The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim are a National Hockey League (NHL) team based in Anaheim, California. They were founded in 1993, with their home arena at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim ("The Pond"). Their uniform colors are maroon and green, and feature a hockey mask forming a duck's beak, in front of two crossed hockey sticks.
When founded in 1993, the Mighty Ducks were owned by The Walt Disney Company. The team's name was chosen from the Disney movie The Mighty Ducks (much to the disdain of many traditionalists), about a group of misfit teens who form an amateur hockey team. Disney has subsequently also made an animated series called The Mighty Ducks, featuring a fictional Mighty Ducks of Anaheim team that consists of actual (albeit anthropomorphized) ducks.
With their first draft pick, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim selected Paul Kariya 4th overall in Round 1 of the 1993 NHL Entry Draft. Kariya would become the cornerstone of young Mighty Ducks franchise, the team captain, and would nearly lead them to Stanley Cup glory in 2003 before his departure for the Colorado Avalanche.
In 1997, the Mighty Ducks made their first playoff appearance and defeated the Phoenix Coyotes in seven games in the Western Conference quarterfinals. However, they lost in the semifinals to the Detroit Red Wings.
Their best playoff performance in franchise history was during the 2002-03 season which saw the Ducks come within one game of the Stanley Cup. They swept defending Stanley Cup champs the Detroit Red Wings, beat the Dallas Stars in the quarterfinals, defeated the Minnesota Wild in the Conference Finals, and finally fell to the New Jersey Devils in the Stanley Cup Finals in 7 games. For his heroics which had kept Anaheim in the playoffs many times, goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere won the Conn Smythe Trophy as most-valuable-player of the playoffs.
During the following season with the NHL CBA in its final year and as the National Hockey League labor dispute (2004-05) loomed, the Mighty Ducks were plagued with low attending figures despite their magical playoff run the year before and failed to make the playoffs. During summer 2004, as the NHL and the NHLPA were seemingly headed towards a lockout, Disney tried to sell the team but received a low offer of $40 million (USD), less than the franchise's original worth. Several quotes from several well-paid Mighty Ducks players in the press that stated that the Ducks were a safe franchise were seen as completely out of touch with the NHL economic situation and the precarious situation of the Ducks club.
In 2005, Broadcom co-founder Henry Samueli of Irvine, California bought the Ducks from the Disney for a reported $75 million (USD). Samueli has pledged not to move the team from Anaheim. Brian Burke, former Vancouver Canucks General Manager and President, was appointed General Manager and Executive Vice President of the Mighty Ducks on June 20, 2005.
On August 1, 2005, former Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Randy Carlyle was hired as the new coach of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. He became the seventh coach for the Ducks, who came into the league as an expansion team in 1993. Carlyle, 49, replaced Mike Babcock, who left the Ducks to become the Detroit Red Wings coach. He spent last season as coach of the Manitoba Moose of the AHL after serving as an assistant with the Washington Capitals. He was also on the staff of the former Winnipeg Jets. Carlyle earlier coached Manitoba from midseason of 1996 through 2001.
Anaheim brought back an ex-Duck to the team when they signed Teemu Selanne. Selanne had been a star player when he last played for the Ducks. Selanne played last season with the Avalanche. Another acquisition is Scott Niedermayer who is the brother of Rob Niedermayer.
Anaheim Mighty Ducks Overview:
Arena: Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim
Stanley Cups won: 0