Aside from the obvious that we’re just glad the game is coming back here are 5 reasons Anaheim Ducks fans should be glad the NHL got its act together and is putting our product back on the ice. Yes, fans are still mad that a lockout even had to happen, but you know deep down, you’re happy.
5. Hockey is back in Orange County
During the lockout there was a severe lack of hockey activity in the Anaheim area. There is college hockey at local rinks (USC plays at Anaheim Ice, Cal State Fullerton plays at KHS Ice Arena in Anaheim) and then there isn’t much left. Anaheim fans could take the hour long drive to Ontario for the Reign and while some did, they are affiliated with the Kings, and that’s not cute. Or they could drive to Bakersfield… an intense 2 and a half hour drive. Their AHL affiliate is in Norfolk, Virginia (Norfolk Admirals). The ECHL affiliate resides in Indiana. Now with the return of the NHL we get hockey in our backyard, Anaheim.
4. Kings Become Defenders, not Champions
This one has its good and bad aspects. Bad would be they do finally get to raise that silly banner. Good is they’re no longer considered the current Champions, rather the defending Champions. The Cup is no longer in their possession and it goes back up for grabs. I don’t know about you, but I like that. I tend to dislike anyone having the Cup if it isn’t the Ducks, but they’re the worst option.
3. Life Returns to Normal
If you’re like me you live, eat, breathe, and sleep hockey. Ducks hockey. Any hockey, but mostly Ducks hockey. I have season tickets and at least 7 months of the year I usually devote to the NHL, like a religion. 2 other months are spent enjoying the Playoffs and then 3 are spent enjoying summer and counting down until Pre-Season. Without hockey I’ve had too much time on my hands and not a whole lot to do with it. I found myself going to bed early from boredom (who does that?) and watching entirely too much TV. Hockey is back and that means I can go back to my normal routine, superstition rituals and all. Might be hard at first to be up so late now, but I’ll enjoy it. I’ll still watch entirely too much TV, but it’ll be Center Ice, NHL Network, and NBCSN. It’s different.
2. The 2nd Half Ducks (Hopefully)
The Anaheim Ducks have had numerous seasons full of bad starts. Last season was especially brutal. They always have strong 2nd half surges though, notoriously. I don’t know what it is that causes this… fans have speculated, and Teemu Selanne has in the past confirmed, it was due to the way Ex-Coach Randy Carlyle ran training camps. We still have yet to figure out how the Ducks would start in October under Bruce Boudreau’s control. There’s only one way to find out… get the season started. And hope they’re the 2nd half Ducks! This bodes well for our Playoff hopes. I hate when they don’t make the Playoffs…
1. Teemu… Obviously.
Likely the last season we’ll see Teemu Selanne on the ice for the Ducks, this is important. Ducks fans almost saw his last game as a Duck without realizing it back in April. Had the NHL locked out the full season he probably would have retired, without his proper send-off. I’m always hopeful he comes back for one more year, but he’s aging. He is unfortunately human, and can’t play forever. He says every year though it’s probably his last and then he comes back. As he famously always says “…as long as I’m still having fun, I play.” Here’s to hoping the team will play their hearts out for the guy, he deserves nothing but the best. He deserves to see the playoffs again, to have another chance at The Cup.
P.S. Always remember, when Teemu speaks, you listen. Let’s do this…..