Throughout our existence, our brains acquire a plethora of memories. Some of these recollections fall into a special category known as firsts. From the first time you road a book, to your first kiss, to the first time your wife yelled at you for making the bed wrong way. All of these firsts are engrained into our minds and have helped shape who were are today.
Similar to humans, hockey franchises, and all other sports franchises for that matter, have a list of firsts as well. Although not all firsts have a major impact on a team’s current state of operation, it is still fun to travel back into yesteryear and learn a piece of history.
Without any further ado, I present to you some franchise firsts for the Anaheim Ducks.
On October 8, 1993, the Mighty Ducks played their first NHL game against the Detroit Red Wings at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim. The Mighty Ducks would fall at the hands of Detroit, losing 7-2.
Sean Hill scored the first goal in franchise history during a power play in the second period of Anaheim’s inaugural game against the Red Wings.
Anaheim’s first ever assists obviously came about just moments before the team’s first goal. Both Bill Houlder and Terry Yake assisted in creating the goal scored by Sean Hill.
The Mighty Ducks recorded their first win in franchise history on October 13, 1993, with a 4-3 victory of the Edmonton Oilers.
Guy Hebert recorded Anaheim’s first ever shutout against the Toronto Maple Leafs on December 15, 1993. Hebert stopped all 38 shots that came his way.
First Head Coach
Ron Wilson was appointed the first head coach of the then Anaheim Mighty Ducks. In Anaheim’s first season, the team recorded 71 points with a 33-46-5 record. Wilson would go on to coach three more seasons in Anaheim going 120-146-31 with the team.
First NHL Entry Draft Pick
Anaheim would select Paul Kariya with the fourth overall pick in 1993 NHL Entry Draft. Kariya would play 47 games his rookie season recording 18 goals and 21 assists. In his sophomore season, he would become Anaheim’s first every 30-goal, 40-goal, and 50-goal scorer. In addition, Kariya would also become the first Mighty Duck/Duck to record over 100 points in a season that year. Kariya would go on to play 606 games scoring 300 goals and adding 369 assists.
First Team Captain
Anaheim’s first ever captaincy belonged to left-winger Troy Loney. Loney would only play one season with the Mighty Ducks, recording 13 goals and 6 assists.
First Award Winner
At the end of the 1995-96 season, Kariya became the winner of the Lady Byng Trophy for his sportsmanship and high standard of playing ability. Kariya recorded an impressive 50 goals and 58 assists that season.
On August 10, 1993, Anaheim acquired Todd Ewen and Patrik Carnback from Montreal in exchange for a third-round pick in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft.
First Playoff Game
The Mighty Ducks would play their first postseason game on April 16, 1997, against the Phoenix Coyotes. Anaheim would go on to with the game 4-2. Teemu Selanne scored the first goal for the Mighty Ducks becoming the first person to score a playoff goal in team history. Anaheim would go on to win the series in seven games, which in turn became the franchise’s first-ever playoff series victory.
First Stanley Cup Final Appearance
Anaheim would make their first Stanley Cup Final appearance as the Mighty Ducks in 2003. The team, under head coach Mike Babcock, would lose the series in seven games to the New Jersey Devils.
First Stanley Cup
Like you didn’t know this one already! Anaheim won their first and only Stanley Cup Championship as the Ducks in 2007 under bench boss Randy Carlyle. The Ducks would defeat the Ottawa Senators in five games.
The Anaheim Ducks have had a pretty impressive history, only 22 seasons into their existence. Although many other memories will be made throughout the years to come, there are very few firsts that are still left to be accomplished.
John Gove is an experienced hockey writer who admires the game at all levels. Currently, John is a contributor for The Hockey Writers, covering the Dallas Stars.