Updated October 2018.
The Anaheim Ducks were founded in 1992 by the Walt Disney Company as The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The name stemmed from the 1992 movie with the same namesake.
The franchise started play in the 1993-94 season, along with the Florida Panthers, as an expansion team. They were members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference, along with the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks.
The Mighty Ducks immediately found a superstar in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft. Paul Kariya was the franchise’s first pick, No. 4 overall, and he became the most recognizable face. He scored 300 goals and 369 assists in 606 games with Anaheim, serving as team captain for seven seasons before departing to Colorado.
Right-winger Teemu Selanne joined the Ducks in 1995-96. He has had two separate stints with Anaheim and is the franchise’s career leader in goals (457), assists (531), points (988) and games played (966).
The seventh-seeded Mighty Ducks made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in 2003, but lost in seven games to the New Jersey Devils. Goaltender J.S. Giguere was spectacular through the playoff run, posting a 1.62 GAA and .945 save percentage. He captured the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP despite losing the series.
At the start of the 2006-07 season, the franchise changed its name to the Anaheim Ducks after Disney sold the franchise. General manager Brian Burke acquired all-star defenseman Chris Pronger at the previous draft, building a team that featured Pronger, Selanne, Giguere and captain Scott Niedermayer, among others.
The team went to the Stanley Cup Final again, but this time they defeated the Ottawa Senators in five games for their first and only Stanley Cup championship. Niedermayer won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the best player in the postseason.
Since the team reached the pinnacle of hockey, it has brought in a wealth of talent, mostly through the draft. Former Hart Trophy winner Corey Perry and captain Ryan Getzlaf have been the roster’s marquee players since the mid-2000s. Although the team has found playoff success with Western Conference Final visits in two of the last four seasons, the club’s hope is to capture another Stanley Cup title before the wealth of talent passes its prime.
Feature photo courtesy Jenta Wong | Flickr
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