The Anaheim Ducks, currently in their 25th season, had their most successful season as a franchise about halfway through their history. The 2006-07 season was the 13th for the franchise but the first under the new name. Prior to that, they were known as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The slight change seemed to have made quite the difference when the team set a new record for the first 15 away games. As of Anaheim’s win on December 13, 2006, their road record was 12-1-2 (for 26 points), which was one point higher than the record holder, the Detroit Red Wings, with 10-0-5 (25 points) during the 1951-52 season.
Anaheim’s extra point can be attributed to one star player, Teemu “The Finnish Flash” Selanne. He scored both goals in the 2-1 win over the Atlanta Thrashers at Phillips Arena. According to the recap, “Selanne’s power-play wrist shot over Lehtonen’s glove broke a scoreless tie 15:41 into the second period.” During a power play at 11:49 of the third period, Atlanta’s Niko Kapanen tied up the game. However, “About one minute after the Thrashers pulled even at 1-1 in the third period, Selanne skated alone into the slot and scored on a pass from Andy McDonald to restore the Ducks’ lead.” Towards the end of his career Selanne said, “I think I like to take advantage of the speed, and try to be in the right place at the right time.” This was Selanne’s fifth two-goal game of the 2006-07 season. His 43 points put him in second over Marian Hossa of the Thrashers.
On defense, Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 34 saves. He had won every game he started that season but for one home game, giving him the best record (25-3-6). His teammate Selanne praised, “Both goalies were outstanding. They really kept the score down. (Giguere) was there when we needed him.” Thanks to the two of them, the Ducks maintained a seven-game winning streak on the road. Selanne again gave the press a good soundbite, “I know what we are capable of. We raised the bar higher.”
After such a great start, the Ducks finished the season 48-20-14 (110 points), first in the Pacific Division. Anaheim brought home its only (so far) Stanley Cup after defeating the Ottawa Senators four games to one. When they won, Selanne said, “”I can’t describe the feeling I had when I hoisted the Stanley Cup. I had dreamt of winning something big for fifteen years, and had waited for that moment with every fiber of my body.” As for Selanne, he holds at least four Ducks records: all-time goals leader (457), all-time points leader (988), most goals in one season (52 in 1997-98), and most points in one season (109 in 1996-97). He retired and earned a bronze Olympic medal in 2014, had his No. 8 retired by the Ducks (as their first retired number) in 2015, and was voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2017.