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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wednesday News - Part 2 London and the Stanley Cup

Well the Ducks had a fun day with the Stanley Cup in London today. They finally go to see their names on the Cup. They took a tour and got to see a football (soccer) game. So all in all a great day. Here is the coverage of the game.

Their Names.........Finally

Pictures from today

Their first practice - Link

Their day in London - Link

Various image wires had pictures. AnaheimDuckFan has them nicely linked here - Link

Here are my favorites



The OC Register covers the fact that they got their names on the Cup

Like any other tourist, Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere stood with a camera at the ready Wednesday as he and his teammates prepared to board a sightseeing bus for an afternoon tour of Great Britian's signature city.

Giguere captured his most prized photograph, however, before he ever ascended the stairs to the second level of the old, double-decker coach that marked a page out of the past.

Giguere knelt in front of a small table in a parking lot outside the glistening new O2 Arena, where the Ducks and Kings will open the NHL regular season with games Saturday and Sunday, and snapped a photo of a special portion of the Stanley Cup. For the first time Wednesday, Ducks players saw the latest addition to the revered trophy – the inscription of their names, commemorating last season's Stanley Cup championship.

"Now it's official. Nobody can deny it," Giguere said. "It just makes it even that much more special. There are so many great names on the cup. To be one of the guys who have won the Cup, it's a special feeling. Everybody is like a little kid right now."

Read the rest here - Link

The official Ducks Blog has coverage of their day

Alright, let's get back to it. I have always believed that life is all about having good stories. This would certainly qualify for that.
The Ducks and assorted Ducks staffers decided to go to the Fulham-Bolton match, since if you're in London, you have to try and make it to a football match. The Ducks had arranged to do some kind of jersey exchange with Fulham after the game. So, about a dozen Ducks players and a half dozen staffers headed to the train station to make our way to the stadium.
Somehow, half the group got separated from the other half of the group, and the only guy who knew which trains to take was in the group separated from ours. So, our group that included three other staffers, two team doctors, the team photographer, radio analyst Brent Severyn, Travis Moen, Rob Niedermayer, Sean O'Donnell, Joe DiPenta tried to figure out which trains to take and where those trains actually were. Suffice to say, two 20-minute train rides and a 5-minute cab ride took us all of 2 1/2 hours. Most of that was spent looking at signs, standing in line for tickets and looking at each other and wondering if this was all worth it. Not to mention, it was about 45 degrees outside.
Finally, we arrive at our last stop and find out that it's too long a walk to the stadium, that we have to split into cabs. A few of the guys considered bagging the whole thing, but we stayed with it, using the "we've come this far..." methodology like we're Frodo and Sam in Lord of the Rings.
We asked a local guy for directions and he gave them to us, but not without asking "why the bloody hell" we would want to go to a Fulham game. We didn't have an answer for him. He also advised us not to eat the stadium food, "unless you want to get sick."

Read the rest here - Link

LA Times has coverage of their visit

The Ducks arrived at O2 Arena Wednesday for practice, trying to get ready for the two games this weekend against the Kings that open the NHL regular season.
Although veteran goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere appeared in a colossal bandage atop his right leg, he pronounced himself "not very far" from recovery from his hernia surgery. "If not this weekend. . . hopefully one of those games" in Detroit, Columbus or Pittsburgh, he said, referring to the team's schedule next week beginning on Opening Night No. 2 on Oct. 3, when the rest of the league begins play.

As to why he didn't just wait over there, he said, "There's many reasons why it's good for me to be here. As well as starting the season, I think it's going to be a team-building week," a chance to foment "some team spirit."
For about 12 of the team members, fomenting today will entail golf.

Read the rest here - Link

Canadian Press has coverage

LONDON, England — A group of Ducks and a shiny trophy turned heads near Tower Bridge on Wednesday.

The puck is about to drop in England. But not everyone knew exactly what was going on.

So one confused local approached Anaheim Ducks forward Todd Marchant and asked: "What are you fellows doing?"

"We're in town to the play the Los Angeles Kings this weekend," replied Marchant.

"And who might 'we' be?," said the still puzzled man.

They would be the Ducks, the Stanley Cup champions trying to take London by storm this week. They hit the ice at the new 02 Arena on Wednesday in preparation for the NHL's regular-season curtain raiser Saturday and Sunday. The Kings don't arrive from Austria until Thursday night.

An 18-hour trek from Southern California to London on Tuesday was a little hard to take — even by charter — but the Ducks were in great spirits as they hit a few tourist spots on a privately rented double-decker bus and later took in an English Premier League soccer game.

"I think originally not too many guys were excited about coming," said star defenceman Chris Pronger. "It's a long way to go for a couple of games. But as we got to training camp and we got close to the actual date, I think the guys that were initially skeptical are excited now.

"We've never been here before, most of us. We want to make the best of it."

Goalie J.S. Giguere went one step further.

"It's not every day that you get to come and play in London and represent the NHL," said Giguere. "I think it's an honour to be able to do that."

The players also got a thrill before boarding the bus — the Stanley Cup was awaiting them with their freshly inscribed names on it. It was done earlier this week in Montreal before hopping a plane for London. One by one the players filtered around the Cup, making sure their name wasn't forgotten. It was like children trying to spot gifts with their names on it under the Christmas tree.

But not all the Ducks hovered around the Cup. The newcomers to the team this year kept a safe distance. Hockey superstition No. 1 — don't touch the Cup until you've won it.

"That's not for me," said newly acquired winger Todd Bertuzzi. "That's for these guys, they're the ones who went to war for it and rightfully deserve it. It's their moment with it.

"They can enjoy their time with it. I'll just wait until it's mine."

Read the rest here - Link

USA Today has coverage of their visit

The Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks have brought the oldest team trophy in North American sports back home to England.

The Ducks, who practiced at the O2 Arena for the first time Wednesday, will open the NHL season in the British capital on Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings - a game far away from home and one which Ducks coach Randy Carlyle could have done without.

"It's the hand we've been dealt," Carlyle said. "We're never happy with the scheduling."

The trip may not fit in with Anaheim's plans for a repeat championship, but they are perfect for the NHL, which is trying to further break into the European market.

"There is a hockey tradition here that goes back to Lord Stanley," said Ken Yaffe, a senior vice president for NHL International. "We've got a big British fan base. We've got a big ex-pat fan base."

Lord Frederick Stanley, a Governor General of Canada in the 19th century, bought the cup from a London silversmith and donated it to Canada's top amateur team in 1892. In 1910, it was given to the champion of a professional competition and remained that way until it became the property of the NHL in 1917.

Read the rest here - Link

Fox Sports has coverage

LONDON - Welcome to a new National Hockey League season.

Sure, training camps have been going for a while, but it's only now that the Anaheim Ducks have arrived in London for their opener against the Los Angeles Kings that it gets serious and the recognition sinks in that the start is only days away.

Even though the Ducks travelled in luxurious fashion, it wasn't an easy trip. First they went coast to coast from Long Beach, Calif., to New York, then after a refuelling, across the Atlantic to London.

They landed at Stansted, one of London's more remote airports, and by the time they got to their hotel — a Marriott, of course — the trip was well past the 12-hour mark.

Add to that the fact they they had crossed eight time zones and it was no wonder that they were a little disoriented when coach Randy Carlyle put them through a two-session practice yesterday.

But if you're going to have to make that kind of trip, it's best to do it the way the Ducks did.

They had a charter flight, which means they avoided the usual troglodytes who run the airport-security lanes that you and I have to use. And their plane had none of those five-seat rows that we seem to get stuck in when we fly.

Instead, it had 48 private compartments with seats that fold down into flat beds so that even someone as tall as Chris Pronger could get some comfortable sleep.

Read the rest here - Link

Mark Mowers is in London too

While most members of the Ducks began at least thinking about this week's visit to London midway through last season, when players voted on whether to accept the NHL's invitation to be part of the league's latest overseas venture, newly acquired center Mark Mowers had about four hours to prepare.

Acquired in a Monday afternoon trade with the Boston Bruins, Mowers quickly threw together a few things, spent as much time as possible with a family that includes two young daughters, and made his way to New York to join the Ducks' charter flight that had made a refueling stop before its overnight trek across the Atlantic.

"It's kind of a shocker, at first to switch teams, and then come to the realization that you're not just going out to California, but you're going overseas," Mowers said. "It was a crazy 24 hours, but I feel like I'm settling in, getting to know the guys. The excitement is definitely starting to hit me now."

Mowers, 33, is a veteran of 261 games with three NHL teams and is coming off a career-best five-goal, 17-point season in 78 games with Boston. He practiced with the Ducks for the first time Wednesday and likely will be in the lineup for Saturday's regular-season opener against the Kings at the O2 Arena.

Read the rest here - Link

CanWest has coverage of the visit to Europe as well

The Anaheim Ducks proudly toted the Stanley Cup they won last spring to various tourist sites on a double-decker bus here Wednesday to promote this weekend’s National Hockey League season curtain raiser.

But few Londoners seemed aware of who they were, or what they were carrying, as the team braved a chilly autumn wind that swept across the Thames River.

Steve Campbell, a sports fan from northern England, looked baffled as he watched playoff star Ryan Getzlaf lug the Cup across a busy street to pose with his teammates in front of Big Ben.

“I don’t really know why they’re here, though I do know the NFL is due here next month,” he said, referring to a heavily promoted National Football_League game between the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants at Wembley Stadium on Oct. 28.

“Maybe it’s a bit of a promotion due to that, possibly?”

Campbell isn’t the only one in the dark, as shown in the blank stares and dearth of NHL coverage in the vast sports sections of London’s daily papers

Read the rest here - Link