Colorado Avalanche – Avalanche Shot

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 may need some oxygen, as we visit the high altitudes of Colorado and try to survive the Avalanche:

Establishment Story: What is now the Colorado Avalanche began as the Quebec Nordiques, one of the original franchises of the World Hockey Association (WHA) in 1972. The Nordiques joined the NHL in 1979, as part of the NHL-WHA merger. The franchise was sold and relocated to Denver, Colorado in 1995 and renamed the Avalanche. Other possible names for the team included Extreme, Blizzards and Black Bears.

Stanley Cups: The Avalanche won the Stanley Cup in their first year in Colorado, helped along by the Avalanche picking up Patrick Roy from the Montreal Canadiens, a double shot at the province of Quebec. The team reached the league pinnacle again in 2001 and 2022, totalling three Stanley Cups. They have won each of their Stanley Cup Finals appearances. As the Nordiques, the franchise also won one WHA Avco Cup in 1977.

Celebrity Fan: South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are Avalanche supporters, as both grew up in Colorado. Another famous fan of the team is baseball Hall of Fame member Larry Walker, who played for the Colorado Rockies for 10 seasons. Walker, a Canadian who grew up also playing hockey, was honoured by the Avalanche for his 2020 Hall of Fame election by being named the team’s honourary emergency back-up goalie for a game.


Super Fan: During the Avalanche’s Stanley Cup-winning 2022 season, one fan was banned from the team’s home games, but it was for a somewhat noble reason. Ryan Clark was caught throwing a small bag of his friend’s ashes onto the ice during a January 8, 2022 contest. The friend was Kyle Stark, a die-hard Avalanche supporter, who died unexpectedly the previous December. Clark admitted the tribute may not have been the best idea, but had no regrets.

Mascot: Bernie the St. Bernard debuted on October 3, 2009, replacing Howler the Yeti, who was retired in 1999 after an issue with an opposing team fan. Bernie wears jersey #1, with a bone used to make the number. The Nordiques mascot was Badaboum, who first appeared for the Rendez-vous ’87 series between NHL All-Stars and the Soviet National Team in Quebec City. Badaboum was a furry blue creature, similar to a seal.

Tradition: For the past few seasons, the Avalanche have used the Blink-182 song All the Small Things as a theme song. For a portion of the track, the audio is cut off, so fans can sing the parts themselves. As the Avalanche made their run to the 2022 Stanley Cup, the tradition was often highlighted by the media. Blink-182 lead singer Mark Hoppus joined the team as they raised the Stanley Cup banner, leading the crowd in a rendition of the tune.

Appearances in Media: In the South Park episode Stanley’s Cup, Stan Marsh is forced to coach a kid’s hockey team, parodying The Mighty Ducks movie. When Marsh’s team is invited to play during the intermission of a Colorado Avalanche-Detroit Red Wings game, the other peewee team no-shows. As consolation, the Avalanche let Marsh’s team play the third period against Detroit, where they get absolutely annihilated, losing 32-2.

All the Small Things

Events/Scandals: Avalanche goalies have a history of being arrested for domestic violence. First, in October 2000, Patrick Roy was detained after an argument with his wife. His case was later dismissed for not meeting the standard of criminal mischief. 13 years later, Semyon Varlamov was arrested and charged with the misdemeanor assault of his girlfriend. The charges were dropped when prosecutors couldn’t prove their case.

Rivalry: As the Quebec Nordiques, the team had a long-standing feud with provincial rivals the Montreal Canadiens, known as the Battle of Quebec. The teams met in the playoffs five times and even battled over TV rights. As for the Colorado Avalanche, their greatest battles occurred with the Detroit Red Wings, as the two teams battled for Western Conference and league supremacy in the late 1990s.

Tragedy: Peter McNab was the color analyst for the Avalanche from their debut in 1995 up until his death from cancer on November 6, 2022. He was 70 years old. McNab played in the NHL for 14 seasons, before moving into the broadcast booth, first with the New Jersey Devils. For all of his contributions to the game, McNab was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2021.

Player Nicknames: Two of the Avalanche’s most legendary players also have the most memorable nicknames in team history. Joe Sakic was known as Mr. Clutch throughout his long tenure with the franchise, always coming up big when it mattered most. Sakic’s former teammate, Peter Forsberg, was dubbed Peter the Great, a nod to the Tsar of Russia from 1682 to 1721.

Joe Sakic

Line: Colorado’s dominant top line over the last few seasons has consisted of Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. The trio has piled up points since being combined and were integral members to the Avalanche winning the 2022 Stanley Cup. Two other notable lines were comprised of Alex Tanguay and Milan Hejduk on the wings, with Joe Sakic or Peter Forsberg at center, for the JAM Line and AMP Line, respectively.

Captain: After serving as the Nordiques co-captain for the 1990-91 season, Joe Sakic was named the permanent captain for the 1992-93 campaign and held the mantle through to his retirement in 2009. Another enduring captaincy is that of Gabriel Landeskog, who was the youngest NHL captain ever, when he began his term in 2012. Landeskog is still the team’s captain to this day.

Enforcer: Nicknamed ‘The Sheriff’, Scott Parker patrolled the ice for the Avalanche for 237 games, over two separate stints. During his time with the franchise, Parker tallied 538 penalty minutes, to go along with five goals and 11 assists. Parker was a member of the Avalanche’s 2001 Stanley Cup championship team, suiting up for four games of the team’s playoff run.

Family Values: The Stastny brothers (Peter, Marian and Anton) starred for Quebec through the early 1980s, piling up points as the team’s top line. The Nordiques even helped the brothers defect from Czechoslovakia to play hockey in Canada, a move which opened the door for other Iron Curtain players to follow. Later, Paul Stastny, son of Peter, was drafted by Colorado, playing eight seasons with the Avalanche.


Returning Players: Peter Forsberg played 10 seasons for the Nordiques/Avalanche franchise, before moving on to the Philadelphia Flyers and later Nashville Predators. He then sat out most of the 2007-08 season, recovering from foot surgery, before rejoining the Avalanche for nine games. After two seasons in Sweden, Forsberg attempted an NHL comeback with Colorado, but only lasted two games, citing his chronic foot issues as a reason for his retirement.

Short Stint: When Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne came to the Avalanche for the 2003-04 season, the reunion of the two star players was supposed to bolster an already strong team. Kariya and Selanne both underperformed, though, and Colorado was eliminated from the playoffs in the second round. Following the 2004-05 NHL lockout, Kariya would sign with the Nashville Predators, while Selanne returned to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

Undrafted: Peter Stastny’s Hall of Fame career began by fleeing Czechoslovakia with his pregnant wife, assisted by Nordiques President and CEO, Marcel Aubut. Stastny dominated the NHL upon arrival, breaking the record for most points in a season by a rookie, including a two consecutive game effort of seven goals and seven assists. Stastny would also play with the New Jersey Devils and St. Louis Blues over 15 seasons.

Trade: The greatest move the franchise ever executed was sending Eric Lindros to the Philadelphia Flyers for a massive package of assets. This included Peter Forsberg, Ron Hextall, Steve Duchesne, Mike Ricci, Kerry Huffman, Chris Simon, two first round draft picks and $15 million. While Lindros was a dominant player in the league for a time, the Avalanche would go onto win two Stanley Cups during Lindros’ career.


Signing: In 2019, the Avalanche took an $850,000 chance on forward Valeri Nichushkin, who was coming off being bought out by the Dallas Stars, following a season where he failed to score over 57 games. Nichushkin rebounded with Colorado, finding the form that made him the 10th overall pick of the 2013 draft. In 2021-22, Nichushkin recorded 25 goals and 27 assists, as well as contributing 15 points in the team’s Stanley Cup victory. This resulted in an eight-year, $49 million contract extension.

Draft Pick: The Nordiques/Avalanche have done very well with the first overall selection, including three consecutive top choices from 1989 to 1991 (Mats Sundin, Owen Nolan and Eric Lindros). The franchise also selected Nathan MacKinnon first overall in 2013. Additionally, choosing defenseman Cale Makar at fourth overall in 2017 may go down as one of the greatest draft steals of all-time.

Holdouts: Going into the 1991 NHL Entry Draft, Eric Lindros and his camp made it clear he would not play for the Nordiques, despite them owning the first overall selection and Lindros being the clear cut favourite to be picked. The Nordiques took Lindros anyway, resulting in the player refusing to put on the team’s jersey. At the 1992 NHL Entry Draft, the Nordiques traded Lindros to the Philadelphia Flyers, ending the impasse.

Buyouts: Three years in a row, from 2016 to 2018, the Avalanche used buyouts on aging defensemen, ending the Colorado tenures of Brad Stuart, Francois Beauchemin and Brooks Orpik in subsequent seasons. The Stuart buyout cost the team $2.4 million, while the Beauchemin and Orpik releases cost $3 million each. Orpik’s buyout came just weeks after he was traded to the Avalanche, allowing him to return to the Washington Capitals on a cheaper deal.


Unique Game: From 1997 to 2016, the Avalanche played a pre-season game almost each year, dubbed Frozen Fury, against the Los Angeles Kings in Las Vegas. Colorado also returned to Quebec City for an exhibition game in 2002 against the Montreal Canadiens. The franchise has played a few outdoor games, including the 2016 Stadium Series vs. Detroit Red Wings, 2020 Stadium Series vs. Los Angeles Kings and NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe Saturday vs. Vegas Golden Knights.

Goal: Defenseman Uwe Krupp was injured for much of the Avalanche’s inaugural 1995-96 season, returning just in time for the end of the campaign. Good thing, as Krupp would score the winning goal in the third overtime period of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals versus the Florida Panthers, clinching Colorado’s first championship. In doing so, Krupp became the first German-trained player to win the Stanley Cup.

Fight/Brawl: Two of the NHL’s most memorable brawls involved the Nordiques/Avalanche franchise. First, the Good Friday Massacre between the Nordiques and Montreal Canadiens occurred during the 1984 playoffs, resulting in 11 ejections and 252 penalty minutes. Second, the 1997 Brawl in Hockeytown between the Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings was the outcome of tempers boiling over from the previous year’s playoff meeting.

Injury: When the Avalanche played the Vancouver Canucks on March 8, 2004, Colorado’s Steve Moore was a marked man for his previous elbow on Canucks captain Markus Naslund. With the Avalanche up 8-2, Canucks players began targeting Moore, with Todd Bertuzzi punching him from behind. As a result of the punch, the players falling to the ice and a pile up that ensued, Moore suffered three fractured neck vertebrae, a concussion and cuts to his face. This ended Moore’s career and led to a lawsuit settlement.


Penalty: Speaking of the Brawl in Hockeytown, it was all precipitated by Claude Lemieux’s hit-from-behind on Detroit’s Kris Draper in Game 6 of the 1996 Western Conference Finals. Draper ended up with a concussion, broken jaw and shattered cheek and orbital bones. Lemieux was ejected from the contest and subsequently suspended by the NHL for two games.

Wildest Story: Further complicating the Eric Lindros trade saga, the Nordiques had actually arranged two different deals for the coveted player. The other transaction was negotiated with the New York Rangers and an independent arbiter was needed to settle the matter. The Flyers deal was enforced, while the Rangers offer of Tony Amonte, Alexei Kovalev, Sergei Nemchinov, James Patrick, either Mike Richter or John Vanbiesbrouck, multiple first-round draft picks, and $20 million was voided.

Blooper: Patrick Roy was one of the greatest goalies in NHL history, but he is also remembered for this major error, made during the 2002 Western Conference Finals, against the Detroit Red Wings. Roy made a sprawling glove save, but when he went to show off the stop, he dropped the puck, allowing the Red Wings to score. The Avalanche, who were leading the series 3-2, went on to lose this game and the next, with the Red Wings advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Miscellaneous: Another great trade for the Avalanche, was bringing in defenseman Ray Bourque from the Boston Bruins in 2000. Bourque waited 23 long seasons to finally win the Stanley Cup. When the Avalanche finally did so in 2001, captain Joe Sakic didn’t hesitate to immediately pass the trophy to Bourque, once it was presented to him. The joy and relief on Bourque’s face, as he skated the championship around the ice was evident. This would mark the end of Bourque’s NHL career, going out on top.

Colorado Avalanche: Avalanche Shot

Avalanche Shot

  • 0.75 oz Raspberry Vodka
  • 0.75 oz Blue Curacao

This is the first shooter of the NHL project, as I could find no suitable cocktails. You’re supposed to drop the shot into a glass of Red Bull, but I don’t like working with that ingredient. The colours of the shot replicate Avalanche jerseys hues.

Arizona Coyotes – Coyote on the Rocks

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 venture to the hotbed of hockey that is Arizona. While checking out the Coyotes operation, we must be mindful of the franchise’s past in Winnipeg as the first incarnation of the Jets:

Establishment Story: On July 1, 1996, the Winnipeg Jets became the Phoenix Coyotes, moving their operations from the frozen tundra to the desert. The original plan was to relocate to Minneaplos-St. Paul, but the new owners couldn’t arrange an arena lease, so Phoenix became the destination. A fan vote was conducted to name the team, with Coyotes being the winner over Scorpions.

Stanley Cups: The Jets/Coyotes franchise has never appeared in a Stanley Cup Final (the oldest team to have not made the Finals), let alone won the championship. The deepest the team has ever gone in the playoffs was the Western Conference Finals in 2012. It should be noted, the Jets were extremely successful during their stint in the World Hockey Association (WHA), winning the Avco Cup three times during the league’s seven seasons of existence.

Celebrity Fan: The ‘Godfather of Shock Rock’ Alice Cooper has long been a fan of the Coyotes, being an Arizona native since he was a teenager. The team has even given away Alice Cooper bobbleheads as a fan promotion in 2012. Cooper can often be spotted at games or rocking the classic Kachina-style jersey. Goalie Mike Smith even had Cooper painted on the back of his helmet in 2015.

Alice Cooper

Super Fan: Any supporter of the Coyotes has to be considered a super fan, no? Seriously, though, Leighton Accardo was a 9-year-old Coyotes supporter who sadly lost her 18-month battle with cancer in late 2020. Prior to passing, Accardo played youth hockey in the Arizona Kachinas program and was signed to a one-day contract by the Coyotes. On that night, rather than drop the puck for the ceremonial face-off, the youngster actually took the draw.

Mascot: Howler the Coyote (full name Canis Howlus Maximus) debuted in 2005. He wears jersey number 96, representing the year the team arrived in Arizona. Also, rather than have a captain’s ‘C’ on his jersey, Howler has the letter ‘M’ for mascot. Howler is best known for being a great drummer, joining area bands during Coyotes Foundation charity events.

Tradition: The White Out began as a Jets ritual, but carried over to Phoenix when the franchise relocated. It began in 1987 to counter the Calgary Flames ‘C of Red’, as the Jets were facing the Flames in the playoffs that season. Winnipeg swept the series and fans hoped the White Out would continue to bring good luck. In Arizona, lyrics to the Wang Chung song “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” have been altered to “Everybody wear white tonight” in marketing campaigns.

Appearances in Media: There are a couple documentaries feature footage of the original Jets. This includes Sel8nne, about the career of Teemu Selanne, and Death by Popcorn: The Tragedy of the Winnipeg Jets, covering the rise and fall of that franchise. The title comes from an incident in the 1990 playoffs, when the Jets were on the verge of finally defeating the Edmonton Oilers, until a fan threw popcorn on the ice, causing a long delay and changing the momentum of the game and series in the Oilers favour.


Events/Scandals: When the Coyotes selected Mitchell Miller in the fourth round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, they didn’t realize the firestorm they were about to set off. According to a report weeks later in The Arizona Republic, Miller had been found guilty in 2016 of repeatedly bullying a developmentally disabled African American classmate. The Coyotes renounced the draft pick as a result.

Rivalry: Aside from brief flirtations with rivalries, the Coyotes greatest battle seems to be against financial stability. For a time, the Coyotes most hated opponents were the Los Angeles Kings, based on their heated 2012 Western Conference Final series. When the franchise was based in Winnipeg, perennial Smythe Division leaders the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames provided the team with many great clashes.

Tragedy: While playing with the Tucson Roadrunners (the Coyotes minor league affiliate), captain Craig Cunningham suffered a cardiac arrest prior to puck drop on November 19, 2016. It took 83 minutes of CPR to keep Cunningham alive. Due to the incident, Cunningham’s lower left leg had to be amputated because of an infection that followed circulation issues. No longer able to play, Cunningham was offered a pro scout position with the Coyotes.

Player Nicknames: The Coyotes greatest legacy on the game of hockey may be some of the nicknames the team has been responsible for over the Arizona/Winnipeg existence. Some include Finnish Flash (Teemu Selanne), Bulin Wall (goalie Nikolai Khabibulin) and BizNasty (Paul Bissonnette). A few others to be considered include Ducky (Dale Hawerchuk), Rhino (Zac Rinaldo), Goose (Alex Goligoski) and Stinky (Christian Fischer).

Arizona Coyotes

Line: When superstar Bobby Hull was joined by European imports Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson to form the Hot Line, the unit dominated the WHA. They played together for four seasons, winning two Avco Cups, before both Hedberg and Nilsson joined the NHL’s New York Rangers. Perhaps the greatest compliment of the trio came from Edmonton Oilers GM Glen Sather, who said he used the Hot Line as a template for building his 1980s dynasty teams.

Captain: Shane Doan spent his entire career as a member of the Coyotes. For 13 of those 21 seasons, he served as the team’s captain. At the time Doan retired in 2017, he was the longest-serving captain in the NHL, providing the Coyotes franchise with some semblance of stability amongst all their other issues. Doan’s jersey was retired by the team in 2019. He recorded 402 goals and 972 points over 1,540 games with the club, all franchise records.

Enforcer: Kris King’s tenure with the franchise spanned both the Winnipeg and Phoenix incarnations of the team. Originally brought in to provide protection for the likes of Teemu Selanne and Keith Tkachuk, the ‘King of Pain’ recorded 762 penalty minutes and 71 fighting majors over his five seasons with the club. King was awarded the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 1996, given to an NHL player who has made significant contributions to their community.

Family Values: From 1993 to 1996, brothers Darryl and Darrin Shannon played together for the Jets. Coyote lifer Shane Doan had the pleasure of being part of the team’s draft table when they selected his son, Josh Doan, 37th overall in 2021. Josh was born and raised in Arizona, as his father played two decades with the franchise. Brothers Philip and Henrik Samuelsson were members of the organization at the same time, while dad Ulf was a former assistant coach.

Shane Doan

Returning Players: Radim Vrbata had three tenures with the Coyotes. He first played for the club for the 2007-08 season. He split the next campaign between the Tampa Bay Lightning and two teams in the Czech Extraliga, before returning to the Coyotes for five seasons. After a two-year stint with the Vancouver Canucks, Vrbata once again called Arizona home for a year. He finished his career with the Florida Panthers, retiring in 2018.

Short Stint: Coming out of the 2004-05 NHL lockout, legendary scorer Brett Hull joined the Coyotes. His dad’s #9 jersey (retired when the team was in Winnipeg) was unretired, allowing him to wear it. However, just five games into the season, Hull believed he could no longer play at the level he expected of himself and abruptly retired. He had recorded only one assist in those contests.

Undrafted: Winger Doug Smail signed with the Jets in 1980, following three years at the University of North Dakota. He remained with the team for 11 seasons and holds a couple interesting records, including the franchise mark for shorthanded goals (25), while sharing the NHL record with three others for fastest goal to start a game (five seconds). He was also the first player to ever join the U.K.’s Elite Ice Hockey League directly from the NHL.

Trade: It was tough to lose the face of their franchise, but at the 1990 NHL Draft, the Jets granted Dale Hawerchuk’s trade request, sending him to the Buffalo Sabres with a first-round draft choice. In return, the Jets received all-star defenseman Phil Housley, Scott Arniel, Jeff Parker and a first-round pick, used to select future star Keith Tkachuk. Another good move was acquiring Jeremy Roenick from the Chicago Blackhawks in 1996 for a package of assets. Roenick was a splashy move for the team’s Phoenix debut.

Brett Hull

Signing: When Mike Smith joined the Coyotes in 2011 on a very reasonable two-year, $4 million deal, he instantly legitimized the team’s goaltending. With Smith in net, the franchise won its first playoff series since 1987 and advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the first time ever. Smith’s success also came on offense, as he scored a rare goalie goal on October 19, 2013.

Draft Pick: Despite a long history of poor performances, the Coyotes have never held a draft pick better than third overall. The Jets selected first overall once, in 1981, taking future Hall of Fame member Dale Hawerchuk. Perhaps the franchise’s greatest pick of all-time was Teemu Selanne (10th overall in 1988), while their diamond in the rough find would be Nikolai Khabibulin (204th overall in 1992).

Holdouts: Nikolai Khabibulin’s contract impasse with the Coyotes, following the 1998-99 season, resulted in the goalie missing almost two full years of NHL action. Khabibulin would finally be traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 5, 2001, suiting up for the team twice before the end of the year. The move worked out well for Khabibulin, as the Lightning won the 2004 Stanley Cup, with him in the crease.

Buyouts: Mike Ribeiro’s time with the Coyotes was brief. Coming off a season where he scored a point per game with the Washington Capitals, Ribeiro signed a four-year, $22 million contract with the Coyotes in 2013. Following a single season, Ribeiro was bought out due to behavioural issues, related to alcohol use. Arizona paid Ribeiro $11,666,667 to not play for them, while the forward signed on with the Nashville Predators.

Mike Smith

Unique Game: For a 2006 pre-season game, the Coyotes returned to where it all began, playing the Edmonton Oilers in Winnipeg, 10 years after the Jets relocation to Phoenix. The Coyotes also opened the 2010 season with a pair of contests against the Boston Bruins in Prague, Czechia. Finally, there has been talk of the Coyotes playing an outdoor game in Mexico, which would be the first time NHL action has ever taken place in the country.

Goal: On March 2, 1993, Teemu Selanne surpassed Mike Bossy’s rookie scoring record of 53, with a goal against the Quebec Nordiques. The tally was made even more memorable thanks to Selanne’s celebration of throwing his glove into the air and using his stick as a gun to shoot it down. Selanne would finish the season with an incredible 76 goals and 132 points (also a NHL record), en route to being named the NHL’s top rookie, winning the Calder Memorial Trophy.

Fight/Brawl: An October 11, 1985 bench clearing brawl between the Jets and Calgary Flames is memorable for a couple reasons. The second period skirmish resulted in six game ejections, including Jets assistant coach Rick Bowness, who took a swipe at Flames enforcer Tim Hunter, the player thought to ignite the melee. Also ejected was Flames backup goalie Mark D’Amour, who was dressing in his first NHL game.

Injury: Coyotes star Clayton Keller had his 2021-22 season ended early when he crashed into the boards, fracturing his leg. A stretcher was needed to remove Keller from the ice, followed by surgery. Another notable injury was Jeremy Roenick having his jaw broken in 1999 by Derian Hatcher of the Dallas Stars. The blatant elbow was retribution for Roenick hitting Dallas superstar Mike Modano in the teams previous encounter. Hatcher was suspended seven games for the incident.

Teemu Selanne

Penalty: Jets tough guy Jimmy Mann was coming off a three-game suspension a month earlier for pushing a linesman, when on January 13, 1982, he left the bench and sucker punched Paul Gardner of the Pittsburgh Penguins, breaking his jaw. The attack was in retaliation for Gardner injuring a teammate just prior. For this offense, Mann was suspended for 10 games, along with being charged with assault causing bodily harm in Manitoba court. Mann pled guilty, receiving a maximum $500 fine.

Wildest Story: On December 8, 2021, it was announced the Coyotes owed $1.3 million in back taxes and they would be locked out of the Gila River Arena if the money was not paid by December 20, 2021. This was the last straw in their lease agreement with the City of Glendale and the Coyotes were forced to find a new home for the 2022-23 season, eventually coming to terms with Arizona State University to play out of their 5,000 seat Mullett Arena.

Blooper: Mike Smith was one of the best goalies in franchise history, but he is also remembered for one of the most bizarre own goals fans have ever seen. During a December 2013 game against the Buffalo Sabres, the puck launched into the air, coming down and getting stuck in the back of Smith’s gear. Smith, losing sight of the puck, backed into his own net. The tally is known today as the ‘Butt Goal’ and worst of all, it occurred in overtime, giving the Sabres the win.

Miscellaneous: During the 2003-04 season, netminder Brian Boucher recorded five consecutive shutouts, with a shutout streak of 332:01, setting modern day NHL records for both stats. The previous records belonged to Gary Durnan, who earned four consecutive shutouts and a streak of 309:21 playing for the Montreal Canadiens in 1949. The all-time records date back to the 1927-28 season, when Ottawa Senators goalie Alec Connell had six consecutive shutouts and a streak of 460:49.

Arizona Coyotes: Coyote on the Rocks

Coyote on the Rocks

  • 1.5 oz Tequila
  • Top with Grapefruit Juice
  • Splash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

This beverage is similar to a Paloma, which is among the Sip Advisor’s favourite cocktails. Some differences include the addition of grenadine and no salt for the drink’s rim. I like the double entendre this recipe conjures, as you can imagine a coyote resting on rocks or it could just be the ice filling your glass.

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.