Princip had earlier tried to get a shot in at Ferdinand and when he couldn’t retreated to the side street in dejection.

Princip fired only two shots, one into Franz’s neck, the other into Sophie’s stomach. Both proved to be fatal. Ferdinand’s final words to his wife were “’Don’t die! Stay alive for our children!”

Assassination

The Aftermath

Princip and his fellow assassins were rounded up and put on trial. Because he was under the age of 20, Princip did not receive the death penalty and was instead sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. Princip died in his jail cell on April 28, 1918 from tuberculosis. His illness was so bad that his right arm was amputated before his death.

Upon Franz’s assassination, the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, etc.) declared war on Serbia, drawing Serbia’s allies (the UK, Russia, France, etc.) into the fray and creating the first World War.

The 1911 Gräf & Stift Double Phaeton automobile, which carried Franz and Sophie during their fateful procession, is now displayed at the Museum of Military History in Vienna. It’s no Batmobile, but it has its own place in history. The pistol used by Princip, as well as the clothing Ferdinand died in are also displayed at the museum.

Future Museums

The bullet that killed Ferdinand, sometimes referred to as “the bullet that started World War I” is part of an exhibit at Konopiště Castle in the Czech Republic.

Franz and Sophie are buried at Arstetten Castle in Austria. In memoriam, Austria-Hungary released a commemorative stamp featuring the couple. One day there will be a Sip Advisor stamp tribute that will taste like schnaps with each lick!

Austria: Green Tear

Green Tear Cocktail

  • 1 oz Mata Hari Absinthe
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Splash of Tonic Water
  • Garnish with a Lemon Slice

Well, that wraps up our stay here in Austria. It should be noted that the country can also claim to be home to famous world citizens like Sigmund Freud, Adolf Hitler, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. That would be an interesting table to sit at for a dinner party!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
Well, as you can see, the drink is certainly not green. On the plus side, this was a really decent Absinthe cocktail. I think the combo of Cranberry Juice and Tonic Water is perfect to go along with the very bitter Absinthe. If you’re weary of the hallucinogenic spirit, give this recipe a try and your mind may be changed for the long run!