Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 40
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Although the Stanley Cup honeymoon continues until either another team is crowned champion or the Ducks repeat, the symbolic end to the summer Stanley Cup celebration arrived this week for Anaheim's mighty Ducks.

Monday evening, team members, staff and executives congregated at the spectacular Orange County home of owners Henry and Susan Samueli, at which time, they were each presented with their commemorative ring, indication of being the 2007 Stanley Cup champions.

With mouths agape at the sheer size and beauty of the rings, the entire Ducks family were in disbelief at this symbol of their successful season. The rings are made of white gold. The face uses over 100 diamonds as a background, with the Ducks' stylized 'D' in yellow gold, bordered in yellow diamonds, laying over top of the Stanley Cup, which is created using sixteen diamonds, one for each playoff victory. A black onyx webbed duck's foot is overlaid on the 'D'.

Bookending the face is STANLEY CUP down the left side and CHAMPIONS down the right. Then, also on the left you'll find the player's name. Beneath that are fourteen stones to indicate the franchise's history. Eleven are green to show the Disney era, one is white to indicate the locked-out season and the final two stones are orange to symbolize the seasons owned by Henry and Susan Samueli. Below that on the left is 'CALIFORNIA'S FIRST CUP, with the Ducks' logo below. The playoff record of 16-5 and '2007' comprise the remainder of that side.

Anaheim Ducks' team members, staff and executives show off their commemorative Stanley Cup ring presented by owners Henry and Susan Samueli. (Phil Pritchard/HHOF)
The right side includes the retired Mighty Ducks logo sandwiched between 93 and 07, indicative of the franchise's existence.

Inside, the rings are inscribed with the team's playoff motto: DESTINY IS HEART, SACRIFICE AND PASSION.'

Included in the proud group, as was so rightfully deserved, were Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne, both contemplating retirement and not currently on the 2007-08 team roster.

Netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who has been a Duck since arriving from Calgary in 2000-01, was pleased that the franchise's past was included on the ring. "The way they designed it and the thought they put behind it was exceptional. Teemu and I were pretty happy that they thought about the past. It wasn't always pretty, but it's important to remember it, and some of us had to go through a lot of dirt before we were able to see the sun!"

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A closer look at the display table showcasing the Ducks' Stanley Cup rings. (Phil Pritchard/HHOF)
Although the Ducks statistically opened their regular season with a 'home;' game in London, England, the first opportunity to play in front of their home fans at the Honda Center took place last night (October 10) against the Boston Bruins.

At 6:45PM, with every fan sitting on the edge of their seat, the ceremony began with video highlights of the 2006-07 Stanley Cup championship season. Some clever animation saw Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf, holding the Stanley Cup, spin into the scoreboard. Unbeknownst to the fans, the actual Cup was hidden in the scoreboard and was lowered to the ice surface on a silver tray to a roar unheard in Southern California in decades. Once near ice level, the Cup was placed on a table beside the Conn Smythe Trophy and the Campbell Cup, both won by Anaheim this past spring.

Shawn Thornton, A champion with the Ducks last spring but now a Boston Bruin, takes his first look at his name engraved on the Stanley Cup.
(Phil Pritchard/HHOF)
Each team executive, coach, trainer and player was then introduced, including Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne, wearing suits. Although each person was afforded a tremendous ovation, the loudest were reserved for GM Brian Burke, coach Randy Carlyle and injured goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere. When the former captain and Selanne were introduced, they were welcomed by chants of, 'One more year! One more year!'

When the introductions concluded, there was a very special presentation. For the first time ever, the Hockey Hall of Fame was presented with its own Stanley Cup ring. Although players' rings have graced the Hall of Fame through the years, never has a ring been created specifically for hockey's Hall. It was a humbling yet exciting moment for the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Fittingly, Shawn Thornton, a champion with the Ducks last spring but now a member of the visiting Boston Bruins, took the opportunity while attention was elsewhere to sneak over to the Stanley Cup and see, for the first time, his name engraved there. His smile almost distracted the proceedings!


Keepers of the Cup Phil Pritchard (left) and Mike Bolt (right), remove the Stanley Cup from a platform used to lower the Cup from the scoreboard to centre ice during the Ducks home opener. (Phil Pritchard/HHOF)

Then, with spotlights trained on three tables underneath the scoreboard, banners representing championships in the Pacific Division, the Western Conference and the Stanley Cup were slowly raised to the rafters of the Honda Center. Tumultuous? You bet!

Every fan in attendance received a replica Stanley Cup championship banner as a souvenir of their attendance. It was the fourteenth season opener for Anaheim, but this one, clearly, was special. Besides the fact it involved hockey's greatest trophy and a celebration of hockey's championship squad, it was also Boston's first trip to the Honda Center since October 19, 2003.

The adrenalin was still coursing through Duck veins when the puck was dropped. Unfortunately, Anaheim was brought back to earth quickly as Boston scored just a minute into the game. "You're raising your banner, everybody's excited and pumped up and then, boom, they score on you," Todd Marchant commented on the Ducks' website. "It could have been a huge deflating thing for a team, but we're learning to bury those things." Ryan Getzlaf added, "They came out skating a little bit and we weren't really prepared, but I think we played really well the rest of the night."

Getzlaf, in particular, played well. He scored on a rebound at the halfway mark of the second period to tie the game, then assisted on the winning goal by Francois Beauchemin mid-way through the third. The Ducks left victorious, edging the Bruins 2-1.

It was a banner day for the Anaheim Ducks as a permanent reminder of the 2007 Stanley Cup championship is raised to the rafters of the Honda Centre. (Phil Pritchard)
"It was a special time for the guys who were here last year, especially with Scotty and Teemu on the ice," mentioned Ducks' coach Randy Carlyle. "There was some video and it brought back a lot of memories, so our players felt affected by it. It was a good thing to see they were professional enough to put that behind them and go back to work."

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And back to work it is. The Anaheim Ducks are now the defending Stanley Cup champions, and there are twenty-nine teams anxious to take their place. The NHL season is always exciting and full of surprises, which makes hockey the extraordinary game that it is.

We now close the book on the Stanley Cup Journal for another season, although will report back in from time to time as the Stanley Cup is taken on further adventures. And then, before we know it, the Stanley Cup will be awarded to the 2008 champion, and you know we'll be all over it like tape on sticks in Stanley Cup Journal.

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Kevin Shea is one of the contributors to 'Travels With Stanley' by The Keepers of the Cup, a book of geography and history lessons taught through the travels of the Stanley Cup (Fenn Publishing).

All Photographs are property of the Hockey Hall of Fame and may not be reproduced without prior written consent. For more information regarding use of our photographs please contact us.

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