Twenty years ago to the day, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim celebrated the team’s first win as a franchise — a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers — with a 4-1 victory over Ottawa Sunday night.
To celebrate the milestone, the team embraced the nostalgia with Throwback Night, as the Ducks (who dropped the ‘Mighty’ moniker in 2006-07) wore the same eggplant-colored uniforms with teal and white horizontal stripes and the cartoon duck goalie mask logo as they did during Anaheim’s inaugural season in 1993-94.
The Ducks welcomed back 15 members of the first-ever team that went 33-46-5 to finish fourth in the Pacific Division and ninth in the Western Conference. Among the former Mighty Ducks who dropped the ceremonial puck were Guy Hebert, Troy Loney, Todd Ewen, Sean Hill, Stu Grimson, and Ron Tugnutt, all of whom where given the full throwback treatment from Fox Sports West Prime Ticket:
While the look has been lampooned as uniforms have come and gone, it’s far from the team’s worst faux pas. The current webbed-foot ‘D’ has been lauded by many, though the first iteration holds a special place in the hearts of hockey fans, especially those who celebrate the team’s real-life-imitating-a-movie roots.
It’s unclear as to whether some of the film’s stars, Joshua Jackson, Marguerite Moreau and Shaun ‘Goldberg’ Weiss, were invited to the festivities.
It’s worth noting that Teemu Selanne is one of only four current Ducks on the roster to have worn the old colors (Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, and Francois Beauchemin are the others), though he may not want to remember some of those days. Selanne’s teammate, defenseman Hampus Lindholm, wasn’t born until the franchise was halfway through its first season.
If there were any sentimental feelings left to go around, Anaheim did not extend them to Bobby Ryan, who returned to Honda Center for the first time since being traded to Ottawa during the offseason for Jakub Silfverberg, Stefan Noesen and a first-round pick in 2014. The Ducks dominated from the get-go, getting goals from Ryan’s ex-linemates Corey Perry (2) and Ryan Getzlaf, registering 24 shots in the first period alone along on their way to a club-record 56 in the 4-1 win, their fourth straight since an opening-night loss.
Ryan was able to exact a measure of revenge, tallying his third goal of the season in the waning moments of the first, but it was all Ottawa could muster as the Sens fell to 1-2-2 on the season.