Good News, Hockey Fans! The regular season is just around the corner and teams are in their final stages of preparing for their opening games: finalizing their rosters and making the necessary adjustments.
The Anaheim Ducks took the night off from prep work on Tuesday and took the time to meet their fans at their Meet the Team charity event. Although this is an annual event, this year, it was unlike any other that came before it.
This year’s main event was a Wii Boxing tournament that kicked off with a friendly match between hockey heavyweight George Parros and MMA legend and Orange County native, Tito Ortiz.
Fans had a chance to enter a drawing in which they were paired against a Ducks player and got to fight them, via the gaming system of course and each winner advanced to the next round until there was a champion. There was also fighting matches auctioned off in a live auction; Wii Boxing matches against four Ducks players, who did not partake in the original tournament: Ryan Getzlaf, Teemu Selanne, Bobby Ryan, and George Parros.
On top of the live auction, there was also a silent auction, which featured such prizes as a suite for a game, a game night experience with General Manager Bob Murray, glass seats for a night and a 2010-11 team signed jersey.
Proceeds of the event were split between two organizations: Register Charities and the Anaheim Ducks Foundation. Register Charities strives to provide relief of poverty and distress in Orange County. The Anaheim Ducks Foundation maintains and assists programs that encourage positive change for children and families in Southern California through sports, education and wellness.
Catching up with a Few Fan Favorites
Joffrey Lupul: After having surgery on a herniated disc last winter, Lupul spent most of his summer fighting an infection from the surgery and still has no idea when he will be able to start playing hockey again.
“I don’t have a time frame yet,” Lupul said. “I talked to the doctors, I’m doing really good, but they want me to take it slow so there’s no reoccurrence or anything.”
Lupul, however, is focusing on training and getting back into shape, so that when he is finally cleared to play, it will hopefully be a smooth transition.
Cam Fowler: One the newest Ducks, Fowler is just starting to get his feet wet. He is definitely looking forward to making his NHL debut against Detroit in Joe Louis Arena on Friday.
“I’ve got some family coming, so hopefully they’ll wear their gold and orange and get rid of that red,” said the Michigan native. “It’s good to have the support from my family.”
Enjoying adjusting to the Southern California lifestyle, Fowler said his most interesting experience on the West coast so far was a deep-sea fishing excursion with his teammates.
Ryan Getzlaf: This has been quite a year for the first line center: winning Olympic gold, tying the knot this summer, and being named Captain for the 2010-11 season are just a few of the highlights.
“I’m honored to be wearing that ‘C’ and following in some pretty good footsteps,” he claimed, after being elected by his teammates. “It’s al part of the process right now and where I wanted to be in the future and I’m lucky enough to do it at a young age that I am now and hopefully I can continue on for many years.”
Teemu Selanne: The Finnish Flash has been quoted this offseason stating that the 2010-11 season will be his last.
However, when asked about that statement, he said, “I’ve learned over the years [to] never say never, but that’s how I feel right now.” Although he has not set any goals for himself on the ice, he professed, “I just hope and wish I can stay healthy,” and wants to play in more games than he did last season.
The Ducks will kick off their season against the Red Wings in Detroit this Friday, October 8th and return to Anaheim for their home opener against Vancouver on October 13th.