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Adam Brady is the Director of Publications & New Media for the Anaheim Ducks and Honda Center. Email him by CLICKING HERE.


Ducks Blog by Adam Brady offers an entertaining inside look at the Anaheim Ducks, the NHL and other topics. Visit this page often for news, commentary, photos, links and much more.
(All times Pacific unless otherwise noted.)


Photo courtesy of the OC Register
Updated September 30 at 2:12 p.m.

This blog has never been accused of having a shortage of praise for Bobby Ryan, but we're going to the well one more time, if you will.

Ryan made an appearance yesterday evening at the Orange County Register headquarters for an exclusive Register Insiders Q&A for close to 200 of the newpaper's subscribers. Throughout the two-hour event -- which started with the Q&A and continued with a meet-and-greet with attendees -- Ryan was incredibly charming, well-spoken and forthcoming, making it easy to forget he's just 23 years old. (To paint the picture, just prior to the Q&A he was talking to me about this iPhone app that he's obsessed with called We City, then minutes later he's talking candidly to 200 people about the $25 million contract he just signed.)

Ryan, clad in casual garb of navy Ducks polo, shorts and flip flops, was fresh off a long afternoon on a fishing boat with the rest of the Ducks. Still, he was both insightful and oftentimes funny with his answers about a variety of topics. Moderator Jeff Miller (who doubles as one of the finest sports columnists in this market) opened the Q&A by focusing on that new contract and whether Ryan had made any big-ticket purchases yet. "I kind of thought I’d wait until I started getting paid first," he said, getting a laugh from the audience. "I’ve talked about things that I’ve wanted over the years, and all the guys know I’m very adamant about collecting wine. I haven’t made any purchases … we’ll get there, though, eventually."

By the way, click here for a transcript of the night and some video.

The subject of being called "Silver" was brought up, which started in this now famous video sketch he shot post-Olympics with Ryan Getzlaf. "I think that one is going to stick," he said, shaking his head. "It never started in the locker room until we did shoot that and Getzy decided he liked it before it aired. It was already summertime but I was getting texts from the guys calling me 'Silver' and then it finally aired and it just kind of took off. As long it eventually turns into “Silver” because that’s the color of the Stanley Cup."

Photo courtesy of the OC Register
Ryan talked a bit about his Twitter account, saying, "I thought it would be a good way to communicate and build a relationship with the fans. I thought this would be a way for people to connect with us." He was asked about which people he follows on Twitter and he mentioned Chelsea Handler and actress Ashley Greene of "Twilight" fame. He added that he pretty much follows only actresses and other hockey players. (Thanks a lot, dude, for not mentioning that you follow me.)

As good as Ryan was during the Q&A, he really shined afterward during the meet-and-greet with fans during which he happily he signed countless autographs and posed for picture after picture as pretty much every attendee waited in the long line to get to him. The only item he politely declined to sign was a canvas print of the 2006-07 Stanley Cup team, a team he wasn't on (reinforcing the hockey player superstition stereotype).

He responded to every thank you with "My pleasure. Anytime" that somehow rang with sincerity even though he said it dozens of times. There is so much material out there about professional athletes doing things the wrong way, it's nice to have a reminder of one who does it right. Last night was just another glimpse into what an impressive person (forget for a minute) Bobby Ryan is, and another reminder of how lucky we are to have him around here for at least the next five years.

Updated September 29 at 11:38 a.m.

Just about the only positive to take from last night's 8-3 defeat to the Kings at Staples Center was this: It won't count in the standings.

The Ducks had a rough night pretty much from the first puck drop, giving up four unanswered goals in the game's first 17 1/2 minutes, getting outshot 23-7, and pretty much never recovering after that. Sure, Todd Marchant did give the Ducks a glimmer of hope with a goal relatively early in the second period to make it 4-1, but L.A. came right back with a Michal Handzus tally and went on to score three unanswered in the third period.

Marchant found the net again and Dan Sexton added a goal late in the third, but far too little and far too late for the Ducks in this one. Randy Carlyle didn't mince words when he said, "We just had a terrible night. We didn't do anything to start, or to build on. You would almost think we never practiced a defensive zone coverage when you watched us tonight."

Added Carlyle "The way we played is unacceptable.” The Ducks played too little defense and took too many penalties, putting them on their heels for most of the evening. All of it happened under the watchful eye of a certain guy in a sharp-looking suit and wire rim glasses watching the entire game from the press box -- Scott Niedermayer.

And while last night's game didn't have the violence of last Friday night in San Jose, there were a couple of scraps of note. George Parros went toe-to-toe with heavyweight Kevin Westgarth in the second period, while Luca Sbisa dropped the gloves with Brayden Schenn in what Sbisa later said was the continuation of some history between the two of them. “We know each other for a bit,” Sbisa told the OC Register. ”There’ s a little bit of a rivalry. It’s the first time I saw him after a year. Refreshed things a little bit. It’s always good games against him.

"I asked him in the start of the third when it was 5-1. He didn’t want to go. And then he asked me and I said yes. The other coach took him off the ice for a bit. We found each other in the end. I think we have a lot of respect for each other. I didn’t think I played a good game tonight. So I just tried to contribute in another kind of way.”

Preseason or no preseason, it still stings a little to lose up at Staples Center, and those fans with their constant Ducks-disparaging chants (often with the help of the team's organist) took great joy in that one last night. The Ducks will hope to get their revenge Sunday in their home rink in the last preseason game of the year. The Ducks' next game comes Friday night against Vancouver, a solid team who (this might make you feel better) lost 8-2 to the Oilers last Sunday.

The Ducks took the day off from the rink today to head to an unfrozen pond for a team fishing trip.

Updated September 27 at 11:14 a.m.

It's rare to feel this way for a preseason game, but oh what I wouldn't have given to be in San Jose on Friday night.

The Ducks' 5-4 exhibition victory over the hated Sharks was, by all accounts, a doozy of a hockey game, featuring no six (six!) fights, a hundred and forty-four penalty minutes (number spelled out for effect) and three Corey Perry goals. (Of course, Perry finally gets his first career hat trick when it doesn't count. Can't tell you how many times over the past two or three seasons he got two early ones, but just couldn't quite pot that third.)

And from the "Of Course He Did" Department comes the fact that Ryan Getzlaf assisted on all three Perry goals, all of which came on the power play. “It comes pretty naturally for us,” Perry said of the chemistry with Getzlaf. “We’ve been playing together for a while. It’s been five years now.”

Five years? Man, I'm getting old.

Despite Perry's hattie, the Ducks didn't clinch the win until mega-popular Dan Sexton went Big Sexy late in the game, scoring with exactly five minutes in the third to put Anaheim ahead for good. Getzlaf, by the way, had four assists on the night, the other on Jake Newton's power play goal that came soon after Perry's early in the first.

Getzlaf appeared 100 percent after tweaking his groin in the prior game, against the Sharks at Honda Center. “Obviously, I want to be 100 percent going into this [season]," Getzlaf said, alluding to the groin injury and the ankle injury that made for a tough last season. "I’m just getting ready for the year. I don’t think I need to prove to anybody other than myself that I’m healthy.”

New Duck Aaron Voros continued to show his truculent side by getting into two scraps, the first with Jay Leach in the first period, and the second with Jamie McGinn midway through the third. (That one resulted in an instigator and a misconduct for Voros.) Five of the six fights (and 96 of the penalty minutes) came in the first period, further proof that whether they're playing in September,  the middle of the regular season or a first-round playoff series -- and whether the guys on the ice are household names or new guys battling to make the roster -- these two teams can't stand each other. And that's a very good thing.  

“That was a dogfight out there," Getzlaf said. "It was nice to see. Guys are sticking together. Guys are playing hard for each other. Do we need six fights or nine fights like it seemed tonight? Probably not.”

Things were a bit more reserved the next night in Vancouver, where the story went (stop me if this sounds familiar): Daniel and Henrik Sedin each had a goal had a goal and an assist, and Roberto Luongo made 28 saves in the Vancouver Canucks' 4-1 victory. Still, there were a couple of tussles of note. Andy Sutton went at it with Tanner Glass after a Sutton hit sent Peter Schaefer limping toward the bench ( to see a couple of nice unanswered rights by Sutton). And heavyweights George Parros and Darcy Hordichuk got in several good blows in the first period.

This head-shaking stat came out of the game story of that game: The Canucks were in the preseason each of the past two seasons. That's 13 regulation wins and no losses in 16 games. How does that even happen? They did lose the first three of this preseason before topping the Ducks Saturday night.

Former Canuck Josh Green, who is fighting to make a roster that was cut down to 30 yesterday afternoon, ruined Luongo's shutout with a deflection goal with 7:18 left in the game. 

The Ducks still have some more cuts to make over the next 11 days or so before opening night on October 8. Those 11 days include three more preseason games, starting with tomorrow night in L.A. (I'll be there). That game will be streamed live on foxsportswest.com.

Anaheim had a long double-session practice today in my office building, which some said was extended because it's SO FREAKIN' HOT OUTSIDE.

The Ducks training camp roster currently has 10 defensemen on it, including the still-being-evaluated Toni Lydman and Cam Fowler, who continues to play well this preseason. (More on Cam coming in a feature later today.)

Updated Sept. 23 at 1:14 p.m.

Preseason game or not, it's always satisfying beating the Sharks, something we all felt last night when the Ducks whitewashed their rivals 5-2 last night at Honda Center.

As much as we counseled ourselves to ignore the scoreboard in a defeat to Phoenix two nights ago, I get the feeling Ducks fans really felt last night's result. Preseason or not, you could make a case that last night bordered on "big win" territory. After all, it would have been mildly discouraging to see the Ducks suffer a second straight defeat, especially with a unit that included big guns like Getzlaf, Perry and Jonas Hiller.

And not surprisingly, those guys played a major role in a win the Ducks pulled off despite being outshot 40-14. (If that sounds familiar, it was pretty much the story the entire series two playoffs ago against San Jose, which the Ducks won in six games.)

Getzlaf and Perry each found the net (with Perry doing it off a Getzlaf assist) while Hiller saved all 19 shots he saw before giving way to backup Timo Pielmeier around the midway point of the second period. Meanwhile, the Perry-Getzlaf-Matt Beleskey top line was very active throughout the night, giving further indication that Beleskey could be a guy who has a big year in his sophomore campaign.

"He’s playing well," said Getzlaf of the 22-year-old Beleskey. "We played together for a bit last year. We know what to expect for him. He just has to skate. As long as he’s skating and hitting, it creates room for us. He’s working in front of the net and it changes a lot for us out there."

Said Beleskey of playing with the two Canadian Olympians, "They control the play out there. If I just work hard, dig some puck out of the corners and get in front of the net, it helps them. It gives them a little more time and space. Eventually, I am going to end up open, if guys are keying on them. It’s chemistry we have and hopefully I can keep building on that."

It's easy to forget that Getzlaf was playing his first game of any kind since last March 24, when he shut it down for the rest of the season with an ankle injury that had nagged him for much of the year. Late in the game last night, he was bothered by a tweaked groin, but he was out there again this afternoon for practice with the rest of the squad, appearing to be at full strength.

He was part of a four-forward first unit on a power play drill with Perry, Teemu Selanne, Bobby Ryan and Lubomir Visnosvsky. (Not a bad PP unit at all. No big deal, just five 2010 Olympians out there.)

Today's practice was certainly less crowded, with 12 Ducks being reassigned to Syracuse or their junior teams this morning, a group that included notables Emerson Etem, Devante Smith-Pelly, Nick Bonino and Joe DiPenta.

The Ducks have a rematch with the Sharks in San Jose tomorrow night, and we'll see what kind of lineup the Sharks throw out there if they're at all concerned with preseason vengeance. Among the Ducks, only Selanne, Saku Koivu and Todd Marchant haven't played yet, so count on them to be in there either tomorrow night or Saturday at Vancouver.

- - -

From the Here's Something You Don't See Everyday (Preseason Version) Department comes this beauty from last night's Blackhawks-Lightning game in Winnipeg.

With a few minutes left in the second period, Chicago center Jake Dowell got into a brief spat with Lightning forward Chris Durno in which Dowell not only got the jersey pulled over his head, but somehow managed to pull his head THROUGH THE BACK OF THE JERSEY.

Essentially, Dowell's jersey number went from 28 to 2-HUMAN HEAD.

As on Blackhawks announcer put it succinctly, "That's not the hole that's supposed to be there."

Check out the video

Updated Sept. 22 at 12:45 p.m.

In the preseason, it's not so much about the score of the games as it is about what you hope to accomplish in those games. And despite taking a 4-1 loss to the Coyotes in last night's preseason opener at Honda Center, the Ducks were able to do a lot of those things.

Getting the veterans into midseason form
- Bobby Ryan scores a typical Bobby Ryan goal in the second period
- Lubomir Visnovsky does his thing, skating around opponents like they're traffic cones and firing rockets on net at will

Taking a good look at youngsters with shots of making the roster

- Cam Fowler plays the second-most minutes of anyone on the ice (24:40) and shows flashes of brilliance.
- Luca Sbisa logs 19 minutes of solid, mistake-free defense

Give the fans a good look at the new guys and the young guys
- Kyle Palmieri, Emerson Etem and Devante Smith-Pelly each play more than a dozen minutes, with the latter two taking shifts on the top line centered by Ryan.
- Aaron Voros shows some feistiness during a heated fight with Nolan Yonkman after objecting to Yonkman's boarding.

So, while the result wasn't necessarily pretty last night, there was a lot to like about Anaheim's first appearance on the Honda Center ice in five months. Here was Ryan's take on the night: "I don’t think the scoreboard indicted what we wanted to do. When you get a younger lineup, you get guys trying to play mistake-free hockey and you’re not taking chances offensively. We didn’t generate a whole lot. That is a learning curve for the young guys."

So 23-year-old Bobby Ryan is referring to the "young guys" now. No, that doesn't make me feel old at all.

The Ducks -- some young, some not-as-young -- will be back at it again this evening against the Sharks, who are opening their preseason tonight. The Ducks will ice a unit that's markedly different than the one we saw last night, with a couple of repeat players mixed in. Here is the expected lineup and line matchups based on how they skated this morning:

Matt Beleskey-Ryan Getzlaf-Corey Perry
Jason Blake-Maxime Macenauer-Dan Sexton
Aaron Voros-Kyle Chipchura-Troy Bodie
Stephane Veilleux-Nick Bonino-George Parros
Rod Bordson
Andy Sutton-Brendan Mikkelson-Cam Fowler
Luca Sbisa-Brett Festerling
Sheldon Brookbank-Danny Syvret
Jonas Hiller
Timo Pielmeier

As was the case last night, those Ducks not playing in tonight's game will welcome fans to the arena by working various jobs throughout Honda Center.

Updated Sept. 21 at 4:31 p.m.

It's still hard to believe, but the Ducks actually play a preseason game tomorrow night, against the Coyotes here at Honda Center at 7:05 p.m. And after today's third day of training camp, in front of another great crowd at THE RINKS - Anaheim ICE, the lineup for tomorrow night was posted.

Matt Beleskey-Bobby Ryan-Devante Smith-Pelley
Trevor Smith-Peter Holland-Dan Sexton
Brandon McMillan-Ryan Carter-Kyle Palmieri
Aaron Voros-MacGregor Sharp-Emerson Etem

Luca Sbisa-Mat Clark
Paul Mara-Cam Fowler
Scott Valentine-Lubomir Visnovsky

Curtis McElhinney
J.P. Levasseur

If you can make it here, it's your first opportunity to see  first-round picks Cam Fowler and Emerson Etem, not to mention guys like Ryan, Sexton, Visnovsky and Sbisa.

Any veterans not playing in the game are scheduled to greet fans at various locations throughout Honda Center prior to opening faceoff. Players will work in the box office, parking booths, concession stands and other various locations. The same goes for Wednesday's match with San Jose.

Updated Sept. 18 at 3:43 p.m.

It’s not every day you can drive home from a day of work and think to yourself, that was pretty cool. But I couldn’t help feeling that way this afternoon as I left Anaheim ICE in my rear view mirror. (And then again, was today work?) Today's first day of Ducks training camp was one Ducks fans have been eagerly awaiting for more than five months (though somehow it feels like it’s been even longer than that). That anticipation showed in the record crowd that jammed into the bleachers at the rink, leaving some forced to stand wherever they could find room or (as some kids did) sit in the aisles.

And the Ducks didn’t leave them disappointed, following up their morning practice and skating drills with a lively scrimmage between Team Black and Team White (click here for the lineups, with "A" being the Black team and "B" the White). It opened with Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan facing off at center ice, both playing the center position (where the Ducks have indicated they'll slot BR this year). The game, which was split into two halves on the two rinks at Anaheim ICE, ended in a 3-3 tie that really came out of nowhere. That’s because Team White jumped to a 3-0 lead on the NHL-sized rink on goals by Kyle Chipchura, Josh Green and MacGregor Sharp. The second half moved over to the Olympic-sized rink, which clearly agreed with the Black team. They got rapid-fire goals from Trevor Smith, Emerson Etem (on a great feed by Matt Beleskey) and Peter Holland (unassisted off a White turnover), all within about five minutes of each other, to create the deadlock that remained at the final horn.

A number of fans stuck around while the Ducks went through more post-scrimmage skating drills, and even remained as the players spent some time talking to media in the locker room. (One sound bite included Jonas Hiller telling reporters he was going to finally cut the hair he let grow out the entire summer because it was bothering him under his mask.)

Those stragglers were rewarded when a number of Ducks stopped for autographs and photos before heading out for the day, including Hiller, Ryan, Dan Sexton, Troy Bodie, and of course, Teemu Selanne. The Flash was surrounded by a pretty sizeable throng as he scribbled his name countless times and bent down to pose for pictures with kids. (Honestly, is there any doubt why the guy is so popular?) And there was this comment from a fan on the Ducks Facebook on Ryan: He literally asked the group of 25+ if they all got their autographs and photos before taking off. He easily spent 10 minutes with the fans just signing and chatting.

All in all, a heck of a way to kick-start the Ducks season, a day that we covered with assorted tweets throughout, these six dozen photos, this recap with player quotes, and the video below. 


Updated Sept. 17 at 2:26 p.m.

We'll have stories from medical/photo day on the site in a bit, including my Q&A with brand new Duck Paul Mara. In the meantime, check out this very cool behind-the-scenes look at some of the stations the Ducks went through today. Props to Ducks staffer Peter Uvalle for the Steadicam work.

Updated Sept. 17 at 10:03 a.m.

A couple thoughts while I try to come to terms with the fact that the first preseason game is (wait, this can't be right) on TUESDAY NIGHT.

- Today is the unofficial first day of training camp, where all 50 Ducks in camp go through medical tests, fitness tests, photos, video head shots and time with the media. It's kind of like going through the excitement of the first day of school, but having three exams, a pop quiz and a term paper due. We'll hope to have photos and tweets from the day. Tomorrow, they're on the ice for the first time as camp opens at THE RINKS - Anaheim ICE. First scrimmage is at 10:30 a.m.

-  Wednesday's Anaheim Ducks Golf Classic was a blast, thanks to a good group that included a fellow Ducks staffer, O.C. Register columnist Randy Youngman and new Ducks defenseman Danny Syvret. The 25-year-old Syvret (who is wearing Sammy Pahlsson's old 26 in camp) is a longtime friend of Corey Perry, and is currently living with Perry in his house. Syvret was the captain on the London Knights team that won the Memorial Cup in 2005, a team on which Perry was one of his teammates. Perry had a decent year that season, scoring 47 goals and A HUNDRED AND THIRTY POINTS in just 60 games. 

Syvret, who is @DannySyvret on Twitter, was a pleasure to play with and a hell of a golfer. (He's about a seven handicap who estimated he played 40-50 times over the summer when he wasn't working out.) One of the highlights of our round (a modified scramble format) was when the lefty Syvret hit a drive toward a blind green on the dogleg-left par-4 fifth hole, getting a nice hop off the cart path and stopping the ball 20 feet from the hole. (Of course, none of us could bury the eagle putt.)

Our group played mildly well, but not well enough, as we finished middle of the pack and well behind Brett Festerling's group from Irvine Valley Air Conditioning. We'll have photos from the day soon.

- The Ducks got some bad news when it was revealed yesterday that new defenseman Toni Lydman is out indefinitely with an ailment that has yet to be diagnosed. This is what Bob Murray had to say about Lydman's condition: "Last week he skated with the guys and then he was at lunch and I don’t know what happened. All of a sudden, he started getting double vision and didn’t feel well. He called Teemu, who got a hold of the doctor. They have been doing tests ever since. He has never had this before.  He does have and what they are checking into are migraines occasionally. Ever since that day, all he has been getting are tests. Everything they test for, nothing is coming back."

The Ducks signed former Canadiens defenseman Paul Mara to a one-year deal, a guy Murray said the Ducks were interested in even before the Lydman news. "I’ve been talking to Paul Mara since mid-July," Murray said yesterday. "I mentioned I was looking at a veteran defenseman that could go with the group. He has been in that bracket that whole timeframe. He has been one of the guys.

I don’t think it was urgent. We planned on doing something with somebody around this timeframe. We were in on somebody who signed earlier in the summer. There are a few things going on here. We’re talking to different teams about different scenarios, other than free agents, and nothing like that happened in the last couple of weeks. We said fine, let’s get Paul in here and get him tested because of the shoulder. That all went really well. I said the heck with it, let’s get this done and moving forward."

Mara missed the last 30 games of the season last year with Montreal because of a shoulder injury, but is a veteran of almost 700 games and will be a good presence on that new-look Ducks defensive unit. And yeah, I know a lot of guys say stuff like this when they come to a new team, but here's a nice quote to end on:

"I just want to come in and bring a veteran defenseman presence to this team," Mara said via conference call, "get to the playoffs and eventually win a Stanley Cup."

That works.

And if you want a little taste of Mara's boisterousness and grit, check out this mic'd-up video of him from his days with the Rangers. My personal favorite part, it's not every day you hear a hockey player say "Where's my hug" on the ice, not to mention singing "Jingle Bells."

Updated Sept. 14 at 5:21 p.m.

There was rarely (I say rarely) any doubt over the last four months that this day would come. But that didn't make it any less sweet when it finally did.

By all accounts, it was only a matter of time before Bobby Ryan re-signed with the Ducks -- it was all about how long and for how much. Ryan made it clear he wanted to be nowhere but Anaheim (and reiterated that this afternoon). The Ducks made it clear they wanted Ryan back. We don't need to get into the details of the summer-long tug of war, because if that hasn't already been forgotten by Ducks fans today, it will be forgotten the first time Ryan sends another a quick wrister top shelf. All that matters now is that Bobby Ryan is going to be a Duck for the next five years.

Ryan himself acknowledged the long negotiation in speaking with the media ("It made for a trying summer"), in this Facebook video message to Ducks fans and from his own tweet: Thanks a lot everybody. Very happy to have this done and over with. I thinks it's safe to say the feeling is mutual. (At least I know my inbox will have a lot fewer, "What's the deal with Bobby Ryan???" emails in it.)

Part of the holdup during the negotiations was Ryan and his camp looking for a three-year deal, rather than the five years the Ducks were offering. That's because Ryan becomes eligible to be an unrestricted free agent after the 2013-14 season. But he made it clear today that after speaking with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, he got the impression those guys wanted to be in Anaheim for the long haul. That made signing for five years all the more comfortable for Ryan.

In speaking to the media today, he gave a little insight into the process: "The length [of the contract] was one of the things that jammed us up for a little bit," he said, looking relaxed in a t-shirt, flip-flops and a black NHL Players Association ballcap. "It wasn’t a secret that we were try to entertain a smaller deal going forward. Not so much from a financial standpoint, but from a strategy standpoint. You have guys like Getzlaf and Perry up in three years and those are some big names to attach yourself to. I have hitched on their wagon and I enjoy it. We had to figure out some structure and term issues after we came to the number. The number was agreed upon earlier than most people thought. It was just trying to get it to be a flat rate almost and feel comfortable that it was a win-win for both sides.

"I understood after speaking with Bob Murray a few times why he did not want to do that. Getzlaf and Perry are up at that time. They would like me to hold down the fort in case one of those guys goes elsewhere. The biggest thing for me was trying to figure out where those guys were going to be moving in three years. After speaking with those guys, they are both committed to this team and organization. I felt a lot better doing a five-year deal."

There's also a little antecdote from the negotiations, that Ryan actually stepped into the negotiations himself and really made this thing happen, ensuring he'd get a deal signed before training camp. About two weeks ago, Ryan and Bob Murray talked. Bobby said he wanted to stay. Bob Murray said he wanted Ryan to stay. So, Bobby himself put his foot on the gas and took a more active role in the negotiations, which led to real talks and ultimately an agreement..

And with that, we're looking at five years with Bobby Ryan in a Ducks uniform. No matter how long it took to get us there, that has a nice ring to it. And because now's as good a time as any for it, here's this:

- - -

And another thing to get excited about -- just shot this today. All this picture needs now is some players.

- - -
Last night's Get Your Ducks in a Roll event at RA Sushi in Tustin (a sushi rolling competition among Corey Perry, Troy Bodie and Sheldon Brookbank) was another rousing success, raising twice as much money for the Anaheim Ducks Foundation as last year's inaugural event. And the three Ducks involved (Getzlaf had to back out while recovering from wisdom tooth surgery) appeared to be having a great time competing against each other on signature rolls with names like "Bodie" licious Roll, the "Bank Roll," and "Perry” dise Roll. (Whoever on our staff comes up with those names each year deserves a pat on the back.) And the players shined when they were asked on mic by "Poor Man's Seacrest" to describe the rolls they were making.

Brookbank, after naming his ingredients,  mentioned that "rice comes standard," and he finished his comments with the requisite, "And you can take that to the Bank."

Bodie opened with, "I start off with a little care and a lot of heart." And, continuing to ad lib, "You sprinkle a little poki sauce and then you do the hokey pokey." He finished with, "I put some jalapenos on there. No one else thought of that" (even though at least one other roll had jalapeno in it.)

Perry, on his rolls, "A lot of people are grabbing at them, so that's a good sign."

Todd Marchant filled in as a spokesman for Getzlaf, only because he happened to be there for son Tim, who was a judge of the event. (By the way, it's been made clear that he's "Tim" now, not "Timmy.") At one point, Marchant blurted out with a laugh, "I'm not a sushi fan by any means." Remarking on the noticeable gap in his front chompers, he later said, "If anybody found a tooth in any of these rolls, I'm missing one" and closed with, "It's all for a good cause so ... please don't let Ryan Getzlaf win" to the delight of the more than 200 attendees. 

As it turned out, Getzlaf did not win (though I was a fan of his Great "Getz"by Roll, which was the only one rolled in soy paper. Troy Bodie took the title by virtue of three first place votes from the judges panel. That led to this photo we tweeted last night, which frankly, is a little scary.

Updated Sept. 9 at 4:21 p.m.

Got a couple of signs today that the season is drawing nearer:

1. Took a quick trip down to Anaheim ICE to catch up with some of the guys skating on their own, including Selanne, Parros, Ryan, Perry, Sutton, Voros, etc. Parros, for one, seemed impressed with how the group looked in the informal workouts, remarking, "I think we're going to have a real good team."

2. Came back from the rink to find my dad's season tickets lying on my desk (he orders them for when there are games I can't get him tickets). Ironically, the tickets came in the same UPS box that everyone else gets them in, even though the guys who ship them out are literally three steps away from my office.

(P.S. Not all of them have been shipped yet, so have patience if you haven't gotten yours.)

It's always kind of a cool feeling when these arrive, and it will forever remind me of this scene (just substitute Ducks for Red Sox).

Another sign to come? They're laying down and painting the ice here at Honda Center on Monday. We'll have coverage of that on the site.

By the way, Teemu was wearing a sweet pair of checkered pants on his way out the door today, obviously on his way to tee it someplace. And just by coincidence, Randy Youngman has a story about Teemu's golf game in today's O.C. Register. One quote worth noting came in response to a Finnish newspaper reporting that he said this would be his last season: "I think this is the fourth or fifth year in a row I've said that, That (mental) approach works well for me, because I want to leave it all on the ice. But nobody's going to believe me anymore, are they?

"Even my wife said, 'I'm not going to ask you (about retirement) anymore.'"

Updated September 7 at 2:48 p.m.

A few thoughts while I try to figure out a way to justify leaving here early, buying the new NHL 11 video game and playing it immediately:

- With little or no significant news to report in the last month or so, the Ducks gave their fans something good with the release of the 2010-11 television schedule. This year, 81 of the Ducks' 82 games will be televised locally, the only exception being the Dec. 21 game at Buffalo because it falls in the mandatory blackout window during another VERSUS telecast. Meanwhile, all of the 17 games broadcast by KDOC will be available in HD -- which means they air that way on all Southern California cable outlets that offer KDOC. Unfortunately, DirecTV (which I have) and Dish Network don't currently offer KDOC in HD. But talks are ongoing between KDOC and the satellite providers, and if you try and help that process along, call your satellite provider for more information.

Either way, it's great news for Ducks fans to have 81 of the 82 on television this year.

- Speaking of watching live games, two of the three Ducks games in the Young Stars Tournament will be streamed live here on AnaheimDucks.com. The Ducks will be sending a team of prospects to the tournament, which takes place September 12-16 in Penticton, BC, including guys like Nick Bonino, Cam Fowler, Emerson, Etem, Kyle Palmieri, Peter Holland, Mark Mitera, Timo Pielmeier and more. The entire roster will be released any minute now.

- I heard a reference recently to young Ducks defenseman Luca Sbisa's ability as a fighter. That actually surprised me, since I've always thought of the young Sbisa as more of a finesse d-man. That was, until I Googled "Luca Sbisa fight" and uncovered this doozy. (The announcer's enthusiasm makes up for the fact that he pronounces Sbisa's name "Suh-BEEZ-uh").

- NHL.com did a pretty cool feature on the best NHL players of all time by jersey number, with Scotty Niedermayer getting the honors at No. 27.  I happen to think a guy with more than 600 goals (and counting) should get the edge over a guy who's only been in the league five years, but maybe I'm biased. Okay, of course I'm biased.

- Just a reminder that training camp will officially open on September 18 at THE RINKS - Anaheim ICE (and open to the public). We'll be doing some "Countdown to Camp" features here and on our social media sites and the day draws nearer.

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